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Marcell Dareus was deaf to all that accountability talk

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Buffalo Bills spent all season trying to reboot their organization.

Culture change is more than a buzzword, especially for a team that has missed the playoffs 14 years running and is on its fifth head coach in the past 11 seasons.

The Bills have stressed accountability and commitment all year, which makes it doubly -- or triply? -- troubling Marcell Dareus was punished in each of the last two weeks of the season.

Bills coach Doug Marrone benched Dareus for the first half of today's 34-20 loss to the New England Patriots.

Dareus arrived late for a team meeting Monday morning, one day after being benched for the first quarter of the Bills' Week 16 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

I asked Bills captain Fred Jackson, so often a voice of reason, about the situation.

"We just can't put ourselves in those situations, and he knows that," Jackson said. "We need him out there. Any time he's sitting on the bench, he's not helping us. That's a feeling I know he doesn't like.

"He knows he has to come back and be better next year. I'm sure he will. I have all the confidence in the world in him, especially after a day like this that's going to sit with him all offseason. I'm sure he'll be motivated by that."

Jackson suggested Marrone's decision to make Dareus watch for an entire half should help the team moving forward.

"He's establishing what he wants to get established, holding guys accountable," Jackson said. "We've harped on it all year long, being accountable for your teammates. If you're sitting on the sideline, you're not accountable. That's one of the things we've got to get changed and one of the thing we're working on."

  • AGD

    So it seems that Marrone is a hard-nosed disciplinarian. Unless it's his friend, the thoroughly incompetent Danny Crossman. Crossman gets a pass.

    Doug: Go watch some film of last year's Special Teams play. This was the Bills worst Special Teams play in decades -- possibly ever. The fans aren't interested in excuses and even less interested in the fact that you have loyalty to your buddies.

    If Marrone doesn't fire Crossman, Whaley should fire Marrone.

    • Caleb Rappaport

      yep. "Disgrace" doesn't do this team justice anymore. After 14 years, if they still can't right the ship, they should just cease operations. I'm beyond sick of it. No optimism remains, unfortunately.

    • sethkoenig

      Yes please can him! Worst special teams in years. Also can TJ Graham. I don't care how fast you run if you can't catch the ball. This is the NFL, not high school track.

    • ptato22

      Yeah I'm interested to know how he can have excuses for a ST unit that gave up so many big plays this year. One huge run back a year is more than enough. How many huge run backs occurred against the Bills? Wasn't this once upon a time the one really bright spot on the Bills teams?

  • Phil

    When the punishment you mete out to an individual player penalizes the entire team, it's just plain wrong.

    • ptato22

      But in this way he's more likely to stop as his teammates will get truly pissed off if the game is important. What's $5 or $10 grand for guys like this? They'll just pay and forget about it in 10 seconds. Then again a $50 000 fine might work but that would seem absurdly excessive and cause an unnecessary distraction.

  • TheAtheistMissionary

    Buffalo #Bills DT Marcell Dareus (2013 salary $5,565,628 US) was paid $173,925 yesterday to watch 1/2 game from bench. #NFL

  • CoachBluey

    sitting a player down for disciplinary reasons is high school, hit these "pros" where it hurts, in the wallet!!

  • ptato22

    He deserves to be benched if he can't exhibit some respect for his organization. Even corporate execs and top sales people need to be responsible to the rest of the company. His teammates should get all over his case for being so lame and missing a first half where the opposing team already had close to 200 yards on the ground. If they want accountability, the others need to get up his back side for being an idiot.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.