For whatever reason Darnell Dockett’s teammates did not elect him as one of the Cardinals’ six captains last season. He had been a captain for three consecutive years until the snub.

Earlier this week though he earned his captaincy back. It was a humbling experience for the 10-year defensive lineman.

“You have to be a role model” Dockett said “and that means as a leader of the team coming to work every day practicing at a high tempo never missing days working hard and getting a bunch of guys to follow me staying after practice doing stuff.

“This is my 10th year and I’m trying to get to the playoffs. I ain’t got time to be waiting around saying ‘OK well we’ll be good next year if this guy develops.’ Nah I’m trying to get there now. A lot of guys feel the same way because opportunities are very thin. But it’s an honor and I’m very thankful for my teammates looking at me in that nature. I’m going to do the best I can do to lead and lead by example.”

Dockett stopped himself to make a clarification.

“I don’t want nobody to think I’m a role model” he said. “I want to be the best leader I can possibly be to my guys on the football field — on and off — but I’m still going to go ‘Dockett’ every now and then. As long as we’re cool with that I’m all right.”

Dockett has never been afraid to be himself whether it’s during interviews or posting his thoughts on social media.

On occasion he can take things to the extreme but his teammates have always seemed to embrace him.

Coach Bruce Arians said Dockett is “all about winning” and added he was convinced they would get along after speaking with him on the phone for the first time. Arians said he’s the kind of player every team needs and Dockett agrees.

“I was just talking to Karlos (Dansby) and he told me ‘I don’t know how we’d get through practice without you’ ” Dockett said. “Every day I bring jokes I bring energy. I’m always messing around with somebody. And before you know it Coach is blowing the whistle and practice is over. I’m just me man. I’ve never changed.