Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett was not a happy man last season and he wasn’t too shy about revealing the source of his frustrations.
Dockett didn’t like the way he was used in former defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s defense and said after the season that he would have asked for a trade if Horton and head coach Ken Whisenhunt returned in the same roles for the 2013 season. His frown has been turned upside down after his introduction to the scheme that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will be running.
Bowles is asking Dockett to be more of a playmaker than he was in Horton’s system, which called for him to absorb blocks more often than it called for him to beat them. That could result in more sacks and disruptive plays than Dockett managed over the last two seasons in Arizona, a prospect that leaves him quite pleased.
“Personally, I had nothing against Ray,” Dockett said, via Darren Urban of the team’s website. “But I hated that scheme. I really hated it. I played it because I needed to. But this defense is based on guys and what their ability allows them to be good at. What they were drafted for.”
Calais Campbell, Dockett’s partner at defensive end, had 14.5 sacks over the last two years under Horton, but he shares Dockett’s pleasure with the new approach and says it gives the two ends “a chance to make a difference.” If all goes according to plan, it should make a positive difference in the team’s record as well.