The second off the field incident involving Marcell Dareus has cost him the remainder of the OTA practices at One Bills Drive. The defensive tackle, who was arraigned Monday on three misdemeanor charges including reckless driving in connection with an alleged drag race, will stay off the practice field until the team's mandatory minicamp June 17th. It was a decision reached mutually by head coach Doug Marrone and Dareus.
"I've been working with him, he's dealing with a lot of personal issues, too," said Marrone. "I spoke with him at length. We spent a lot of time together talking about a lot of things. As of now, he's not going to be attending the OTAs but he will be attending the mandatory minicamp when we come back."
Dareus was allegedly part of a drag race in which he was racing a black Camaro in his white Jaguar. According to the police report the race ended when Dareus' car left Milestrip Road jumped a grass island and hit a tree in the parking lot of a restaurant causing severe damage to the car and the tree.
Marrone said he does know the identity of the other driver in the race, but he would not clarify.
Dareus' teammates were just glad he wasn't seriously hurt.
"I talked to him yesterday and he explained what happened," said EJ Manuel. "The biggest thing is he's healthy. Obviously it was a tough situation, but I think you need to support him. You want to talk to him. You don't want to shun him or not talk to him because of what happened. We're all there for him and he knows that. So now is just a good time for him to get his thoughts together and come back for the season strong. That's when we need him."
For Dareus the incident comes on the heels of a run-in with police in his native Alabama where he was pulled over for speeding and later cited for possession of a controlled substance, a felony in that state.
The latest incident has prompted Marrone to get more involved with the problems that Dareus is dealing with off the field, an emphasized that Dareus missing the rest of the OTA practices was not disciplinary action.
"It's not a punishment," Marrone said. "I didn't say, 'Look, I need to get you out of here.' I didn't say, 'I need you to stay' and it wasn't Marcell saying, 'I don't want to stay.' It was a conversation of how are we going to move forward? How are we going to get this thing done? I'm taking a bigger role and I'm becoming more personally responsible."
Manuel, who lives in the same complex as Dareus, talks with the defensive tackle a lot. He doesn't believe these two incidents over the past month indicate a pattern of bad behavior.
"Not at all. He's a very smart person. He's a grown man," said Manuel. "So he's going to make the decisions he wants to make. That's one incident. He had something else prior to that, but he's young. We're all young. We all make mistakes and I'm just thankful he didn't get hurt to the point where he can't redeem himself. But I have more than enough confidence in him that he'll be back and ready to go for us."