On Saturday, Bills star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus got himself sent home prior to the team’s preseason matchup against the Ravens for violating club rules.
On Sunday, head coach Sean McDermott addressed the situation with reporters, but did not get into specifics.
“We have certain things we do a certain way, and I expect everyone to be accountable and the rest is really between Marcell and myself,” McDermott said, via The Buffalo News. “Really, we’re moving forward. That’s where I stand on it, we’re moving forward, and I’m looking forward to getting out here on the practice field and getting better.”
He added: “I’ll say this, (Dareus and I) got off on the right foot. And then we decided last night to make the decision we did, I did. And every decision I make is going to be in the best interest of this football team, and that’s the way it goes.”
While McDermott said he wasn’t trying to send a message outside of “understand everyone needs to know what’s expected and everyone’s accountable,” it’s clear he’s trying to start the season on a firm note. Coaches taking over teams formerly headed by Rex Ryan have had similar experiences in the recent past. Ryan’s freewheeling style has been popular with players, but also difficult to reign in after a period of relative lawlessness.
Discipline was a key pillar of McDermott’s introduction in Buffalo. It was a culture changing process that included locker room alterations and the elevation of certain players operating the right way. As ESPN.com pointed out in April: McDermott has since nixed the video games, pool table and air hockey. “This is a business,” McDermott said March 9. “We have to make sure we stay focused on the task at hand, and that means earn the right to win on a daily basis.”
It remains to be seen how the Dareus/McDermott relationship will progress. For the moment, McDermott said the two have not spoken following the infraction.