Marcell Dareus was deaf to all that accountability talk
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."