“I tried to run from the leadership role and they pulled me back into it,” the Cardinals’ free-agent signee said about his career. “It’s natural, and I embrace it.”
The linebacker often draws a smile with things he says, but when it comes to leadership, he is not wrong. The Cardinals want him to provide leadership in the locker room, a function that was clearly part of the free-agent process.
That’s what happens when a team underachieves at 7-8-1, especially when undisputed defensive leaders like Jerraud Powers and
“When you are building a 53-man roster, there are so many things that go into it,” Keim said last month on the “Big Red Rage.” “Not just your ability to play the position but what you bring to the locker room.”
So the Cardinals signed Dansby, who will be 36 during the season but who showed in his previous 2013 stint in Arizona how he can lead. The Cards brought in
Losing Calais Campbell leaves a void, although the Cards mitigated that by re-signing veteran
“I didn’t want to be the new guy coming in calling guys around when you’ve got great leaders like Calais and
The offense still has
“I know me and Patrick, we lead from a certain standpoint, but a lot of times we just want to play football -- focus in on making plays and not really have to coach as much as we had to in the past,” Mathieu said. “Losing Rashad and Jerraud, guys like that … I think bringing in guys like Dansby and Bethea, it will take a lot of the weight off myself and Patrick.”
Bethea, echoing Jones’ feelings from a year ago, said he doesn’t want to “force anything” when it comes to leadership in the locker room. But Bethea has proven he is good at it, and that, Keim said, is among those traits that not only are hard to measure but also are either in a player or not.
Some just aren’t good at it. Others are natural – as Dansby said.
“I’ve seen what guys needed,” Dansby said. “They needed the words of encouragement. They needed somebody to show them how to do it. There are just different ways of leading guys and leading men, so you’ve just got to be sensitive to the situation, and once you see it, you’ve got to be able to apply what you know and apply what you’ve been able to do.”