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In another desk-rattling, keyboard slamming rant typical of Bucky Gleason over the years, he grumbled, “Dareus has shown no signs of cleaning up his act. He’s either unwilling, incapable or lacks the discipline needed to stay on the field. He’s their highest-paid defensive player but hasn’t offered an ounce of leadership. The new regime gave him a clean slate, and he couldn’t even reach the regular season without mucking it up.”

This Saturday on “The Hurry Up,” our weekly podcast (Available on iTunes and Stitcher) dedicated to quick, no BS coverage of players, strategy, and gameplay with the Bills, we will highlight Marcell Dareus as a player to watch. Last week in a win over the Jets, he didn’t even make the stat sheet. What happened to the guy who looked like a superstar under Jim Schwartz’s defensive schemes four years ago?


The Bills have returned to the 4-3 system that Dareus thrived under before being stifled by Rex Ryan’s “leadership” in a 3-4. But his Week One performance this year was unremarkable to say the least. We can’t argue with Gleason’s points about about Mr. Big Stuff underperforming. But we’re stilll rooting for Dareus. Sometimes those who don’t make the stat sheet do the work to help others get the tackles. The Bills stifled the Jets run game. He played a part in that. But, with a playoff drought that’s almost old enough to drink in Canada, patience with any player is not infinite. Do we get rid of him if he can’t perform this week? We at Rise Sports say let’s give him a chance to prove himself against a superstar quarterback and very competitive team in Carolina. You may disagree. So does Bucky.

He continued, “We’re talking about roughly $24 million in dead money against the salary cap this year and another $14 million next year by cutting Dareus. It would be debilitating, indeed, but what’s the point of keeping an overpaid, underachieving pothead who comes across like he doesn’t want to be here?”

Sometimes it’s fun to read Gleason’s rants. We’re all frustrated that the Bills have effectively been .500 for most of our lives, but in joining in with his frustration, you may let him get away with too much. Why does Gleason choose to throw “pothead” into the argument? Is that the icing on the cake for his readers? Maybe not for the readers who enjoy science.

Marcell Dareus likes to smoke weed. Synthetic or not. The guy likes to get high. Does that make him less of a player, teammate or man? Gleason thinks so. To him, it’s another reason we should cut Dareus from the team. He’s not performing. He’s breaking rules. HE SMOKES POT TOO! Get him outta here!

Bucky, you’re sounding a little like Jeff Sessions. The 1980s have come and gone and the War on Drugs was and is an epic failure.

The 80s were great though…


Why can’t he just pop painkillers and get drunk like the rest of us, right? Well, there’s research everywhere showing how damaging painkillers are to the organs of NFL players that swallow them right after the final whistle and throughout the week until the next game. According to CBS, the trainers and doctors are pushing the damaging pills on the players anyway. And it’s public knowledge and common sense by now that combining alcohol with painkillers destroys your liver and does damage to other organs as well.

Modern research shows that not only can marijuana use replace the use of painkillers, but it can also prevent and treat brain damage. Big hits are incredibly entertaining, but they are also very damaging. Remove helmets and play rugby-style rules? And watch ratings slip? No way in hell, says the NFL. So why not embrace a drug that is proven to actually help players fend off CTE if you won’t protect them on the field?

Real Sports with Bryant Gumble’s reporting revealed that 50-60% of NFL players are using marijuana, either medically or recreationally. Should we cut them all, too, Bucky?

The Drug Policy Alliance shows that Marijuana can truly protect the Brain. “Does Marijuana Protect or Damage the Brain?

In a Viceland episode of Weediquette, How and Why NFL Players Use Marijuana, the host takes Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe to visit former Cleveland Brown Brian Schaefering. After a five year career in the NFL, all his money was spent on medical expenses for a traumatic brain injury suffered in gameplay. Schaefering ran a GoFundMe campaign to acquire a service dog, costing 3,000. At the end of the episode, we learn that Monroe decides to retire early after seeing the condition Schaefering was in.

Alas, the NFL has some major sponsors, and they sell beer. So there is certainly pressure from those sponsors on the NFL to not come out in favor of legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational. Just this year, Goodell remained firm that he sees no benefit and thinks weed is dangerous.

“I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use,” Goodell said. “Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term. All of those things have to be considered. And it’s not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game. We really want to help our players in that circumstance but I want to make sure that the negative consequences aren’t something that is something that we’ll be held accountable for some years down the road,” he told NBC Sports.


Goodell’s not an idiot. He knows weed isn’t nearly as dangerous as the painkillers, the alcohol. He knows players brains are being damaged on every play. He’s just putting money ahead of the health of the players that make league owners rich.

So Bucky Gleason is well within his rights to criticize Dareus’ play. Especially if he fails to show up against Carolina this Sunday. But to cite his use of marijuana as another reason he shouldn’t be on the team is to admit that Bucky, like the owners in the league, doesn’t care about player health, he just wants to see big hits and big dollars!

Eyes on Dareus’ play this Sunday. But whether he reaches for a beer or a pipe after the game’s over should not be a factor in whether he belongs on this team or in the league. Here’s to hoping the NFL, and the rest of the states in the Union come to their senses and players don’t have to wait until the next CBA in 2021 to use marijuana to protect their bodies and brains freely.