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Sean McDermott doesn’t think Marcell Dareus trade related to poor run defense

Sean McDermott

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott watches his team play during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


Whether by trade or through free agency, the Bills let several prominent players go in their first months with head coach Sean McDermott and General Manager Brandon Beane.

Their 5-2 start to the year offered support for their approach to building the roster, but the last two weeks have not gone well. The Bills have been outscored 81-31 and given up 492 rushing yards in losses to the Jets and Saints.

Those losses have both come after the most recent veteran was exiled. The Bills traded defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars and coach Sean McDermott was asked Monday if the team’s awful run defense was related to Dareus’ departure.

“No, we played good run defense even when Marcell was in the building and not on the field,” McDermott said, via the team’s website. “We’ve played good run defense and I expect us to do that going forward.”

McDermott stressed fundamentals as the key to getting back on track defensively and mentioned that staying on the field for 41 minutes against New Orleans wore the unit down. Some of that’s on an offense that hasn’t done well in either game, of course, but the Bills’ issues cropped up early in each game so it remains on the defense, including Dareus’ chief replacement Adolphus Washington, to find a way to turn things around.