BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Speaking for the first time since being traded to Jacksonville on Friday, Marcell Dareus said he’s still trying to process the last 72 hours.
“I haven’t gotten over it yet,” he said standing at the podium in Jacksonville. “I’m still in shock. I’m shocked for the trade, I’m shocked for this team. I’m just taking it all in. It’s been three days.
“A little overwhelming,” he continued. I’m getting prepared for a game and I’m practicing all week and I’m just zoned in trying to keep negativity out. When I got the call, I can’t lie it did make me a little emotional. It’s a culture shock for me.”
Dareus, who was traded to the Jags in exchange for a conditional sixth round pick, said he’s happy for a fresh start and new opportunity in the NFL.
The All-Pro defensive tackle, who ranks second among DT’s in Bills history with 35.5 sacks, was considered a “question mark” by Bills GM Brandon Beane. While Beane admitted Dareus had made strides in recent weeks, it was clear he didn’t fit the mold for how the GM or head coach Sean McDermott wanted to build the team moving forward.
“When you come in to a new city and you look at the roster, you obviously look at, ‘okay, he is a guy that you flag for two reasons: 1. He’s a higher salary guy, B. he had a prior history with the suspensions,’ Beane told reporters on Friday. “You do want to see those guys, you know, how they fit, and like I said early on, we probably had some struggles but he’s not a bad person.”
Dareus reunites with former Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who has guided the Jags to a 4-3 start in his first year at the helm. Marrone and Dareus have a history: The then head coach suspended him twice for violating team rules.
Known as “Mr. Big Stuff,” Dareus can step in and help a Jags run defense that ranks dead last surrendering nearly 140 yards per game. The Jacksonville pass defense ranks No. 1 in the league.
“It’s an opportunity for us to be better,” Marrone said. “A player that when I was with him was very successful and a very good football player. We know we’ve struggled at times in the run and I think he can help our defense.”
“I blinked my eyes and then I’m in Jacksonville, meeting the coaches at the biggest cocktail a party in the world,” the defensive tackle added on his whirlwind Saturday. “Traded, on a plane, cocktail party, going to the stadium, saying hello, going to the hotel, looking at the roof wondering what is going on.
“Hey, this is life,” he added. “It’s crazy.”