With the building half-empty with players scattered around the country and coaches on vacation, it seems to be a good time to talk about hair. In part, that’s because Darnell Dockett just shaved off his long-time locks, only furthering a trend of late. I mean, it’s not like Bruce Arians sat in a team meeting and said, “We need to turn this around, we need to play better, and oh, by the way, I can’t stand the long hair.” But it was hard not to notice when running back Ryan Williams and wide receiver LaRon Byrd clipped their dreadlocks and then safety Rashad Johnson did the same, asking his followers on Twitter first if they thought it was a good idea. (Those are the three in the photo to the right.)
Johnson was going to do it anyway — he just felt like it was time for a change. That was some of Williams’ thought too, and as you can see below, that’s what Dockett was thinking too. Time for a fresh start. Maybe Arians’ arrival didn’t bring with it an express message of necessary haircuts but instead just a vibe that reached out to players that said “Snip it!” (Or, more likely, I am just overanalyzing something on a dead day in the offseason.) Heck, I’m not even including guard Daryn Colledge, who didn’t have dreadlocks but had his own long hair that he chose to shear off this offseason.
Dock talked about what a big year it is for him, so this is a type of rebirth. Actually, you look at that list of names — Williams, Byrd, Johnson, Colledge, Dockett — and it could be a big year for all of them to prove their value here with a new staff and new front office (yes, Johnson did just get an extension.) It is the NFL of course, and you know what that makes possible for many players: Hair today, gone tomorrow.
UPDATE: I texted Larry Fitzgerald to see if, you know, he might be following suit with his dreads. His response, expected as it was, was blunt: “No shot.” It shouldn’t be a surprise, but I had forgotten that Fitz has a reason for his long hair — his mother, who passed away from cancer when Fitz was in college.
“I grow my hair in honor of my late mother,” Fitz said in a follow-up text. “It’s a reminder of her great strength and courage in time of doubt and uncertainty. It’s a consistent reminder to keep living and never to give up. It’s not a fad like it is for other guys. My hair has a purpose to me.”
Tags: Darnell Dockett, Daryn Colledge, LaRon Byrd, Larry Fitzgerald, Rashad Johnson, Ryan Williams
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