Dockett expects to be dominant after Arians talk

Posted by Darren Urban on January 23, 2013 – 3:35 pm

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.”


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48 Responses to “Dockett expects to be dominant after Arians talk”

  1. By azjam on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Excellent. Just what we (Card fans) wanted to hear. Wouldn’t it be something if our defense actually got better!!!

  2. By D on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    That tells me az will need to draft another d lineman this spring if they want to play some 4-3 even with keeping dd

  3. By aaron on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Depends on how they approach their style of a 4-3. Guys like Groves and Schofield can fill that role. It would be nice to grab a guy like Werner though.

  4. By jocards on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply


  5. By MattH on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply


  6. By Mark in Chandler on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    re 4-3
    Like DD as under tackle. What I haven’t figured out is where they will use CC or Washington. The more I think about it the more I like the pattern with the Bears with Campbell playing the RDE like Peppers. Campbell is only an inch talerl and 10 pounds heavier than Peppers. A couple years ago Campbell played outside the tackle due to injuries and he looked really good. With Campbell, Williams/Carter/Draft, and Dockett on the DL the question is who would work as LDE. Acho, Grover, draft FA???? not sure.

    Washington is also a puzzle. I think he would need to be around 240 to play him as a MIKE. If he is a WILL would that lesson his impact? (although playing behind Campbell might bring some interesting blitz packages). I can’t see him as a SAM or on the lighter side of the DL.

    The personell is there to shift from a 3-4 to a 4-3 but there will need to be some additiions and adjustments (a 3-4 is LB driven and a 4-3 is DL driven and, lets face it, other than Washington our DL was always more impactful than our LB.)

    For those who are dogging Bradley. yes he needs to have his pay reduced- no arguement there- but Bradley is a 4-3 MIKE or even a SAM. His skill set never really fit a 3-4 so I have hope in Bradley’s future.

    Kind of fun to think of a 4-3. It is making relook at all of my grading for the draft. Kind of fun.

  7. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    I wonder how Arians feels about online showering, alligator shopping and tweeting about police stops.
    Dockett was going to appeal the supposed $200,000 fine he received for not following team orders to lay down vs the Jets. I never heard of a resolution. Darren?

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Fine

    I have not heard.

  9. By jestrada on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    GOOD stuff Dockett, im liking your positive attitude towards the coach, now lets see if he can fix the ofense..

  10. By Jason Zumwalt on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    So glad to hear this. Losing Dockett, whether he receives less playing time, trade or (God forbid) a cut, would be very difficult to bare as a Cards fan. Same goes with A-Dub.

  11. By Austin on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    I am thrilled to see Dockett excited again. With him, Carter, Dumpster Dan and CC I think we could have a dominant front 4. I was very frustrated at first with the departure of Horton but after hearing Arians explanation and seeing some of the moves he’s made I couldn’t be happier. We definitely have the right guy here now. I wish Whiz all the best but time to move on. GO CARDS!!!!!!

  12. By Chad on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Maybe it is just mean, but I hear a lot more football talk coming from Arians than I did from Whisenhunt. Seems like he has a plan and is a coach first and foremost. Looking forward to him developing our talent and getting the most out of our guys.

  13. By canadian redbird on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Finally a coach that fits the scheme to the players vs the players to the scheme. I truly believe that both Docket and Campbell will have break out seasons next year. I think were set with our linebackers with D-Wash in the middle with Acho and Groves as the outside linebackers. Our run defence and sack count will improve noticeably.
    Heard Arians on the Jim Rome show today and I get how the players would go to the wall for Indy; not sure that I could see that happening with Whiz. Its just a game however I get the feeling there is some excitement in the Valley. Keep up the good work Cards.

  14. By Corgon on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    No question, we need the Big Bad 90! Nice to hear he’s in the future plans.

  15. By Andy Kw on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Darnell Dockett is the clear cut leader of the Arizona Cardinals defense. If our team really does shift from 3-4 to 4-3 through out the season, I think Darnell Dockett will be back to his Pro Bowl self in no time. Lets Go DOCKETT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the Best Defensive Linemen in NFL History

  16. By Andy Kw on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Now that this team got Dockett all fired up, I feel totally confident he will pull bigger sack numbers. Our defense is a concern but our offense needs more concern. Our offense needs better play callers and a better offensive linemen and I feel that this team has all of that. Levi Brown had his struggles but proved without him that this team does not have a run game. Levi Brown is a crucial piece to this offense.
    -Our Wide Receivers are pretty good. We need to make Michael Floyd the #2 receiver with his height and speed. We need more plays where there are 3 Wide Receivers out. Meaning Fitzgerald, Floyd, and Roberts would be more involved making our offense more explosive. Byrd is a good developmental Wide Receiver but we need to find the true #4 Wide Receiver. Doucet is good but with his injuries, we might need to find another one.
    -We need a Quarterback with Height, Accuracy, Strong Arm, Mobile, Good Decision Maker, and Good under Pressure. This Quarterback needs to be good on all downs. If we can find this QB, I expect 3 Wide Receivers with 1000yd seasons.
    -Lets evaluate Kolb. He has a decent height at 6-3, his accuracy is less than 60%, his arm strength is decent, he is a decent mobile QB, he is below par on decision making, and works terrible under pressure. Injured the past 2 seasons.
    -Lets evaluate Skelton, he has a great height at 6-6, he accuracy is below 55% and is terrible, his arm strength is amazing, he is a decent mobile QB, he is also below par on decision making, and has his ups and downs when working under pressure. He has injury related history.
    -Lets evaluate Lindley, he has a good height at 6-4, accuracy is okay, his arm strength is okay, he is not a mobile QB, he is terrible at decision making and works terrible under pressure.
    -Lets evaluate Hoyer, he has an okay height at 6-2, accuracy is okay, his arm strength is decent, his is an okay mobile QB, decision making is unknown, and he is okay working under pressure.

    -From my evaluations, the QBs that have hope are Kolb, Skelton and Hoyer. If Kolb can be more accurate and healthy, Skelton be more accurate and healthy, and Hoyer can improve all of his unknown fundamentals, this team has a true shot. Since our offensive linemen are so big, we might want to find QB that are around 6-3 and taller. 6-1 and below are out of the equation. If we draft either Mike Glennon or Zac Dysert, we can build around them. Mike Glennon has been the most impressive but Zac Dysert is good as well. If QB Matt Barkley comes by, then I guess we could give him a shot but refuting my argument, I guess Matt Barkley might not be the QB this team is looking for unless is a truly a capable QB beyond Skelton and Kolb.
    -We can work on Running Back later but I feel Beanie Wells is still a capable running back but with Marcus Lattimore, do you know how much this team could use him? With the Combination of Lattimore and Wells, our running game will finally be back. Ryan Williams, i’m sorry man but if you continue to be injured, you will end up like Jahvid Best and not be able to play at all. I’m afraid for your career but at the same time, I feel we need you to live up to expectations and don’t be a bust.

  17. By Andy Kw on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Is it also possible for the return of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie if not deal is made with the Philadelphia Eagles?

  18. By Supercatdinals100 on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Defense: Calais Campbell,Darnell dockett,Daryl Washington,Patrick Peterson,Kerry Rhodes,Adrian Wilson and a few pieces in free agency at outside linebacker and the talent is there it’s about coaching them up the right way and having the right gameplan

    Offense:Larry Fitzgerald,Michael Floyd,Andre Roberts(in the slot please),rob housler,Ryan willams,Bobby Massie,sendyline(I’m not Shure how to spell his name but our center), potter showed he can play but we will see so the weapons are certainly there waiting to be used correctly…
    So I don’t believe we are far away from even winning this division based on talent this years draft will e the draft that raises us to the next top level if used correctly oh and also free agency…
    I say if jockel is not there at 7 trade up a few spots get a extra 2nd round pick get warmack(RG) in the first round get lacy(running back from Alabama) in the second round and use the extra pick to get your qb and develop him maybe Landry jones or ej mannuel or even Matt Barkley and use a 3rd on maybe a guy like Matthieu( the honey badger) and solify the opposite side of Patrick Peterson an the rest I the picks go with what ever is best for the team also maybe a pass rusher..

  19. By truths4all on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    The Cards need to keep the players who are doing exactly what DD is doing right now, training hard and getting ready for the next season. BA will find out which players are doing this and which ones are not. BA has stated he wants players who want to win for themselves as that is the greatest motivator. I only hope they keep DD and others who want to badly win.

  20. By georgiebird on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Your article captures my sentiments exactly. In fact, I have been telling you and others the same thing for two years. DD was wasted under Horton.
    Horton jammed the 3-4 down everyone’s throat because that’s all he really knows. Horton did not care about the strengths of existing personnel, he was very limited in exploring what was good for the TEAM. And I beg to differ with most posters here in that I feel Horton did only an OK job with the defense.
    The biggest mistake Horton made was thinking the Cardinals were the Steelers West. The Steelers have been probably the best Pro team in producing great linebackers and thus a natural for the 3-4 defense. The Cardinals on the other hand are the worst great linebacker producing team in the NFL and therefore should be very wary of 3-4 schemes.
    To show you how snake-bit the Cardinals are with linebackers just review the career of Ken Harvey. Harvey was the best of all Cardinals’ LBs. He played eleven years in the NFL; the first six with the Cards and 5 with the Redskins-Harvey made all-pro in NONE of his Cardinals years but made all-pro in in four of his five Redskin years. I am so glad Ray Horton is gone.

  21. By Jason on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    We were already a 3-4 team when Horton was hired.

  22. By emm7777 on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    This is what I like to hear! IMO, D. Wash is a great fit at inside linebacker no matter the scheme, and we all know what Dockett is capable of doing when he goes 1 on 1. He had double digit sacks when Pendergast was D coordinator and that was when we last played about an even split of the 3-4 and 4-3. Campbell will be a beast anywhere. Dan Williams has some natural speed and pass rushing ability when given the chance. Stick Carter on the other End position and you have a hell of a D-Line!!

    Bottom line, we have more talent on the D line than with the LBs. I’m not complaining at all about our defense recently, but I do feel we were somewhat forcing the 3-4.

  23. By georgiebird on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    The Cardinals have had two guys in the recent past that are known throughout the NFL as hard nosed players. These are guys that other teams don’t push around. One was Anquan Boldin who left in part because of personality conflicts with Whiz. The other is DD. We can’t afford to lose DD’s toughness.

  24. By D on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    This offseason will come down to 2 main things, restructuring contracts to create some cap space and treating the draft picks like Gold. This team won’t jump into free agency more than some back up players. They need to determine whom of their own UFA to keep around.
    The draft will come down to how BA and his staff grades L. Brown and Massie because if they stay at #7, unless Geno Smith falls to them, they won’t take a QB in round 1. That leaves the question do they take a left tackle in E. Fisher or be tempted to take a pass rusher. If they think it’s time to move Brown back to Right Tackle then I see them taking Fisher. Would be nice in that scenario to have the OL coaches be able to coach up Massie into the Right G spot, because the good thing about a new coaching staff, they are not married to any of the players especially a bad signing in A. Synder. I think this coaching staff will do much much better than R. Grimm. Grimm falls into that category like Larry Bird or M. Johnson, the great players don’t always make the best coaches.
    I see them drafting a QB in Round 2. BA’s offense needs a strong arm that can throw deep. Hoyer may have a chance to stick around, but Kolb has never known to have a strong arm. I see them liking a QB like a E. J Manuel in Round 2 because of his arm.

    Round 3 they can still find really good DE in this draft because of it’s depth at that spot. And if they want to play some 4-3 they will need to add another body when DD is moved inside for the 4-3. A W. Gholston or D. Taylor have the build to play both a DE in a 3-4 and the size to play an end in a 4-3.

    Round 4– I don’t see them bringing back the Hyphen, so another body is needed to compete with Williams and Wells. Beanie probably will be back because his salary is low. I think a S. Taylor or C. Michael would be available at RB in this round.

    Round 5–S. Bradley maybe given a chance to start with this new coaching staff, I doubt Lennon is brought back. But depth is needed so I would think a K. Reddick or A. J. Klein should be there at ILB in this round.

    They also have some decisions to make in the secondary, do they bring back Toler and R. Johnson….W. Gay is a UFA and Adub is at the end of his career…many decisions to be made….

  25. By Campbells on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Take that, all you Dockett-haters!!!!
    DD is a huge asset to this team. One of the reasons our D is so competitive.
    Hope he has a great year.

  26. By The everlasting Kolbstopper on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    Waiting for Georgiebirds response.

  27. By georgiebird on Jan 23, 2013 | Reply

    No way DWash can be a MLB in a 4-3 scheme (unless he gains about 30 pounds). He’s an OLB on the weak side-this is a much better position for DW than an ILB in the 3-4.

  28. By CDJ on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Concerning linebacker:

    Stewart bradley had success in the 4-3 scheme at middle linebacker with the eagles and i always felt that whiz and co never were really giving him a fair shot bc they were so in love and infaturated with lenon. so maybe bradley gets his chance to show his stuff and we can move Dwash to OLB which is a brilliant idea IMO. Then we would have Dwash, Bradley, and then maybe acho, though idk if theyd want to move acho to DE or something

  29. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply


    I feel sorry for you now the rumors have started about Revis being traded. Get ready to be asked hundreds of times if the cards trade for him.

    Forget that we drafted Fleming to go with Peterson, or this draft is loaded with corners, or the fact Revis’ contract would be tough to absorb. Not to mention, if the Jets traded him, I’m sure they would want some valuable draft picks.

    Forget all that. Let the rumors circle and then get ready to answer the question again and again.

  30. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    As for the switching of a 3-4 to a 4-3 or some kind of hybrid;

    The Patriots were a 3-4 team. then they tried this back and forth defense and eventually settled into a 4-3 now.

    Looking at our personnel, Guys like Acho might have no place in a 4-3. I’m not sure he can play with his hand on the ground and doesn’t have the quickness like a Freeny or Mathis to make up for size.

    I don’t think Bradley, Acho or Schofield have the cover skills to play SAM LB, leaving us with none.

    We don’t have two DEs for a 4-3, as Campbell is the only one who fits.

    In a 4-3, Your defense is slow if your Mike LB is slow, and I’m not sure I see Lenon going sideline to sideline.

    I’m in a total wait and see mode on this defense. It will take a bit of changes on personnel to make this change over.

    Two players who would help immediately are Texas A&M Demonte Moore and Alex Okefer. Both can be hybrid DE/OLB’s .

  31. By Eazy E on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    We still should run the 3-4 though. You can tell he wanted Horton because he didn’t respond to Arians for days. Just move Dockett around. Dude is a beast.

  32. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Eazy E —

    RE: Dockett

    See, that’s the kind of line I don’t understand.

    “You can tell he wanted Horton because he didn’t respond to Arians for days.”

    And you know this how?

    In truth, Dockett said he didn’t answer the first time because he didn’t know who was trying to reach him. And the second text came from Arians the very next day, which was when Dockett said he called him.

    I don’t mind people speculating here, but this idea that people know what these guys are thinking when they are never around them, baffles me.

  33. By D on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    John the Draft Guy
    Good points…I would be okay if they could pull off the following in the draft:
    Round 1–E. Fisher OT
    Round 2– M. Hunt or S. Montgomery DE
    Round 3– E. J Manuel or L. Jones QB
    Round 4–S. Taylor RB

    Due to cap hit I think Kolb will be the starter beginning of the year with Hoyer backing up and a 2 or 3rd round draft pick will be developed. Those are the four big needs for this team listed above. They can’t replace all of the OLineman in one year and L. Brown contract means they won’t cut him but he is probably better at R Tackle than Massie with Potter the backup Left Tackle behind a first round pick.

  34. By Jason on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Massie only gave up one sack and 9 pressures in the final 9 games last season. If he doesn’t regress over the offseason he should be the favorite to start at RT.

  35. By Giorgio on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Hand it to Michael Bidwill and the Bidwills, Arians may be the best HC hire of them all in the off-season. He’s the grown-up in the room-finally-and not one of the many few young bucks who come along who has a few good years someplace and fizzles after they get the HC job. This coach has been around very solid football clubs so he knows what works and what doesn’t. He’s got the taste test down. The fact that he’s no BS is good because players at this level must know where they stand and why (or why not). The fact that they are mostly young also means that they need to be properly developed and coached up. If they don’t fit the bill they will be moved along. If he knows QBs, and he does, he knows the talent isn’t here and has to go get it either this season or next. So hey fans we may need to be a little patient. The fact that the NFC West is tough now is another reason the Cards can’t mess around with blah blah blah. Kudos to the Bidwills. Good luck BA!!

  36. By iammattyoung on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Wow. Drinking the Kool-Aid much everybody? We had a top 10 defense last year in spite of the offense having among the fewest plays from scrimmage in the NFL (read: defense played a LOT). Arians comes in and wants to change that. There are too many reasons to even begin describing how stupid this is.

  37. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t mean to sound critical of concerns others have, but where are we getting the idea that Washington wouldn’t fit in a 4-3? For those who don’t know, he showed up to camp last year already at 240, and a “smaller” ILB is better off in a 4-3 than a 3-4. The extra DT up front makes that so, it’s the missing DT in the 3-4 that leads to the belief that ILB’s have to be bigger in that scheme (although many have proved that theory wrong). Zach Thomas and London Fletcher thrived as middle backers in the 4-3.

  38. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply


    I agree with you about not wanting Horton to leave, but there are legit reasons for switching out of the 3-4. Our outside LB’s never were as good as they needed to be for that alignment, and as noted in the article (and about the only thing I’ve agreed with Georgiebird abou)t, it wasted DD’s talents. As it stands right now, and I’m sure DC’s will figure it out, but the 3-4 is target practice for the read option.

  39. By Bryan on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Simple fact – the skill players that make a 3-4 defense successful are not the same that make a 4-3 defense successful. We are currently better suited to run a 3-4 than a 4-3 based on our LBs and lineman.

    Dockett is one of the more overrated defensive players in the NFL. His stats both in the 4-3 and 3-4 show it. He takes games off.

    Dockett once showed great potential, but has seen his numbers drop each of the last four years.

    Arians first move as coach is breaking something that is successful to try and make it more successful by another means.

    Typically that doesn’t work that well.

  40. By Kevin S on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Giorgio — time will tell, but I think you’re right. I love everything I’m hearing from BA so far. Now, unlike some optimists I’m not expecting that to translate into instant division championships, but I think he is a great hire, and all the people concerned about how waiting was going to doom us — well, I have no concerns that we get a second-rate coach because we didn’t hire one right away.

  41. By Mark in Chandler on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Draft Guy,
    Switching to the 4-3 with the Cards has some problems but it also has some strengths.The strength in the 4-3 is the DL where the Cards have been the strongest. Campbell as the RDE would be impressive. Not sure DD will return to his glory years but he is better over the guard. The question would be at LDE. I do think Acho could be there but he would not excell. All 3 of the OLB played with thier hands on the ground in college and did well although I think Schofield is likely the odd man out in a 4-3. Schoffield is too light for the position and not quick enough to make up for it. I don’t see him as a SAM either like you noted.

    I would like to see the cards draft back and land Ansah or Werner in the 1st. Both would do well as a LDE. (Wiith 3 picks in the 1-2 rounds they should walk away with a DE, QB, OL)

    At the LB corp Washington fits well as a WILL. In an ideal world he puts on 10 pounds of muscle and he could move to the MIKE and would be a stud. Walker could play a SAM. Bradley could be a MIKE or a SAM but neither Walker nor Bradley would be dominant but I do think they woould be serviceable, especially at the SAM since they would likely come off in nickle. Groves played SAM with oakland but did not look great.

    I would like to see them pick up a MIKE/Will (depending on washington) in the 3rd or 4th rounds. There are many good options this draft that woould be solid. (I like Riddick but there are many solid options). Have Washington as ROLB behind Campbell and Williams* (not sure I would flip my OLB as a true WILL and SAM but that is a discussion for another day). Have Draft compete with Bradley for MIKE and have Groves, Walker, Schoffield battle for LOLB/ SAM. Have Acho and Draft compete for LDE.

    *If Star L. is there in the 1st round I take him and figure out LDE. Star would compete with Williams.

  42. By emm7777 on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    So georgie, you don’t want an MLB unless he’s 270 lbs?! D Wash is a beast, won’t matter where you put him, but with his speed he would be awesome as the MLB in a 4-3.

  43. By clssylssy on Jan 24, 2013 | Reply

    Sounds to me like Dockett is just plain relieved to have a job. #90 use to be one of my favorite players but he is getting slower and what he can’t get done on the field he tries to make up for by a lot of bragadotous and tough talk. He used to be a good team leader but now I wonder if he is even a team player or if he’s just kissing up for the sake of job security–Ray Lewis he’s not! He TALKED about being loyal to his coach but what is starting to emerge is a sellout. DD has never been one to think before he opens his mouth, and while I realize he has to protect his career, perhaps he should just learn to keep quiet. I supported his not wanting to take a dive in a game that was lost already and thought that the $200 fine was outrageous however, I now wonder what ELSE that was about. That was over the top but that’s Dockett, over the top and I doubt that the real story will ever be known. The Cards defense is going to need some new blood because like a number of other teams, our guys are on the downside of their playing career and next year is looking pretty grim.

  44. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 25, 2013 | Reply

    Mark in Chandler,

    Don’t get me wrong. Sure there are many positives to a 4-3.

    But lets face it, we won games over the last two years due to defense and special teams. If we switch to a 4-3, I think we all can agree that there will be more personnel changes than if we stayed in a 3-4.

    Can some of the guys “fit” the 4-3 and be serviceable ? Sure. But with an offense in flux looking for a QB and other holes, can we afford to be plugging in serviceable players who don’t completely fit on defense?

    I’m not one of these fans that think we can compete for the West title next year. I’m OK with the thought that we are building over the next two drafts. So, flipping to a 4-3 isn’t the worst thing. But, let’s be clear, there is no way I do it to fit a 32 yr old DT who has a couple years left.

    As for our OLBs, I agree that we need an upgrade at one of the spots. And yes, they did play with a hand on the ground. But Groves was a bust in Jax as a DE, Acho doesn’t have the size to play end or the explosive first step to make up for it. Same goes for Schofield. So young guys we drafted have to play out of position.

    I just don’t know about the idea of Dockett as an under tackle and Acho with his hand on the ground and Walker trying to cover a TE. I think Washingtons production drops, sacks drop, and our defense has a down year.
    I would be for a 4-3 defense if we filled the holes in the draft and understood it will be a two year process.

  45. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 25, 2013 | Reply

    @John the Draft Guy,

    Another well-thought out post, but I have to disagree with the amount of personnel changes a 4-3 would bring. So far we’ve only talked about the positive effect for Dockett, but Dan Williams has to be just as amped about the possible switch. He was very hard to block at Tennessee, and would probably excel given the chance to play DT again, especially next to Dockett. Campbell, as noted, will do great regardless of scheme so that leaves one DE to fill. While you believe they’re out of position, it’s still where Schofield played throughout his college career and Acho spent time there as well. With DD and Williams likely demanding double teams I don’t think their lack of size will be as problematic. If they don’t work out, a guy like David Carter might. LB’s? Some change there, but Washington is locked in at MLB, so we’d have to add some real OLB’s, not the one-trick ponies that typically have to convert from DE in college, and are complete guesswork at draft time anyways. Even the ones who have worked out could be facing a new reality, the read option exposed Aldon Smith and Clay Matthews something terrible. Shouldn’t be any major changes in the secondary either, if anything less blitzing makes their lives easier. The only big question is QB pressure/takewaways, but it instantly improves our run defense and I’d say our overall pass d as well.

  46. By frustrated on Jan 26, 2013 | Reply

    I am glad that Darnell Docket is coming back. I really like his effort.

  47. By Scott H on Jan 26, 2013 | Reply

    Sure would be nice to see the dominant DD return. Seems like he’s been missing for too much of the past 2 seasons.

  48. By jocards on Jan 28, 2013 | Reply

    I swear all this “team first” talk from Darnell Dockett has me almost misty….Does this mean he actually intends to carry out instructions from the head coach or that pretty much on a case to case basis?

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