I did everything I wanted to do I left my legacy

first_img“I did everything I wanted to do; I left my legacy on the organization,” he said. “I came up with the name BirdGang in the locker room, and now it’s like spread all through Arizona. When I sit back and look at people say it, it’s like, ‘Wow I started that.’ That will forever be a household name.“So I did what I was supposed to do, I came, I put a mark on it, and hopefully young guys can take it and exceed and keep running with it. So I’m very thankful for everything I’ve been through here. I enjoyed it.” Aeneas Williams played 10 seasons with the organization before being traded to the St. Louis Rams, and though he is in the Ring of Honor, he is not viewed by all as a Cardinal. Wilson and Dockett, who spent 12 and 11 seasons, respectively, in Arizona, are.Dockett, who had a dalliance with the 49ers last offseason but noted his heart was never in San Francisco, said it feels good to end his career in the place where it all started.“I emphasize I’m very thankful for it, because it doesn’t happen often,” he said. “Some guys spend a lot of years in organizations and leave their soul, leave their health and leave everything and walk away, and they never really get acknowledged for it. I’m in a grateful situation.”Dockett went on to thank Bidwill as well as Cardinals GM Steve Keim, adding that he figured he would retire a Cardinal after about his fifth season with the team. It was then, after losing so much early in his career, he said it was his mission to help turn things around in Arizona.That process is still ongoing, though the organization is in a much better place now than it was when he first donned the team’s red and white. His presence on the field and in the locker room, while not always comfortable, helped set the table for the team you see today. In all, Dockett appeared in six playoff games. He was a key player on some very good teams, as well as a good player on some very bad ones. His performance in Super Bowl XLIII, when he tied a record with three sacks of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, is the stuff of legends.The Cardinals, of course, came up short in that game, and the fact that Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Steelers at that time is a fact that was not lost on Dockett, who multiple times mentioned coming up short in trying to win a championship before turning and giving a look of disgust to his former coach.Arians joked he wasn’t going to give his Super Bowl ring away, and Dockett said if the Cardinals win a championship over the next couple of seasons — which he is confident they will — he expects to get a replica ring.In due time, maybe. And if the Cardinals can bring the Lombardi Trophy to the desert, no doubt Dockett will have played a role.He — along with Wilson, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald — is widely viewed as one of the players who helped transform the franchise from what it used to be to what is now. It was not always a smooth ride, and no doubt there will be more speed bumps along the way. But Dockett and his teammates helped bring a level of competitiveness and credibility to the Cardinals, and his legacy is one that will live on in the halls of the team’s Tempe training facility as well as inside University of Phoenix Stadium. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling TEMPE, Ariz. — Over the course of 11 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Darnell Dockett accumulated 530 total tackles, 40.5 sacks, four interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries and seven forced fumbles.He started 156 of the 158 games he appeared in, and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection — the only defensive lineman in franchise history to be chosen for the All-Star game that many times.So, when Dockett decided to retire Monday after signing a one-day contract with the Cardinals, the NFL officially lost one of its most talented and colorful players. “Passion. Every single day, not just game day; it was every practice, every meeting, he brought the professionalism and the passion,” Arians said of what he’ll remember about Dockett. “That’s the thing that misses in most players, is the passion that you have to have to play this game, and he brought it every single day.”You could say a lot of things about Dockett, but one thing that you should not is that he didn’t play his heart out.“More than anything, I just want to thank you for not giving up,” Wilson said, speaking to Dockett. “I think that’s really, more than anything, I know with me, I was never going to give up, and I know with you, you were never going to give up. There’s heroes, there’s villains, and then there’s Dockett. You were a great mix between the two.”Wilson, who like Dockett was released by the Cardinals before returning to retire with the team that drafted him, feels like he has a stake in the organization’s success and failures. In a way Wilson definitely does — he is a scout for the team now — but really, even without that title, he would still live and die with the franchise he spent more than a decade playing for. The Cardinals are one of the best teams in the NFL, and entering 2016 are seen as not just a Super Bowl contender, but a favorite to win the big game. To think Dockett had nothing to do with that would be foolish.“One thing I’d like to say is that when we have our (pre-training camp) meeting Thursday night, you’ll still be there,” Arians said to his former player as the press conference was ending. “You’ll always be there, because you left a legacy here the way it’s supposed to be done.“Those guys are never forgotten. All these young guys that are on the team now, that when you were here, Frostee came in, you started something. You’ll always be there. You’ll never ever not be on this team.”This season, rookie Robert Nkemdiche will wear Dockett’s former No. 90, and incidentally, many have already compared the team’s 2016 first-round pick to the now-retired player. Dockett said he’s had a couple of conversations with the rookie, and explained to him that it is important he does not try to be the next Dockett. Instead, Nkemdiche needs to focus on being the best version of himself and represent the number.The number is just part of what Dockett leaves behind. The rest of his time was spent putting together a career that ends with just one regret: failure to win a Super Bowl. But while the 35-year-old Dockett’s days as a Cardinal are now a thing of the past, his impact on the organization will remain.That point was hammered home Monday in a press conference attended by Dockett, his agent Drew Rosenhaus, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, coach Bruce Arians, and former teammates Adrian Wilson, Antrel Rolle, Bertrand Berry, Antonio Smith, Josh Scobee and Frostee Rucker.“When I came in it was difficult; it was very different,” Dockett said. “To be a part of the core players to change the culture around here and to get everything that the organization has right now, I can look back and say, ‘Wow, I came and I accomplished something, and I was a part of something.’”Chosen in the third round of the 2004 draft out of Florida State, Dockett joined a team that won four games the season prior to his arrival, before notching just 16 victories over his first three seasons with the team. The Cardinals improved to 8-8 in 2007, though, and in 2008, went 9-7 before going on a surprising Super Bowl run.Arizona won 10 games in 2009 before falling off the next season, and after helping the Cardinals go 10-6 in 2013 but fail to make the playoffs, Dockett could only watch from the sidelines recovering from a torn ACL as the team went 11-5 in 2014 and was bounced in the Wild Card Round. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more