Cardinals defensive ends liking life under Todd Bowles


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.

7 responses to “Cardinals defensive ends liking life under Todd Bowles

  1. Dockett hated Horton’s scheme because it was complicated and Dockett isn’t that much of a technician, he is pure brute force and wasn’t the center of attention all the time in Horton’s system. The younger guys like Calais Campbell made him look practically obsolete because he wasn’t the team player that Horton’s defense required. Dockett was once one of my favorite players but he showed his prima donna colors last year when he drew the line in the sand. Kerry Rhodes was more of a playmaker than Dockett and so you had an unhappy and disruptive force pouting on every play, and undermining the coaches. Horton’s defense was killer and buried Bowles defense in Philidelphia. Dockett turned out to be the ultimate suck up and turncoat and I don’t really expect him to play much after this season. Sometimes you have to learn to adjust and be a contributor to the group.

  2. I think Ray Horton’s track record as a DC is a bit more impressive than Bowles’. Maybe one or two individuals will do better under Bowles but I see no reason to expect the defense as a unit to improve.

  3. Bowles walked into a no-win situation with the Eagles last year. No guarantee about next season, but even Horton’s defense was a mess until halfway through season one.

  4. Of course they’re going to talk up their new DC. What are they going to say, “This guy sucks?”

    In other news, all 32 teams got all the guys they targeted in the draft.

    Standard chatter for this time of year.

  5. AApparently, Bowles didn’t have the guts Horton did last year when he said it’s about the team, not individual stats.

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