Failure to pass conditioning tests keeps Marcell Dareus on sidelines to open camp
updated 8:55 PM EDT, July 20, 2014
PITTSFORD - Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said today defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' inability to pass physical conditioning tests is keeping him on the sidelines to start training camp at St. John Fisher College. "At the present time, he hasn’t been able to pass all the tests to get him on the field, so we’re working on that, getting him ready to go," Marrone said. How disappointed is the coach that his star defender wasn't in good enough shape to start camp? "He’s not the only one," Marrone said. "But obviously you want your players to come in ready to go. We’re here for a long period of time, and we’ll make up for it."
Guard J.J. 'Unga passed his conditioning test earlier Sunday. Marrone indicated defensive tackle Alan Branch and linebacker Randell Johnson still need to pass their tests.
Dareus, 24, was arrested in Alabama on May 5 on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia – both felonies. The arrest came after a traffic stop. On May 30, Hamburg police charged Dareus with reckless endangerment in the second degree, reckless driving, participating in an illegal speed contest and other traffic violations after he was allegedly involved in a street race with teammate Jerry Hughes. Dareus’ 2012 Jaguar crashed into a tree in the incident. Dareus made the Pro Bowl as an alternate selection last season, when he had a career-best 7.5 sacks. His 71 tackles placed him second among NFL defensive tackles.
"He’ll be in shape ready to play," Marrone said. "He’ll be ready to go." Asked if he thought Dareus "had his head on straight," Marrone said: "I just think right now he just needs to focus on getting himself ready, getting on the field, and focus on football. I think that’s what he’ll be ready to do, and those have been my conversations with him."