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Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Darnell Dockett is Cardinals defensive player to watch vs. Redskins

DL DARNELL DOCKETT

How he beats you: Strong and physical, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Dockett is tough to stop against both the run and the pass. He gets good leverage and uses his hands well. He has good recognition and adjusts quickly. Dockett usually plays defensive end in the Cardinals’ 3-4 scheme, then lines up as a tackle in passing situations. He’s relentless and has great anticipation, which enables him to time the snap count and get a jump on his opponent. “You’ve got to bring it every play,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan says. “He’s very quick and very aggressive and he gets after it. It’s going to be a long game with him, and you’d better not take a play off.”

How to stop him: Dockett isn’t as tall or as big as most 3-4 defensive ends, and still is adjusting to his role in that front as opposed to being a traditional defensive tackle in a 4-3 front. The key for Jammal Brown will be to use his size to an advantage, and also to stay in front of Dockett. “You’ve got to get into his chest, not lean and have sturdy feet,” Brown says. Right guard Chris Chester also will match up with Dockett as well when he slides in to defensive tackle on those passing situations.

The bottom line: With their secondary not exactly an area of strength, Arizona will rely heavily on its defensive front to get pressure on Rex Grossman so he won’t have time to pick them apart. Dockett is the most explosive of the defensive linemen and could require some double-teaming – whether it’s from a tight end or fullback -- to keep him in check. If the Redskins can pick up the blitz, they set themselves up for some big play opportunities.

By  |  01:00 PM ET, 09/16/2011

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