He should have had a couple of sacks before Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson somehow managed to escape, but there is no doubt that defensive lineman Darnell Dockett was excellent in the season opener.
Officially, Dockett was credited by Cardinals’ coaches with two quarterback hits and five total tackles. Profootballfocus.com said he was the most productive pass rusher in all of the NFL in Week 1 with what they said was seven hurries and three hits. Regardless of the discrepancy, it was clear Dockett started strong. He was as disruptive as I have ever seen him, and most importantly, he was disciplined — a couple of times, when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was ready to leak outside the pocket and scramble, Dockett had been smart enough to stay home in his lane and quickly change Wilson’s mind.
The stats aren’t flashy, but this is what defensive coordinator Ray Horton had in mind. If he plays like that, is it any wonder linebacker Paris Lenon is getting off for a career-high two sacks? Or Daryl Washington piling up 10 tackles?
And that doesn’t even include the benefits Dockett delivered after the game when he spoke in support of quarterback Kevin Kolb after the game, not only going out of his way to praise the QB but also making sure to have a dose of realism in his thoughts. Dockett told Jim Trotter he’s willing to back any quarterback the Cards use.
“My biggest thing is, just don’t lose it for us,” Dockett said. “That’s my only emphasis. I’m not asking you to go out there and be 16-for-19 for 300 yards. I’m just asking you to go out there and, if you’re scrambling, don’t try to throw it between two people. Slide or throw it away, and we’ll punt and get after it on the series. That’s all I’m asking for.”
There’s no question Dockett got after it last game. Now comes a chance to get after Tom Brady.
P.S. The Big Red Rage with Kerry Rhodes is back tonight. Wide receiver Andre Roberts is the guest. It’ll be held at Majerle’s at Chandler Fashion Center as usual, beginning at 6 p.m., although it will be tape delayed on Arizona Sports 620 beginning at 7 p.m.
Tags: Darnell Dockett, Kevin Kolb, Patriots
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