Darnell Dockett was one of the guys who stayed on Karlos Dansby hard last offseason, trying to convince his former teammate — who had been cut by Miami — to return to Arizona. Dansby did, taking a cheap one-year deal, being happy to come back to the Cardinals, and making Dockett happy in the process. Then, after Dansby had by all accounts his best season as a pro, he was paid a lot of money to join the Cleveland Browns. It was significantly more that the Cardinals offered, on a longer contract. His departure was not a surprise, although some were disappointed Dansby didn’t remain with the team that is considered closer to a contender.
Wednesday, Dockett sure sounded like he was one of the disappointed ones. During a media session with a bunch of different questions, Dockett was asked about the changes in the defense and about “one big loss.” The reference was to Dansby, if not by name. Interestingly, Dockett talked about Dansby — but didn’t use Karlos’ name either.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for our guy that left, I love him like a brother but we were one or two pieces away from making a lot of noise,” Dockett said. “But we are going to regroup. Our GM, coaches, owner will get someone to fill that role and we’ve got guys with enthusiasm of getting that opportunity for that role. They know they have big shoes to fill.
“I personally feel he chased the money versus a ring. That’s no knock on Cleveland, I’m not saying Cleveland doesn’t have a chance. Everyone has a chance, but I just felt like it was made for him to be here. The financial part, that’s totally different. I don’t know anything about that. But when you look at everything we have done this year, the sacrifice our defensive line made for that certain individual to make his plays and going to a game not being selfish. Our defensive line doesn’t care about sacks and tackles and stuff, we come to do a job to hold guys off linebackers so we can be the number one run defense. I just think that opportunity was here, to get into the playoffs and make a run for it.
“I’m not going to complain about spilled milk. I wish him well in Cleveland but at the end of the day we’ll see who is where at the end of the season.”
There is little question that this defense is built for linebackers to make plays, and Dansby and Daryl Washington showed that a lot of the season last year. There has already been plenty of discussion of Dansby’s departure and the likely replacement in Kevin Minter. But clearly, Dockett had been hoping Dansby would have returned.
Tags: Darnell Dockett, Karlos Dansby
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