Since we previously discussed Defensive Tackle (DT) Kyle Williams, let’s continue that thread with fellow DT Marcell Dareus.
In 2011, rookie Marcell Dareus had 43 Tackles (32 solo, 11 assisted), 5.5 sacks and 2 Passes Defended (PD). Not bad for a player that had no offseason, no OTA’s, no minicamps, a shortened training camp, losing his pro-bowl line mate [Kyle Williams] early on in the season, and switching from a 3-4 Defensive End (DE), to a 3-4 Nose Tackle (NT). Just like Kyle Williams did in 2010, Dareus had 5.5 sacks with no good pass rushers to compliment him. Think about that for a minute, 5.5 sacks with an abbreviated offseason, and no competent help around him.
Can Dareus have a career year, and surpass his rookie stats in 2012? Let’s take a look: Dareus now has a full offseason to prepare for the upcoming season; returning next Dareus is fellow DT Kyle Williams, who is returning from an Achilles injury which plagued him since his collegiate days, and appears to be 100% for the first time in many years; add in elite pass rusher Mario Williams, as well as adding a good pass rusher in Mark Anderson, which gives the Bills their best pass rushing duo (on paper) since the Bruce Smith/Bryce Paup days; and to top it all off, new Bills Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt implementing his 4-3 defensive system where the Defensive front four’s specific jobs are to penetrate the Offensive line and create pressure. With all of that said, not only could Dareus break his rookie numbers, but he can obliterate them.
Marcell Dareus has not even begun to scratch the surface on his NFL career yet, as he had an abbreviated offseason, one full season of play, and switching positions mid-season. Can you imagine the impact Marcell Dareus is going to have on the defensive line this season? Dareus could very well be the linchpin to the new Bills defense. Bills fans, it’s going to be an absolute pleasure seeing this young man develop over the next few years.