After a four-week suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and three weeks of dealing with a hamstring injury, Marcell Dareus is back at defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills.
He can’t wait to play his first game of the season, Sunday against the New England Patriots at New Era Field. The week of practice has been intense as Dareus and the rest of the Bills’ defense prepare to face Tom Brady, who was still serving his suspension during Buffalo’s 16-0 victory at New England on Oct. 2.
‘We’re going to try to confuse (Brady) a little bit’
“It’s been pretty detailed, trying to make sure we cross every t, dot every i,” Dareus told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “But Tom Brady, he’s a hell of a player, so we’re going to try to dial it in for him, try to confuse him a little bit and try to get after him as well. But Patriots Week, they’re a team you really have to prepare for.”
For Dareus, the past seven weeks have been difficult. He wants to have an impact, but he also doesn’t want to be a disruption to a defense that has mostly played well this season.
‘I love my team, love my organization’
“It’s really been weighing on me pretty heavy,” Dareus said. “I love my team, love my organization, just getting back being out there, just kind of trying to make some things happen. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m just trying to do the best I can and just try to help them make it a little better.
“We played good the last time, but we’ve just got to be more sound. I just want to come in and do my job, do my assignment and catch up with the game, because it’s a pretty fast game but (Brady’s) going to try to speed it up on us. And I just want to be prepared and ready for it. I’ve been preparing for it, so I’m pretty sure I’m ready to go.”
‘Don’t try to be any super heroes’
Dareus also thinks the Bills are capable of finally ending their 16-year playoff drought.
“We know we can,” he said. “We just have to play sound ball and just do our responsibilities. Don’t try to be any super heroes. Do your job, play to the best of your ability and we can make this run. And we’ve just got to pull them out. We’ve got to win when we’re supposed to win.”
Gore: Colts’ offensive linemen gaining confidence in run-blocking
Frank Gore isn’t interested in individual accomplishments.
The veteran running back recognized the importance of becoming the Indianapolis Colts’ first player to rush for 100 yards in four seasons with his 106-yard outing against the Houston Texans on Oct. 16. However, because the Colts wound up losing in overtime, the individual achievement only mattered because of the confidence he felt it instilled in his younger teammates.
One-hundred-yard performance ‘big, especially for a young group of guys’
“It’s big, especially for a young group of guys who have been drafted here and that’s all they’ve been hearing is what they can’t do,” Gore told Bruce Murray and Maurice Jones-Drew on the SiriusXM Blitz. “They can’t run the ball, they can’t get over a hundred yards, they can’t touch the quarterback. I think, as a football player, that helps your mindset once you do something they say you can’t do. That was the other big thing, I’m happy about the O-line, my young guys up front.
“They finally got it in their head that they can do it.”
‘Now, I’m trying to break that thousand yards’
Having checked that accomplishment off the list, Gore and the rest of the Colts’ offense can focus on his reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since 2014 and becoming the oldest back in NFL history to do so since John Riggins in 1984.
“Now, I’m trying to break that thousand yards and help this team go to the playoffs. Once we do that, I’ll be happy.”