Darnell Dockett is the longest-tenured Arizona Cardinals player.
Dockett and Larry Fitzgerald joined the team as part of their 2003 draft class, and the duo has seen the highest of highs and plenty of lows during their decade in the desert.
And both, not surprisingly, were voted team captains by their teammates for the 2012 campaign.
“It’s an honor, I’m very thankful for my teammates looking at me in that nature,” Dockett said following practice Thursday. “I’m going to do the best I can to lead by example, but again, I’m not a role model.
“I don’t want anybody to think I’m a role model. I want to be the best leader I can possibly be to my guys on the football field, on and off, but I’m still going to ‘do Dockett’ every now and then. As long as we’re cool with that, I’m alright.”
Despite Dockett’s proclamation, Fitzgerald says his teammate is definitely a guy you want on your side.
“If you’re going to be in a dark alley and you can only pick one guy, he’s one of the guys you would want in your corner,” he said. “On Sunday, there’s nobody that plays harder and with more tenacity than he does.”
On the field, the Cardinals will be looking for more production from Dockett. Last season, the veteran had just 34 total tackles and 1.5 sacks — his lowest totals since 2005.
Dockett has voiced his approval of new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ system, which allows for defensive lineman like himself to make plays instead of occupying blockers to free up others for tackles.
The former Florida State star is also ready to get back to pressuring the quarterback along with the other members of the D-line.
“Our defensive line has to play well, week-in, week-out,” he said. “I don’t think no team in the NFL wants to dial up a blitz every down just to get pressure — you want your defensive line to create pressure and let your guys cover, do what they do best.”