It was an off the field transgression that he wished had not happened. Eager to put his arrest three weeks ago for possession of a controlled substance behind him, Marcell Dareus was spending extra time on the practice field working on his pass rush moves as organized team activities got underway at One Bills Drive.
"It's a legal issue. It's not really something I'm going to talk about," Dareus said. "I'm here to just do what I do, which is have fun, play ball, stay focused and try to get better and that's going to take care of itself. We handle it and do the best we can with it."
Dareus was charged in his native Alabama where possession of a controlled substance is a felony, but the defensive tackle is focused on football only at this point.
"I feel like I'm on the straight and narrow," he said. "I'm doing what I have to do. It's just… things happen, young, dumb. I've just got to correct it and work forward."
Dareus said he did sit down with members of the Bills hierarchy to lay out their plans for him having just picked up his fifth year option last month.
"They really put a lot of emphasis on (maturity)," he said. "We sat and talked as a group. They believe in me. They know that I'm not a troubled guy. They know that I'm not the person who is trying to look for trouble or do anything wrong. Things happen and I'm moving forward and they know I'm going to grow into the guy they want me to be. And I'm going to put myself in positions to get better."
One of his mentors on the team, Kyle Williams, said he spoke personally with Dareus one-on-one in the wake of his arrest.
"We talked. What's said between him and I will stay that way, but we talk a lot," said Williams. "I know that Marcell wants to do the right thing and I think he will."
Discipline from the league is a possibility depending on the outcome of his case. At this point Dareus knows he can't change what happened, so he's resigned himself to keep his chin up and perform on the field during OTAs.
"Nothing is going to mess me up this year. I'm just going to roll and have fun," he said. "The league is the league and they haven't said much about it. I'm not really thinking anything negative. I don't really try to focus on the negative. I just always think positive and move forward. I'm not going to dwell.
"I'm here with my guys and with the great fans of Buffalo I feel at home. I'm at home and I'm away from all the mess and I can focus and really just be myself and have fun."