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NFL.com’s Marcell Dareus Story Overblown
Gregg Rosenthal from NFL.com published a story yesterday about Buffalo Bills defensive linemen Marcell Dareus that said the former top draft pick was “behind Alex Carrington” in 3 man fronts and “battling with Jay Ross” in 4 man fronts. Silver Alex Carrington linings playbook aside, it goes without saying that this is not great news for the Bills or theirs fans.
However, there’s good reason to take this with a healthy brick of salt. When Mr. Marcus Dowtin gave us a glimpse of the depth chart in June, this was not the case. Dareus was at the nose position on the starting 3 man fronts, and Carrington was at the end for the ones.
That leads me to the second reason the article gave me pause: in a 3 man front, Carrington is not a great fit as NT. Rather, his length makes him a much better fit as a 3 or a 5 technique (meaning he would play over a tackle or guard). Of the group of players considered safe bets to make the roster, Dareus is the only one with physical traits suitable to playing directly over the center as a 0 or 1 technique.
On the other hand, I don’t think ole’ Greggg was simply making this story up either. Marcell Dareus was reasonably productive last season amid distractions, yet he hasn’t lived up to the expectations of a top 5 player quite yet. Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine has seen Marcell’s tape and knows this. Considering Coach Pettine’s other techniques for motivating players, it’s not hard to see Baldy demoting Dareus for a practice to make a point about consistency (which Kyle Williams pointed to as Dareus’s #1 challenge to raising his level of play this year).
Also, Rosenthal got his start at Pro Football Talk, who’s most popular feature (with respects to the “days since arrest” counter) is the “Rumor Mill.” So keep that in mind.
The real story is that nothing has changed since last season. Wherever and whenever he lines up, the Buffalo Bills need Marcell Dareus to have a big season to justify his draft status and become an effective defensive unit.
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