TEMPE, Ariz. -- For Darnell Dockett, the chance to get together with his teammates for workouts is a chance to get better.
"The biggest thing for us right now is to try to build some chemistry in this offseason," Dockett said after working out at the team's facility Monday. "Football is going to come regardless, but if we don't have chemistry it really won't mean nothing.
"Each day is very important to us, whether we sit in the locker room for an hour and talk before, after, or go get something to eat; I think that's the biggest thing to us is the communication and just developing a friendship with a lot of new guys and a lot of old guys."
One of the team's leaders, Dockett is about to enter his ninth NFL season -- all with the Cardinals -- and he does so with confidence that the team's defense can build off the success it had in 2011.
"I think we kind of got the concepts of what our coach was trying to do for us last year," he said. "Are we at where we need to be? No, not by far. But we are still learning it, and with a year under our belt seeing the good things that can happen is huge for us."
So, he said, now is about just getting in shape and learning as they go.
"We're going to be a defense that's very exciting this year," he said, adding that the big thing will be just staying healthy and being stronger than their opponents.
That process, in a way, started Monday.
"The divisions that we play this year are much tougher so we've got to really take a counter to that and really give it extra effort."