TEMPE, Ariz. -- Here’s a surprise: Darnell Dockett is making waves. And it only took him a week into the 2013 season.
On Monday, the Cardinals’ starting defensive tackle all but dismissed the play of St. Louis’ offensive line during the Rams’ 27-24 win Sunday.
“No disrespect to the Rams, but we’re going to play against much better guys up front,” Dockett said.
It’s been tweeted and retweeted, and will probably end up posted in the Rams’ locker room leading up to their Dec. 8 meeting in Arizona.
But couldn’t the Rams have said the same thing about Dockett?
According to his statistics, he didn’t have a significant impact in the game, logging just one tackle and one quarterback hurry. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians didn’t mention Dockett when he talked about the strong points of the defensive line, the push up the middle from Dan Williams and Calais Campbell. Sunday was the first time the Cardinals didn’t record a sack since Nov. 20, 2011 at San Francisco.
But Dockett didn’t believe his stat line was an accurate representation of his day.
“I don’t feel I played bad,” he said. “I played well in spurts. I feel I always could do better. No matter what he stats say I’m always gonna feel like I could’ve done something better.
“Overall, we played well enough to win that game. Could we played better? Yeah. I think we played well enough to win that game. We should’ve won that game. It’s over with.”
Not quite. Arians wants to see better pressure off the edges, which will cause a domino effect. An edge rush will stretch the line, helping Williams and Campbell bulldoze the interior and allow the linebackers to hit the open gaps.
On Sunday, Arians saw some defensive linemen get away from their roles.
“Each guy has a toolbox, we call it, and use what you have,” Arians said. “Don’t all of a sudden go out and try to think you’re a fast guy when you’re a power guy.
“Do what you’re coached to do. A couple of guys got out of control with speed instead of just using power and counter moves. Some of it is keeping some backup players in so we’re a little fresher and we were close at times, but we just didn’t get home.”