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Failure to pass conditioning tests keeps Marcell Dareus on sidelines to open camp

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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."

  • Doctor Bombay

    Dareus isn't fat and out of shape because of personal problems. He's that way because he's irresponsible. Time to stop with the excuses.

  • JT

    The Bills are so thin on the D Line they have no choice but hope he straightens out.Is he becoming another Albert Haynesworth?Not sure but failing this conditioning test is very alarming because you could basically pull any young guy off the street and they would pass it with no problem.My gut feeling says his best days are behind him in his short NFL career.Its a shame because he had the potential to be one of the great ones.

  • Bubbles

    I coined the term "Feast Mode" after he rammed the Mongolian Buffet months ago. Sadly, Dareus seems to be completely out of steppe with the rest of the organization.

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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.