After a 4-0 start to the season, the Arizona Cardinals have completely fallen apart and they have lost nine games in a row. It’s not just problems on the field in the desert, it’s off the field as well. Two weeks ago when the Cards were playing against the Jets, defensive coordinator Ray Horton and some of the players wanted to let the Jets score a touchdown. Arizona was hoping to give their offense one more chance in a one possession game. However, Darnell Dockett didn’t want to let it happen and it led to an on-field altercation with Kerry Rhodes and Dockett getting fined a reported $200,000. Dockett is one of the better players on the Arizona defense, he was just given a contract extension in 2010 but defying coaches orders doesn’t fly in the NFL and his future in Arizona seems cloudy at this point.
Darnell Dockett joined XTRA 910 in Phoenix with Bickley and MJ to talk about how he is feeling now heading into Sunday’s game against Detroit, what his initial reaction was to his fine he received from the Cardinals, what he makes of his future in Arizona, what he was thinking on the play when he was asked to let the opposing offense score, how it felt to be benched for the start of the Seattle game and what his relationship is like with Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt right now.
How he is feeling heading into Sunday’s game against Detroit:
“I’m feeling good. I’m excited to go out here and play against Detroit. It’s always exciting when you have a game Sunday that you’re looking forward to so that’s where my mindset is at. Any time people walk onto the field and you’re feeling good, healthy and you can just go out there, play ball, and enjoy it.”
What his initial reaction was to his fine he received from the Cardinals:
“It was shocking. ‘Man did it come to this?’ I guess they felt like that’s what they had to do or whatever. I felt that it was unfair, I spoke on it, I felt it was out of my hands and I’m not really worried about it. I have a process going on.”
Whether he believes he has a future in Arizona:
“I have no idea. First of all I’m very thankful that the Arizona Cardinals have given me opportunities. From drafting me and to show my talent, I’m very thankful to the organization. If I’m not wanted somewhere then I will be happy somewhere else or however that situation may go down. To all the Cardinals fans, this was not my idea of me being traded or people thinking I might be traded and I came up with this or I said this. I never said that but at the end of the day I’m never going to be anywhere I’m not wanted or I’m not going to be somewhere where I’m treated unfairly. I want to be happy. I play with passion, I give everything I have on the field, I love what I do, I play injured a lot of times and I play through it, I don’t just sit out of games and watch my team go out there and play. Anything I can do to help this football team win I have done it and my record speaks for itself. At the end of the day if it comes down to that then I will take my talents somewhere else.”
What was going through his head on the play where he was asked to let the offense score:
“At the time I really didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t think about it or anything like that. I just don’t have the quit attitude. Once they explained it to me really fast before we got on the field I didn’t want to be a part of that. All week don’t let a team score, don’t let a team score, that’s embedded in me. That was the first time I have ever had a situation where someone asked me to let a team score. I had never been in that situation, it’s very rare. I’ve been playing football for over 20 years and I’ve never in my life been in that situation and I feel at the time that our defense has been giving everything we’ve got week in and week out and it’s hard for me to just move out of the way and let the team score on you. At the time when I look back at it maybe I could’ve done something different but I have no regrets on what I’ve done or anything like that. I didn’t believe in letting anybody score and I still feel the same way. I hope I’m never in that situation again where I have to move out of the way and let a guy run up the middle or things like that. I just hope I’m never in that situation.”
How it felt to be benched at the start of the Seattle game:
“It was miserable. To get fined and then to go and get benched. Going against a team like Seattle it definitely affected me because during the game I never got warmed up like I was supposed to and it was just one of those things. I kept trying to find motivation for myself. Telling myself ‘okay I guess I’m going to have to be like James Harden and really giving my team a spark off the bench.’ I just felt like my mind was not in the game and it was definitely tough for me. If that was the situation was and that was my punishment then I disagree with it but it’s over with, it’s behind me and I’m looking forward to finishing out the season strong. Then go out and end the season right.”
Whether he has spoken with Ken Whisenhunt and how that relationship is now:
“I know he has a lot on his plate and he’s got a job he’s trying to do. Maybe at the end of the season we will talk and whatever but as of right now my main focus is going out and playing hard. That’s my main focus and as far as the conversation of me being here or the conversation of the status of our relationship or going a different way, that’s not really of my concern right now. He has a job he has to do and I have a job I have to do. Right now I think we’re both frustrated being on a nine game losing streak but at the end of the day maybe that’s a conversation we have at the end of the season, but as of right now I’m just showing up at practice, working my tail off and trying to get a win over Detroit. That’s my main focus right now.”