Dockett's emotional value is immeasurable


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The impact of Darnell Dockett's loss on the field is quantitatively measurable.

The analytics will dissect Dockett's numbers. They'll show how many sacks and tackles he was projected to have in 2014. They'll tell the Cardinals how many times he was double teamed last season, how many hurries he had, how many pressures he totaled -- basically everything anyone watching a game can deduct on their own with a few math skills.

It's the impact of Dockett's loss in the Arizona Cardinals' locker room that can't be measured.

"Darnell's been the heartbeat of this team for 11 years,” said Frostee Rucker, who joined the Cardinals in 2012. "And you can't just really replace that.”

To a point, the Cardinals will try. Arizona coach Bruce Arians said he plans on having Dockett on the sideline every game to supply his leadership and emotion, and, along with that, Arians hopes to have Dockett in the locker room daily if possible.

"If we get that then I think we'll still be fine,” defensive end Calais Campbell said. "He definitely is the emotional leader of this team. If we get him on the sideline, he'll make us that much better.”

Dockett's presence was felt throughout the locker room.

He controlled the music. He was a liaison between the players and Arians. He got to know his teammates, safety Tony Jefferson said, taking time to talk about football and life.

And when Dockett talked, everyone listened.

"A lot of times it's uncomfortable for guys to stand up in front of the team and talk,” said veteran center Lyle Sendlein, whose played his entire career with Dockett. "Very few times when a guy does stand up and talk, everybody does listen.

"Dockett's one of those guys where everyone listened when he talks.”

When his teammates discussed Dockett this week, words like "emotional" and "leader" were used.

For some Cardinals, losing Dockett for the season was personal. Nose tackle Dan Williams has played alongside Dockett in each of his first four seasons.

"It has a little deeper meaning to me,” Williams said.

Second-year safety Tyrann Mathieu is confident some of his teammates will try to replace Dockett's spirit, but he added that it'll be tough.

Dockett will still be around, getting treatment and rehabbing. When he's in the locker room, he'll still be the same old Dockett, ribbing his teammates, blasting his music and holding court.

"We'll definitely be less entertaining,” Campbell said. "Docket was the most entertaining person in the locker room. Talking to him, he wants to stay around and be around.

"I'm sure it'll still be entertaining.”