USA TODAY Sports
Cardinals defensive tackle told Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic that he would have asked for a trade if Ken Whisenhunt was kept around as head coach. He also discusses how he feels about playing under new head coach, Bruce Arians.
It seems that Beanie Wells wasn't the only one that needed a fresh start with a new coaching staff in Arizona. At the end of the season, many odd things occurred with long time Cardinals defensive tackle, Darnell Dockett. In the game against the Jets, Dockett refused to let the opposing offense score, much to the dismay of Coach Whisenhunt and teammate Kerry Rhodes.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic caught up with 9-0 and tried to clarify all of that, as well as asking him what he's most excited about in working with Bruce Arians, his new head coach.
Dockett told Bickley that if a new coach wasn't installed and if Whisenhunt would have stayed in place, he would have asked for a trade. It seems he was tired of playing out of position, tired of arguing with Whiz and most of all, tired of losing.
Under Arians, Dockett gets to return to a more natural position (whether that is a 4-3 formation or not hasn't been confirmed). He also gets a fresh start, much like Beanie Wells is so excited for.
"(Arians) told me he is going to put me in my regular position that I had been playing over the years, (when) I was a dominant force in the middle," Dockett told Bickley. "That got me fired up right away because I've been just looking for another opportunity to do what I do best, and that's go out and dominate games."
It seems that now was as good of a time as any for Whisenhunt to be let go. His style was beginning to wear on multiple players, which I am sure is a larger group than just Beanie Wells and Dockett. Once you were in Whiz's doghouse, it was very difficult to get out.
With Arians being more of a people person, yet still willing to get in someone's face if need be, Dockett should benefit as much as anyone. Whether he is able to still go out and dominate games the way he used to is another question for another day.
I think when Michael Bidwill made the decision to fire Whiz at the end of the season, he had input from players as to what he should have done. He knew some players were just fed up playing for Whisenhunt, which is why he did not give him the option of staying on with less control over the roster. Obviously this is speculation, but I would not doubt it actually occurred.
For now, I think we can expect a more hungry Dockett and at least a slightly more productive one, too. Make no mistake, he, as much as anyone else, hates losing. I don't want to say Dockett gave up on playing for Whisenhunt, but it certainly appears that way.
Hopefully this season is more fruitful for not just Dockett, but the rest of the Arizona Cardinals as well.