Arguably the least surprising trade made by the ‘McBeane’ administration was dealing Marcell Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday for a conditional sixth round pick. In doing so, they are returning the work-challenged behemoth to his previous “anal” head coach Doug Marrone… the only coach able to motivate Dareus to the Pro-Bowl level performance he can put out when he wants to.
This regime isn’t kidding about excising every last bit of cancerous tissue out of the malignancy that drained every last bit of pride out of the Buffalo Bills organization over the last 20 years. They are doing so with impunity and unloading Marcell Dareus’ gigantic contract was definitely a step in the right direction.
However, instead of focusing on salary cap savings I’d like to babble a bit about the other less tangible benefit of Dareus’ departure… the effect it will have on team chemistry. It isn’t just the salary cap that can benefit from addition by subtraction.
When you’re the highest paid player on the team but have zero motivation to play the game it tends to rub teammates the wrong way. This is especially true when the guy standing next to you spent more than seven years trying to help you grow up.
When it’s obvious one member of a group is not motivated to work for the benefit of the team, the spillover of negativity reverberates around the room like ripples from a rock thrown into a pond. When energy has to be expended constantly by members in order to address a consistent lack of effort and/or participation, performance will suffer because attention is taken away from the goals and objectives of the team.
Simply put, when one team member is not pulling their (very significant) weight, the resentment from others detracts them from keeping their eyes on the prize.
Marcell Dareus is a complicated young man who suffered more emotional trauma during his lifetime than anyone should have to endure. How people negotiate their way through life after that kind of trauma is what keeps the counseling profession very busy these days.
That stated, there’s no way anyone can legitimately criticize the Buffalo Bills organization for not giving Dareus every opportunity to find himself and focus on football. His future is secure because of them (assuming he doesn’t blow his fortune like Terrell Owens did).
So what went wrong with Dareus and the Bufffalo Bills?
I’m in the dark on details like most fans, but as an observer of human behavior for a long time… I wonder sometimes if Marcell really ever liked playing football. It was a means to an end, an end that resulted in a vast fortune few get to achieve in a lifetime.
Sometimes (and especially if one has been traumatized as a kid) you go through life doing what other people tell you to do because it’s the path of least resistance. In the NFL, once the big guaranteed money comes in, the truth comes out about how much you love (or don’t) the sport of football.
If that’s the case and Dareus really doesn’t have a passion for playing the game, the Bills will benefit from removing that dynamic from the locker room. Giving him one more chance in Jacksonville is a great opportunity for Dareus, but it remains to be seen whether or not it will make a difference in how he performs.
This situation regarding the Dareus trade is a solid example of ‘McBeane’ doing exactly what they said they would do when they arrived in Buffalo. They will not rest until every single molecule of malignancy is weeded out and sent packing. They are bold, brash and unaffected by outside opinion.
We haven’t seen this kind of leadership at One Bills Drive, EVER. When Mr. Wilson owned the team, the front office wasn’t afforded the freedom to churn the roster at will. The scouting departments were a skeleton staff compared to what exists today. Bottom line, the strategy was always about… the bottom line.
We’re really only beginning to see the fruits of the Pegula Era beginning to blossom in WNY. I think what’s most surprising is how fast it’s happening at One Bills Drive. The Sabres front office probably wishes they could borrow McBeane’s chemotherapy formula.
Editor’s babble: I breathe, therefore I babble. You can also find my twisted tweets @RobynMundyWYO.