Four-time Pro Bowler and Cardinals newcomer Joey Porter also got in the face of fellow outside linebacker Cody Brown for putting up with tight end Stephen Spach repeatedly grabbing Brown’s facemask in the drills.
Dockett was on top of guard Alan Faneca and reached out to trip quarterback Matt Leinart, who slammed the ball down in disgust. Brown faced off with Dockett in a shoving match before the two were separated.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t mind the intensity at all.
“It was nice to see guys getting after it,” he said, “but that’s typical of being in full pads the first day. The emotions were running high.”
“I’m proud of him,” Dockett said. “That’s what I expect him to do. I pat him on his back and at the end of the day that’s my child, that’s my family.”
“You’re looking for guys to develop that bond or that kind of territorialism to protect their guy,” the coach said, “and that was good.”
“I swiped my hand and hit Matt in the ankles,” Dockett said. “That was kind of dumb. I shouldn’t have done that. But you get caught in the battle, the engine turns on, you really don’t think about it until after the fact.”
Porter wasn’t pleased with what he saw as a passive reaction by Cody Brown, a second-round draft pick a year ago who missed all of last season after breaking a wrist in training camp. Porter said if a player puts up with that in camp, he will do it in a game.
“That’s what its all about, it’s all about attitude,’” Dockett said, “much as you love your teammates, damn, you’re trying to kill them.”
He said he’s just trying to give maximum effort as an example.
“You can’t come out here and go 80 percent and expect to win our third divisional title,” Dockett said. “It just don’t happen like that. Every day we step on the field we’ve got to go harder and harder and harder. We’ve got to treat them like they’re the 49ers and they’ve got to treat us like we’re the 49ers. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to compete.”
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