Tag:Darnell Dockett
Posted on: April 18, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Arizona Cardinals

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

L. Fitzgerald could walk into free agency at the end of next season (US Presswire).

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



Let’s see, when your choices to fill the starting quarterback spot boil down to Derek Anderson vs. Matt Leinart, you know your season is pretty much screwed before it even begins. And that’s pretty much what happened with the Cardinals last year (though, to be fair, quarterback was far from the only problem in Arizona).

I bet you don’t remember this, though. After beating the Saints in Week 5, Arizona actually was 3-2 before falling through the floor. The only player worth a darn on offense was WR Larry Fitzgerald, and it seems like most of the defense underachieved (most notably, LB Joey Porter). Suffice to say, it was not a good year for the Cardinals.




Best player is unhappy

Fitzgerald, the only bonafide superstar on this team, was visibly frustrated last year with the offense (and the quarterback play in particular), and even though he somehow caught 90 passes for 1,137 yards last season, the Cardinals front office has to convince him that Arizona has a blueprint for the future. Otherwise, Fitzgerald could walk away after his contract is up after the 2011 season.




1. QUARTERBACK
This is an easy spot to pick on, because if you look at the current roster of QBs, here’s who you find: Anderson (consistently terrible throughout his career, and he doesn’t like taking questions about laughing on the sideline during losses), Max Hall (probably doesn’t have the skill set to start in the NFL), John Skelton (perhaps a little potential) and Richard Bartel (no idea who this is). Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert has a pretty good shot at landing in Arizona, and if he doesn’t, the Cardinals could elect to go after Marc Bulger.

2. RUNNING BACK
The Cardinals tried two years ago, selecting RB Beanie Wells in the first round, but that hasn’t worked out so well. Wells had a tough time staying healthy last season, and Tim Hightower had a big problem with fumbles. In fact, Arizona was last in the league in rushing offense – which kinda doesn’t help the quarterback. I actually think LaRod Stephens-Howling is a pretty good player, but I’m not sure he’s a featured back kind of guy.

3. LINEBACKER
Although the defense ranked No. 29 last season, I like the three players across the line (NT Dan Williams and DEs Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell), and the secondary could be very, very good. But the linebackers are brutal. Texas A&M’s Von Miller would be a blessing for the Cardinals, who pick fifth, but he might not be around by then. Besides, Gabbert might be the more exciting (though not the safer) pick.




It’s hard to believe the Cardinals are only three seasons removed from playing in the Super Bowl, and it’s hard to imagine them getting back there anytime soon. If only Arizona had a good quarterback, a dependable running back, a second WR, a decent offensive line, and some players in the LB corps, the Cardinals would have a good chance of getting back to .500.

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Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Hot Routes 1.23.11: De Smith will fight you



Posted by Josh Katzowitz


  • Here’s an interesting feature in the NY Times on NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. He doesn’t mind taking on a fight apparently.
  • Pro Football Talk thinks Steelers owner Dan Rooney NEEDS to be involved in the labor negotiations.

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Posted on: December 22, 2010 12:24 am
Edited on: December 22, 2010 9:32 am
 

Top Ten List with a Twist: NFL Twitter accounts

S. Andrews is the top tweeter in the NFL (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Sure, many of the updates on Twitter by NFL players and officials are insufferable. Telling us where they’re going to eat, telling us where they’re shopping, telling us to follow the Twitter account of their wife/brother/buddy/flavor of the month. Basically, you have to wade through piles of manure to find the single, solitary rose that makes it all worthwhile.

But those sweet-smelling flowers ARE out there. And they’re funny and interesting and thought-provoking and question-answering. Much of Twitter – similar to life, I suppose – is just not good and, frankly, a waste of time. But there are special souls out there who seem made for Twitter. And we were made to follow them.

Here is the Top Ten List with a Twist of the best NFL-related Twitter accounts.

10. Vikings P Chris Kluwe (@chriswarcraft): A late entry onto the list but surely shooting up the charts. Kluwe was the player who ripped the TCF Bank Stadium field the day before Minnesota played the Bears last Monday night. It was honest and refreshing. Until somebody asked him to stop. Best recent example: “I find it interesting that the NFL can claim an emphasis on player safety, and then tell us the field is fine. It's beyond hypocritical.”

9. Salarycap101 (@salarycap101): It’s a little Redskins-centric, probably because J.I. Halsell is a former salary cap analyst for Washington, and it’s mainly retweets. But from time to time, he comes up with some interesting salary figures, particularly when it relates to Albert Haynesworth. Best recent example: “As I mentioned back in November when McNabb's "extension" was done; the "commitment" shown by deal, truly was not a commitment at all.”

8. Pro Football Focus (@profootbalfocus): If you want strong analysis and sharp people who know how to watch film and interpret what it means, go to Pro Football Focus (only one ‘L’ in its Twitter handle). Impress your friends. Discourage your enemies. The guys at PFF will help you do both. Best recent example (on Ndamukong Suh): “It’s not nitpicking. They are major flaws in his play that are being ignored by most people. There's no reason to do so … There's nothing wrong with saying he's a massive talent, and potentially a dominant force for years, but flawed right now.”

7. Bills WR Stevie Johnson (@steviejohnson13): I think we all know why Johnson is on this list. Best recent example (after dropping a game-winning TD in Week 12): “I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO...”

6. Cardinals Darnell Dockett (@ddockett): Put it this way: the guy doesn’t mind creating controversy through the 140-character written word. Best recent example: “And don't come to my funeral empty handed, bring some crabs, krispy kreme, jeezy new CD. LO LO's chicken, oysters, and crayons!!”

5. George Atallah (@georgeatallah): He’s the NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs, and he’s been very active lately, detailing the players’ side in the labor dispute. And he’s pretty witty as well. A couple days ago, he conducted a Twitter chat, which was pretty cool. Best recent example: “#NFLPA & #NFL proposed a resolution on rookie $. If that were a key to negotiations, we'd have a deal by now. Our proposal was rejected.”

  4. Colts owner Jim Irsay (@jimirsay): This account comes off, well, a bit weird, because in many – if not most – of his posts, he’s quoting the lyrics to some rock song. But it’s entertaining, because it’s so psychedelic. Best recent example(s): “Ladykiller,Regulation tattoo,silver spurs on his heels."What can I tell ya,as I'm stand'in next 2 U,she threw herself under my wheels!!!"..” and “I understand my own Tweets 80 per cent of the time...the other 30 per cent...I'm just as confused as you!!!!”

3. Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco (@oC. Ochocinco has quite a presence on Twitter (US Presswire). chocinco): Fans love him because he was one of the first NFLers to really embrace Twitter and because he’s prone to inviting his fans to Friday night movies and then paying the admission for everybody who shows up. Best recent example: “OchoHarmony.com First dating site where you don't have to deal with the full headache, you can return them back before they become a problem.”

2. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello (gregaiello): The fact the NFL PR department has made it a priority to talk directly to the people, well, that’s outstanding. More than 13,000 followers agree. He’s also prone to poetry. Best recent example: “Monday Night Haiku: ‘In the stands with fans/Raw, cold, real community/Nothing like football.’”

1. Giants LT Shawn Andrews (@imshawnandrews): I first noticed Andrews’ tweets when he was in the hospital with back problems, and he updated his followers constantly about how hungry he was (if I remember correctly, there was talk about eating the pigeons that mocked him from outside his window). Quite frankly, this dude is hilarious. I don’t know what he’s like in real life, but he’s quite funny in print (which is not easy, mind you). By far, he’s my favorite NFL-related twitterer. Best recent example(s): “If u ever sprayed cologne up in the air & danced in it & then hoppd out real quik out for fear of putting too much on. #YouJustLikeMe” and “If u want a kick-butt Quesadilla try Moe's.... So bad when I have to sneak bites of my son's... #ImSoFat” and “All I want for Christmas/Birthday is for 5 Guys (Burgers & Fries) to announce me as the New 6th Guy...... I'll come off the bench #ImSoFat” and “If you've ever had to take a shower w/ a handtowel cause u aint have any clean washcloths. #YoureJust like me That sucka get heavy don't it?”

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Posted on: November 13, 2010 11:40 am
 

Week 10 injury news and analysis, part I

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Chiefs at Broncos

Right now, it’s unclear what will happen with Denver LB D.J. Williams, who was charged early Friday morning with a DUI – his second alcohol-related charge since 2005. He didn’t practice Friday, and coach Josh McDaniels expressed disappointment with Williams – who’s been one of the best defenders on the squad this season.

He could play this Sunday, but he’s looking at discipline from the NFL at some point and probably from the Broncos as well. That said, he very well could be out there this weekend. You’ll remember that when Braylon Edwards was charged with DWI in September, he played the very next week.

Kansas City rookie WR Dexter McCluster – who’s missed the past two games with a high ankle sprain – is listed as questionable and will be a gametime decision. He was limited at practice all week, and if he could play Sunday, he’d be a big boon to the Chiefs. Aside from McCluster, OG Brian Waters, S Kendrick Lewis and S Jon McGraw are questionable.

Cowboys at Giants

The big blow for the Giants will be that WR Steve Smith won’t play because of a partially torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Thursday’s practice (luckily for him and his team, it doesn’t appear to be a season-ending injury). His team will miss his production, and Hakeem Nicks will miss Smith’s ability to take some of the opposing secondary’s attention off him. Mario Manningham should get more playing time in place of Smith.

We also could see the return of T Will Beatty, who’s been out since mid-September with a broken foot. This week, he started doing agility and footwork drills for the first time since his surgery, and he’s listed as questionable on the injury report. RB Brandon Jacobs, who missed Wednesday’s practice with an illness, is probable.

For Dallas, CB Terence Newman hasn’t been himself since he hurt his ribs three weeks ago, and he’s been burned for big gains and big touchdowns because he’s having a tough time accelerating. Considering the Cowboys are thin in the secondary, Newman likely will continue to play. He had full participation in practice all week and is probable.

Seahawks at Cardinals

Arizona RB Beanie Wells just cannot seem to get healthy. Once again, he’s listed as questionable this week after missing practices Wednesday and Thursday (he was limited Friday) with continued swelling in his knee. It’s not just the fact he’s hurt. He’s also missing valuable practice time, and that combination does not bode well for him. He played last week, but carried just once for minus-two yards. Until he’s healthy, Tim Hightower will get the bulk of the carries.

DL Darnell Dockett, one of the Cardinals most important defenders, suffered a shoulder stinger in last week’s loss to Minnesota, and he’s questionable. He practiced all week (albeit in a limited fashion), but he seems likely to play. LB Paris Lenon, who aggravated an ankle injury last week, also is questionable to play. But he progressed well this week, and he very well could play as well.

Seattle, once again, could miss first-round pick LT Russell Okung, who’s been battling injuries all season. Now, he’s dealing with an ankle injury, and the Seahawks listed him as questionable to play. Without him, the Seahawks likely will start G Chester Pitts in his place.

Rams at 49ers

Obviously, the big absence for San Francisco is starting QB Alex Smith, who is out with a left shoulder injury. Troy Smith will get the start in his place. Considering he helped lead San Francisco to a big win against the Broncos two weeks ago in London, Troy Smith deserves another shot this week against San Francisco. Plus, as LB Takeo Spikes told me recently in Five Questions (or More), Smith’s presence in the pocket was a comfort to the team.

Of the 11 Rams who are on this week’s injury report, two (WR Danario Alexander and S James Butler) are out, one (TE Fendi Onobun) is doubtful and everybody else is probable.

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 5:21 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.02.10: Gots to get paid


Posted by Josh Katzowitz

-Packers DE Cullen Jenkins wants a new contract. He’s saying the fact the Green Bay front office hasn’t talked with him about it is a slap in the face. He also wants Darnell Dockett money ($48 million with $30 million guaranteed).

-Former OT Willie Anderson, who visited Bengals practice this week, would like to return at some point and teach more. Although he finished his career in Baltimore, he said returning to Cincinnati was like coming home.

-The irrelevant Freddie Mitchell decided to rip Donovan McNabb this week. For some reason.

-Former Ravens DE Trevor Pryce signed with the Jets on Thursday, practiced Friday and Rex Ryan wants to play him Sunday. It helps that the defensive playbooks for the Ravens and the Jets are very similar.

-Steelers FS Ryan Clark doesn’t appear all that impressed with Baltimore’s squad. Said Clark: “To me, the Ravens are just another football team. They don't come in here wearing a cape. I am not scared they are going to take my lunch money. ” You might remember that in the 2008 AFC championship game, Clark’s hit on Willis McGahee knocked the Ravens RB out of the game.

-San Diego LB Shaun Phillips reached a conditional settlement with a man who sued him for allegedly punching him in the face in April of 2009. Phillips, though, still has to face another lawsuit from a woman who claimed that Phillips struck her and injured her in Las Vegas in February 2008. He was not charged by police in either case.

The $11 million verdict awarded to former Dolphins WR O.J. McDuffie has been tossed out by a Miami-Dade judge. Looks like they’re going to do this whole thing over again. As we all know, going to trial again doesn't generally work for guys named O.J.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:17 am
 

Dockett fined $5,000 for pre-kickoff tweeting

Posted by Will Brinson

Darnell Dockett is pretty active on Twitter, and that's a good thing, as he's typically a pretty funny fella on the Interwebs. Last week, though, he was a little too active for even the NFL's tastes, and he's been fined $5,000 for tweeting inside of the 90 minute pre-kickoff "no electronics" window.

That's via Darren Urban of the Cards' official website (but on Twitter, natch ) who also points out that Calais Campbell got fined the same amount for a hit on Sam Bradford.

The interesting -- and obvious -- comparison here is Chad Ochocinco, who was fined $25,000 for tweeting during a preseason game .

Ochocinco's fine was five times as large as Dockett's and there are two good reasons why. First, Chad tweeted during a game (it's irrelevant for this argument that it was just an exhibition), which is technically the same thing because of the window, but it's most certainly a worse offense because of the potential cheating/Spygate-like implications that could be involved with electronic messaging during games.

Second, Ochocinco clearly is on the NFL's radar when it comes to shenanigans (on the field anyway) and unlike Dockett, this isn't exactly his first run-in with the (NFL) law.

The lesson as always: if you Tweet it, we will see it. And if it's inside the 90 minute window, so will the NFL.

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Posted on: September 1, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 9:15 pm
 

Dockett gets extension through 2015

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Arizona Cardinals have announced they’ve extended the contract of Pro Bowl DT Darnell Dockett, locking him up through the 2015 season.

The team’s Web site has the first draft of the story. The monetary rewards have not be disclosed yet.

The move obviously makes a ton of sense. Dockett is a great fit in the Cardinals 3-4 scheme, and he provides a great burst, 290 pounds of power and good versatility. Most importantly, he’s also a force on Twitter .

The news conference is ongoing right now.

UPDATE (7:07 p.m.):
According to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter , Dockett's deal is a 4-year extension worth up to $48 million ($30 million guaranteed).

UPDATE (9:13 p.m.): Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic has a good analytical piece explaining why the Dockett deal made everybody (the Cardinals, Dockett, agent Drew Rosenhaus and coach Ken Whisenhunt) a winner.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 2:44 pm
 

Darnell Dockett could be in line for big payday

Posted by Andy Benoit

Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic recently wrote a feature piece on Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. The outgoing star defensive lineman has grown in the public spotlight since being a third-round pick out of Florida State in 2004. Somers writes:
D. Dockett (US Presswire)
In (Ken) Whisenhunt's eyes, Dockett has matured greatly over the past year. Oh, sure, there has been the occasional transgression - taking a shower over the Internet this spring, for instance - but Dockett has never done anything malicious, never hurt anyone but himself off the field.

"Darnell was obviously a highly emotional, highly intense player," Whisenhunt said. "There is a period where you both have to gain the respect of each other. I've asked Darnell to do some things since our first year and he's done them, besides play good football.

"When you have a player who is doing things right, who is helping young players…showing up every day to practice even when he's nicked up, there are a lot of things like that that have really earned my respect for Darnell. And, in turn, it makes you want to have that player in your program for a long time."


Dockett has been pining for a new contract since 2008. He’s skipped voluntary team activities in past years but has never been a major distraction. Still, the team has refused to negotiate with Dockett on the grounds that he just signed a contract extension in 2006.

But this past offseason, Dockett finally attended team workouts and embraced all aspects of his leadership role. Now the Cardinals are willing to talk. General manager Rod Graves is holding preliminary discussions with Dockett’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

"I'm not a money; I'm not a selfish guy," Dockett said. "I care about winning. So I'm able to come to work and prepare, like I got a game tomorrow. I believe in the organization and I'm pretty sure they'll take care of it sooner than a lot of people think."

Generally, the Cardinals wait until midseason to discuss new contracts. But Somers believes they could make an exception in this case. Dockett, 29, is in the prime of his career. His tenacity and initial quickness (particularly with his hands, which might be the quickest among all NFL defensive linemen) make him the driving force behind Arizona’s front seven. The Cardinals know that Dockett would be a perennial Pro Bowler if he had a double-team commanding running mate. Instead, he is the double-team commander. A new contract would likely earn Dockett $25-30 million in guarantees.

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