He hasn't addressed the media since late May, but on Tuesday in the last week of Bills training camp Marcell Dareus broke his silence after an offseason marked by a couple of off the field incidents. Now almost three months removed from when those transgressions occurred, Dareus believes he's laser focused on the straight and narrow path.
"(I'm) just trying to stay focused. That's the only thing. A lot of issues come from other things and other people and it distracts you from what your main focus and main goal is," Dareus said. "So I just have been kind of been keeping my eyes on the prize and doing the best that I can. My weight is a lot better, staying focused, doing what I can on the field. I'm feeling good. Mentally I'm in a good state. I'm just happy to be back out here."
Dareus' play on the field has been consistent, but his performance has never been the issue. As he said himself it's the distractions, but with head coach Doug Marrone's support he believes he has successfully put his problems behind him.
"Marrone is such a good guy. He's straightforward with the players and has always tried to put his best foot forward," Dareus said. "He's a player's coach we all know that. He supports me just like I support what we're trying to do here. He's just that type of guy. I can go to him if I have any questions. He's just another outlet for me. He's just a good guy and he's there for me."
His teammates have also been supportive, but there haven't been any direct conversations about his issues with his fellow players. It's been more about helping Dareus with the road in front of him.
"They're all here for me," he said. "We've all got each other's back. There's really nothing that's been said and nothing to talk about. We're just trying to move forward with everything. Of course I can rely on them and they can come to me with great advice. I'm just moving forward with everything."
The Pro Bowl defensive tackle admits that the isolation of training camp has been helpful in keeping him locked on to football and only football.
"It's been great. The team has been so supportive," he said. "The coach has been outstanding. This is a great atmosphere to be around."
When asked how confident he is that off the field issues of any kind will not crop up again, Dareus had as absolute an answer as one could muster.
"I'm 100 percent sure that everything is just fine and we're just going to keep moving forward," he said. "I'm a grown man and I have my responsibilities and I'm going to do the best I can to straighten my own things out. I am a man. I am human and I'm going to do the best I can to move forward and stay positive from here on out."