Marcell Dareus criticized Rex Ryan’s defense after the coach was fired by the Buffalo Bills, and it isn’t sitting too well with one of Ryan’s former pupils, Bart Scott.
Among the things Dareus said of Ryan’s defense is that it was too complex for some players.
“It was just too much detail for a lot of guys, and I feel like for a lot of guys it was too much going on for them to check here and check there, if this happens and that happens. Then nine times out of ten, a team will throw something out there that we weren’t prepared for, and then the adjustment to it, we had to get use to and try to make it happen and make plays.”
Scott, who was a linebacker playing for Ryan during his tenure with the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets, took to the radio waves to defend his former coach.
“That might sum the whole thing up – because that’s the guy that you gave $100 million,” Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Instead of reading his play book, he was too busy lighting up. Are you serous? First of all, I’ve been in this system my entire career. Eleven years, I’ve been in this system. As a defensive lineman, you only have like four (or five) fronts. Man, if you can’t remember five fronts, I don’t know what to tell you, bro. We can’t put the play book in crayon.”
The reference here to “too busy lighting up” stems from Dareus’ four-game suspension to start the season after he failed a drug test for marijuana (more on that here). Indeed, if anyone was going to criticize Ryan’s defense for being too complex, it should most certainly not have been Dareus.
Further elaborating on his criticism of Dareus, Scott compared him to other teammates who had legitimate challenges yet still managed to make it work.
“I’ve had teammates that were special needs in high school and college,” Scott said. “I played with at least four teammates that were dyslexic and they picked it up. So Marcell Dareus needs to be reevaluated. I don’t know what his Wonderlic was, but for him to say that defense was complicated, I don’t know.”
The truth of the matter is that other players, perhaps more dedicated players, have had no problem digging into the playbook and getting Ryan’s concepts locked into their heads. But as we saw during the two years the coach spent in Buffalo, he never did get the full support of his players, both on and off the field.
From missed assignments to missed tackles to a complete lack of effort, the Bills failed Ryan at least as much as he failed them.