Troubled Bills DT Marcell Dareus wants to earn team's trust
Marcell Dareus says he has 'things to work on professionally and personally.'
Kevin Hoffman / USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus can finally start focusing on football again, even though he spent much of Wednesday riding a stationary bike on the sideline.
Dareus was finally back after missing the first three days of training camp in suburban Rochester. Dareus released a statement through the team, saying he hoped to regain his teammates', coaches' and fans' trust after a troubled offseason.
Dareus was arrested twice in the span of four weeks in May, and then reported to camp out of shape and failed a conditioning test Saturday.
"I have a passion for this game, and I want to be here to help this organization achieve its goals," Dareus said in the statement. "There are things I need to work on professionally and personally to make sure I can be accountable to myself, my family, this team and this community."
Dareus was excused from the start of camp to attend a court hearing in his native Alabama on two felony drug charges. Dareus was arrested May 5 and charged with possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia (a glass pipe).
On Monday, Dareus agreed to enter an NFL substance abuse program in a bid to have the charges dismissed.
General manager Doug Whaley told The Associated Press on Sunday that Dareus' failed conditioning test was "a cause for concern" but expressed confidence the player can get his life and career back on track.
"His mindset's better once he's here," Whaley said. "And I think we'll find out with his actions. And I think he's ready to disprove all this stuff that he's a bad seed."
Dareus has been a three-year starter in Buffalo since he was drafted with the third overall pick out of Alabama. He's coming off a career season in which he was credited with 71 tackles and 7-1/2 sacks and made his first Pro Bowl appearance as an injury replacement.
Dareus wasn't available to reporters Wednesday. He hasn't made any public comments since May, before his car crash.
"I'm excited to return to training camp to rejoin my teammates in our preparations for the 2014 season," he said in the statement. "I want to thank the Bills organization, coach Marrone and the coaching staff, my teammates and our fans for their continued support."