Pats’ HC Belichick on Marcell Dareus’ departure: “It’s not about one guy”

ORCHARD PARK – The Buffalo Bills were reeling for a couple weeks after the organization traded away defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, particularly in terms of run defense.

Against the New York Jets, Matt Forte had 77 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Against the New Orleans Saints, Mark Ingram had 131 yards and three touchdowns. Against the Los Angeles Charges, Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler combined for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bills (6-5) sure’d things up in their run defense last week during a 16-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs as lead back Kareem Hunt was held to 17 yards. However, Hunt, like his team, has struggled as of late as he’s been held to 46 yards-or-less in three of his last four outings.

Could the lack of Dareus be exploited once again against the Patriots? It’s possible, but New England head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t think Dareus was impactful to that level.

“It’s really about team defense, it’s not about attacking one guy, you’ve got to attack the whole group. It’s not about stopping one guy. You’ve got to take control of everybody. They do a really good job of coordinating everything,” Belichick said.

During his tenure with the Bills, Dareus played 10 games against Belichick and the Pats, notching 2.5 sacks and 18 tackles.

Belichick also mentioned the changed in Buffalo’s defense since the arrival of head coach Sean McDermott. The Bills have run a rotation of players on the defensive line throughout games while other part of the defense, such as the secondary, will play close to every snap.

“Schematically it’s quite a bit different than we’ve seen in recent years,” Belichick said. “Coach McDermott is very sound. They do a good job of disguising coverage’s and looks and they play very good fundamentally. They beat blockers well they be tackles well. They read their zone patterns well.”

New England continues to use multiple running backs behind quarterback Tom Brady. The Bills will, of course, have to prepare to face the future Hall-of-Fame signal caller, but making things a bit more difficult for Buffalo this week is the recent re-emergence of running back Dion Lewis.

Lewis, who suffered an ACL tear in 2015 and who appeared to have lost a step, has averaged 5.8 yards-per-carry or more in three of his past five games.

The back even earned some rare individual praise from his head coach last week.

“He’s had a pretty good year,” Belichick said. “He did a lot of good things for us in training camp, we gave him a significant amount of playing time in preseason games, including kickoff returns, so I think he’s done a pretty good job all year.”

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Former Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus — USA Today photo


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