His first conversation with new head coach Bruce Arians sparked hope with defensive lineman Darnell Dockett that he will be used more in positions that will allow him to be more effective and make more plays, Dockett said Wednesday, making him sound a lot more optimistic about his future with the team than he did as the season was wrapping up.
“It was a great, positive conversation,” said Dockett during an XTRA 910 interview with “Bickley and MJ.” “He got me excited, not just or me personally, but for the team.
“He told me I was going to play some of my regular positions, positions I played when I was a dominant force in the middle, and that got me fired up.”
It was always known that Dockett’s role in Ray Horton’s scheme wasn’t what he really wanted to be doing — it took some doing to convince Dockett — and it probably didn’t play to Dockett’s true strengths. But the defense became successful and Dockett was able to
“When you play against teams the last couple years and you play against individuals you know you are better than, but you are neutralized, you can’t do what you normally do because of the scheme of the defense, people kind of forget about you,” Dockett said. “I never wanted to be an Albert Haynesworth, one of those guys who get paid a lot of money and get into the media and complain about his position. I sucked it up. I did my best at a position I was never really great at. I wanted to put the team first.”
Playing in a 4-3 or as a 4-3 under tackle, Dockett said, gives him chances to go 1-on-1 against a blocker, which didn’t happen a lot in Horton’s scheme. If Horton had remained in one way or the other, Dockett’s future with the Cardinals would have been a legitimate question. For the money he is making, the 1.5 sacks he produced probably wouldn’t have been enough even if he was doing exactly the job he was being asked to do. That changes now as Arians tries to figure out how his pieces fit.
Dockett also believes Calais Campbell would flourish more in a 4-3, even after Campbell played well in Horton’s scheme. Arians said the Cards weren’t committing to a 4-3 or a 3-4, but would use both. Dockett admitted he has yet to talk to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and doesn’t know a lot about him, but he plans on doing that soon and is optimistic about his role. Dockett said he will be at the Super Bowl and meet with Arians in New Orleans as well.
Dockett did tell a funny story about getting a text from Arians: “Hey it’s BA, give me a call, I want to talk to you ASAP.” Dockett raised an eyebrow. “I’m looking at the text thinking, ‘I don’t even know who this is,’ ” Dockett said. “I’m not calling him back.” Arians tried again the next day, this time explaining he was the new head coach. Dockett realized his faux pas, and ended up talking to Arians for about a half-hour.
“I am training hard,” Dockett said. “I want to get back and I am doing everything I can to do that. I am coming back to my dominant ways. That’s what I am excited about.”
Tags: Bruce Arians, Darnell Dockett, Todd Bowles
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