When the Arizona Cardinals released defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, while his on-field production wasn't what it was years ago, his leaving created a void on the team.
Dockett was the vocal leader of the defense, the one that led huddles, the one head coach Bruce Arians leaned on to be an example to the rest of the players.
However, it appears the Cardinals have their new Dockett -- a guy who doesn't play the same position. That would be inside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, whom the team signed as a free agent this offseason.
Veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, a team captain, speaking to NBC Sports 1060 AM's Ed Cole, said Weatherspoon "has almost replaced Dock" in a sense.
How has he replaced him? Alexander explained it is his "being out there, talking loud, trash, getting everybody hyped up, the energy."
That is what Dockett did and also linebacker Karlos Dansby when he was on the team.
This will serve the Cardinals defense well. Weatherspoon will be the quarterback of the defense out there. He will line players up and make the defensive calls. Being vocal will only help that.
If Weatherspoon is in fact that guy, then the only part where the Cardinals would really feel the loss of Dockett is taken care of.
The only questions that remain are whether Weatherspoon can stay healthy in 2015 and whether he will stay in Arizona beyond this season.