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High Turnout at OTAs Builds Team Chemistry

So the first day of OTAs is in the books for the Cardinals.  One conspicuous participant was Pro Bowl defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, fresh off the debut (and hopefully end) of his on-screen career.  Dockett, who has missed voluntary OTAs for the past few years, claims that he made promises to certain teammates that he would attend this year.  Dockett said:

I told (safety) Adrian (Wilson) I’d be here this year.  I made a commitment to him.  I told Joey Porter if he came here (as a free agent) I wouldn’t miss anything and I’d be around to help him.  I’m just trying to keep my word.  Being part of everything is cool.  A lot of guys look up to me as far as football.  The only thing bad about it is after the workout, you’re bored the rest of the day.”

While it’s nice that Darnell is at OTAs and respects Adrian Wilson and Joey Porter enough to keep his word, it seems pretty clear that Dockett doesn’t want to be there, which is unfortunate.  You would like to see a bit more enthusiasm from a team leader, especially since Dockett himself acknowledged that other players look to him as an example.  I guess, however, the bottom line is that Dockett is participating.

With Dockett’s somewhat unexpected attendance, there were only three players absent; Gerald Hayes (back injury), rookie cornerback A.J. Jefferson (Fresno State’s semester hasn’t ended), and Deuce Lutui (unsigned tender) were the only three Cardinals not at OTAs.  Coach Whisenhunt expects Hayes to participate on Thursday, explaining that the veteran linebacker’s injury “at this point, is not [a major concern].”

It’s also nice that Beanie Wells won’t miss OTAs like last year because his semester at Ohio State didn’t finish in time, like A.J. Jefferson at Fresno State this year.  Wells has been one of the most dedicated workers this offseason and appears extremely focused on having a great sophomore season.

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