clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona Cardinals Defensive Struggles Caused By Player Selfishness?

New, comments

Normally I'm not a guy who likes to try and "read into" stuff that people say, especially athletes. Some like to analyze not only what is said but also what is not said. I stray from my penchant for avoiding over-analysis because when I read a quote by Darnell Dockett I was reminded of something else that Adrian Wilson said a while ago and it made me think.

So...the theme of what was discussed with the media after practice on Thursday was the defense and how it is a work in progress. Darnell Dockett was one to say a few things.

Here is the quote from Dockett that caught my attention:

"This week was very huge for us as a team, just communicating and putting a lot of egos to the side and just focusing on doing the right things no matter who makes the plays."

It would not have meant anything out of the ordinary for me, except I was reminded of an interview that Adrian Wilson did with Mike Jurecki.

 

Adrian Wilson Discusses NFL Lockout, Injury, New Defense in 2011 - Revenge of the Birds
When asked about the defense, he says that we can expect something "very different." He describes it as "more of a team concept on defense." No more will the defensive execution depend on Wilson playing well, or Darnell Dockett, Karlos Dansby (past) or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie playing well. "It's not that type of defensive scheme," says Wilson.

What I get from Wilson and Dockett is that by design, the defense is not meant to necessarily showcase anyone in particular. However, so far some issues on defense have come with guys breaking off of their assigned spot, gap or player to try and make a play. 

I can think of one play in particular -- the 77-yard Steve Smith play in Week 1. Wilson was supposed to stay up top and give Kerry Rhodes help in coverage. He left and the big play happened. 

I am sure Dockett is referring to himself as well, but he also notes how some of the bad plays that happen hurt them as a team because they had  "10 guys doing the right thing and one guy not."

As I think about those quotes, I want to know who they are, but I also know that it may be a general statement.

So...the topic is now tossed out to the community. Am I stretching the issue a little too far in thinking that the Cardinals defense is struggling because of player egos? Are there guys who don't trust their defensive teammates to take care of their assignment and so they leave and try to make a play themselves? Are the players struggling with buying into Horton's complicated schemes?

It's your turn to give your take on Darnell's words.