Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Arizona Cardinals [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Flush the Pocket: D-line attends funeral

By Josh Weinfuss

Flush the Pocket will be your daily morning dose of the Arizona Cardinals. It’ll recap the top story line from the previous day and give you a look at what everyone is saying locally and nationally.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The defensive line went to Arizona coach Bruce Arians last week in Florida to ask if it could attend the funeral for Dan Williams' father Saturday in Memphis, Tenn.

It was a request Arians couldn’t deny.

“I said, ‘Hey, we’ll do whatever it takes to move this schedule so you guys can get there,'” Arians said.

Led by defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, a group that included Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Ronald Talley, Frostee Rucker and Alameda Ta'amu, were picked up in Sarasota, Fla., by Cardinals president and licensed pilot Michael Bidwill. He flew them to the funeral of Thomas Williams, who was killed Sept. 20 in a car accident while driving to New Orleans to see the Cardinals play. They flew back to Tampa later that night.

Dan Williams missed the Saints game and was away from the team all of last week including the Bucs contest. The players wanted to show him their support.

“It was tough,” Talley said. “But Dan looked so strong it was admirable at the same time. Seeing him with his family, seeing him with his daughter, and just seeing his entire family mourn but at the same time celebrate, and to see Big Dan smile ... He smiled so many times.

“It meant a lot. That’s all we wanted to do is say, ‘Hey, that’s our brother.’ We want to lend whatever hand of support we can.”

Williams, who was expected to rejoin the team Tuesday night, sent out text messages during the weekend thanking his teammates for making the trip.

“It’s one of those things you just definitely put your arm around him and tell him, 'We got your back,'” defensive end Calais Campbell said. “Simple as that.”

With the players off Tuesday, there wasn’t much news coming out of Cardinals’ camp. Here are a few of my stories and one about Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale.

Linebacker Daryl Washington is ready to return to the practice field.

Risk of infection, amputation benched safety Rashad Johnson against Bucs.

Rookie guard Jonathan Cooper began rehab this week on his broken left leg.

Bruce Arians wasn’t pleased with Tampa Bay’s rush on the Cardinals’ two kneel downs.

Arizona moved up three spots in this week’s ESPN.com Power Rankings.

Nate Potter saw his first game action at guard in Tampa Bay.

Paul Giblin of AZCentral.com writes about issues surrounding events leading up to Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale.