Cardinals' pressure was a problem

Posted Sep 10, 2012

As good as Darnell Dockett looked in leading the pass-rush assault on rookie QB Russell Wilson on Sunday, the Cardinals’ Pro Bowl defensive tackle was even better in the video review.

When it comes to Darnell Dockett, Pete Carroll isn’t exactly counting the days until the Seahawks’ rematch with the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 9.

As disruptive as Dockett looked in leading the Cardinals’ assault on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Monday’s video review of the Seahawks’ 20-16 loss only fortified Carroll’s postgame opinion of the Pro Bowl defensive lineman.

“Dockett was really tough,” Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session. “He was really good in this game. He caused a lot of problems. He just was very aggressive and he was hard to handle.

“He was really the big factor in messing things up quite a bit.”

The object of the Cardinals’ pass rush, of course, was Wilson, who completed 18 of 34 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown in his first regular-season start but also threw incomplete into the end zone on his final four attempts from inside the Arizona 13-yard line.

“He was under siege,” Carroll said. “He really was rushed well. They didn’t get him as much as they rushed him, but they were around him a lot. It was a very difficult game for the quarterback because of that.

“And he saved us. There were things that he could have done cleaner at times. He missed on some throws that an inch here or there might have been a better catchable ball for a guy. Guys had to make great plays on a couple of balls. So he wasn’t as sharp, but it was because he had some much pressure that he was dealing with.”

And it wasn’t just Dockett applying the pressure. Linebacker Paris Lenon had two of the Cardinals’ three sacks, and four others besides Dockett and Lenon also had hits on Wilson. As good as the Cardinals’ rush was, the Seahawks’ line did not handle the pressure as well as expected.

“We felt like we had made a lot of progress, and that wouldn’t be the issue,” Carroll said when asked about the play of the O-line. “It wasn’t as well equipped as we thought. I think they had a lot of do with it. Darnell was really on it. He’s as good a player as we’ll play at that position. He was on fire and he gave us the problems.”

How does Carroll plan to address those issues moving forward, starting with Sunday’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field?

“Fortunately, not everybody has (Dockett) on their team,” he said with a smile.

Carroll then quickly added, “But we just get better. We just get smarter. And cleaner with our stuff. There really wasn’t anything that we weren’t able to handle; we just didn’t handle it as well as we should have.

“And we will. We’ll get better. That’s just part of playing together. The things that we saw in preseason, we were able to handle. This one just got a little more aggressive. It started early and we weren’t as effective as we need to be.”

As for his part, when asked about the 5-foot-11 Wilson, Dockett served up diplomacy, with an expected side of sass.

“He’s only like 5’7”,” he said. “It was just one of those things; we had to bend down to get him. We contained him very well today, but he is going to be an athletic, dynamic quarterback in the future.”