When the Cardinals adjusted their logo several years ago, former coach Dennis Green explained that the new profile of the not-so-intimidating bird would be angrier.
Maybe they should have just put Darnell Dockett’s face on the side of their helmet.
Dockett was at the center of a full-squad fracas on Monday afternoon, during the team’s first full-pads practice of the year. As described by Darren Urban of the team’s official website, it started when Dockett showed why the Jets cut guard Alan Faneca, blowing up the veteran at the line of scrimmage and causing both players to land at the feet of quarterback Matt Leinart.
Dockett then swept the leg of Leinart, knocking the quarterback down — a blatant breach of training-camp protocol. So Leinart, who has engaged in MMA training in the past with FOX’s Jay Glazer, confronted Dockett and spiked the ball as his feet.
Enter tackle Levi Brown, who attacked Dockett. The two then mixed it up, and a scrum broke out.
Dockett later was contrite. “I shouldn’t have done that,” Dockett said, in reference to his decision to put Leinart on his butt. “But when you get caught in
the battle, the engine turns on and you don’t think about it. I’m not
trying to hurt him but I am trying to go 100 percent every time I put my
hand on the ground. If I am doing that, I am making my team better. . . .
“That’s what it’s all about. As much as you love your teammates, when
you put the pads on, you have to try and kill them,” Dockett said. “That’s what it is all about. That’s the only way you can get better. You can’t come out and play 80 percent and expect to win a third
divisional title. It ain’t going to happen. We have to treat [the
offense] like they are the 49ers and they have to treat [the defense]
like we’re the 49ers.”
Amen to that.
Though it still remains to be seen whether the Cardinals can compete without Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin and Antrel Rolle and Karlos Dansby, it looks like Dockett will do everything he can to help defend the division crown once again. If the Cards played in any other division, we’d say “fat chance.” In the NFC West, anything can happening.