While injuries were largely chalked up as a main reason for Buffalo’s slide out of playoff contention in 2011, Marcell Dareus said it was the leadership they lost to injury that perpetuated the slide which went seven games.
“The locker room felt different,” Dareus said in a SiriusXM NFL Radio appearance Thursday. “I can’t even explain it because I had never been through it. We tried to keep that fire going, but without our leaders in there like Kyle Williams. When he got hurt he went back home and he wasn’t there and then Fred Jackson went down. Those are our two captains and when those guys were gone it made it harder.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick called Jackson the heart and soul of the team, so his loss took a lot out of the Bills in terms of talent on the field as well as emotional leadership. Sensing a void in leadership, Dareus became more vocal himself down the stretch including some pre-game speeches.
When asked about whether he intends to take on more of a leadership role in 2012, Dareus didn’t shy away from it.
“I’m going to try my best,” he said. “I lead by example, but with our captains down I felt like we needed a voice of reason in the room. So I stepped up and did the best I could for whoever was willing to listen and whoever was willing to follow.”
Tags: Fred Jackson, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Posted in Inside the Bills