Dockett learning, Cardinals defense is improving

Sep 28, 2011, 10:32 PM | Updated: 11:38 pm

A defensive captain, Darnell Dockett undoubtedly takes it personal when the Cardinals struggle to stop opposing offenses.

So, after two games saw the Cardinals give up yards aplenty, holding the Seahawks to just 13 points could be seen as a victory, except for the fact that Arizona lost the game.

So while improvement may be happening now, Dockett said the team is running out of time to get wins, too.

“It is early, but it is time to start trying to click on all cylinders,” he said. “We’re not going to get more games. We’ve got 13 more to go and they’re ticking away.”

The good news for Dockett and the Cardinals is that the NFC West appears to be as bad as it’s ever been, with only the 49ers boasting a record better than .500.

And, of course, that ever-improving defense, which Dockett said he’s really starting to get the hang of.

“I’ve been in the same system for seven years that when a coach would throw up the playbook and throw everything at you I’d just sit in the room and be like ‘OK I’ll take a nap right now, I know all this stuff,'” Dockett said. “Now I’m in there like a rookie, writing down notes, thinking, asking questions on the field, even asking questions during the game.

“I’m learning it, I’m definitely learning it, and the faster I learn it the faster that I will just be the player that everybody expects me to be.”

Once at that point, though, it may not be Dockett who shows up in the box score or in the highlights for making plays. He’s often double-teamed, meaning he could be doing his job but it won’t matter of someone else doesn’t do theirs.

Sunday in Seattle Calais Campbell did just that, collecting three sacks of Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson.

“In the game last week they kind of went out of their way to double number 90,” he said.

Dockett, incidentally, wears number 90, and said it gave his teammate some great opportunities.

“It’s OK, I’m happy that Calais was able to make those plays and show what type of player he is.”

If Dockett continues learning the system and players like Campbell consistently step up, the defense could very well turn things around and, at the very least, be respectable by season’s end.

Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report

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