INDIANAPOLIS — Marcell Dareus wasn’t first in the draft, but he proudly stated this afternoon at the Super Bowl media center that’s he’s “first at something.”
The Bills defensive lineman, who was picked third in last year’s draft, is the first player donning the new official cap of the NFL after the league switched from Reebok to New Era for the 2012 season.
He’s plugging the hat on radio row today in Indianapolis, but only a few weeks ago he was in New Orleans watching his Crimson Tide dominate LSU to lock up their second national championship in three years. The defensive MVP of that game was his friend and former teammate, Courtney Upshaw.
Upshaw is considered to be one of the best pass rushers in this year’s draft, and the pass rush is one of Buffalo’s biggest areas of need. So naturally, we were wondering if Dareus has been doing some recruiting on one end and some influencing on another.
“Of course I asked (the Bills) to check out some players from my school,” he said. “I know we’ve got a lot of good players that we can use, and the first name they thought about was maybe Courtney or a cornerback or a running back. I’m not really sure if they’re going to go that way … but I would love it.”
The Bills are going back to a 4-3 alignment on defense, and Upshaw would likely have to make adjustments if he’s required to play with a hand in the dirt in Buffalo. But talent is talent, and even Dareus says he’s not sure where he’s going to be playing in 2012. He figures he and Kyle Williams will play three-technique, but he’s open to whatever.
We couldn’t let Dareus return to product-plugging without getting his take on Sunday’s game. His Bills were one of three teams that beat New England this season, but a lot has changed since that Week 3 game in Orchard Park. In the season finale, New England trounced the Bills.
“They play more together,” he said. “They didn’t seem like they were as much together as they are now. When we played against them (in September), I felt we still played against a good team, but it wasn’t the normal Pats.”
Despite that, he’s still predictably taking the Giants and their aggressive defensive front to win.