The Observer asks 10 questions of Carolina Panthers cornerback James Dockery:
Q. What are your New Years Eve plans?
I dont know, honestly. Probably nothing. If I do anything itd probably be going back to L.A. But I dont want to leave Charlotte so fast.
Q. You lived in Southern California for a while. Did you have family at the San Diego game?
I had about 30 people out there. Tons of people from my high school and fans.
Q. Did you have to get tickets for all of them?
I bought 20-30 tickets for my closest friends and family, but I had to cut it off there.
Q. Why was that important to you?
For me, playing in California, I dont know how many opportunities Ill have playing in California again so that was big. I just tried to buy tickets for everybody that I felt like got me to that point so it wasnt about how many. Everyone I got a ticket for truly, at some point and time, helped me get on the path to get there.
Q. Will you do that every time?
Well not every time I come to California. That could be the one and only, so I wanted to make sure everybody was there that needed to be.
Q. Have you ever been to New Orleans and have you heard anything about the Superdome?
Ive never been but Ive heard a lot. One of my big brothers, Keenan Lewis with the Steelers, hes from New Orleans and at Oregon State I heard all the stories about how loud its going to be. Like I told guys in the locker room, there are goal posts and yard lines. Ive played in (Oregons) Autzen (Stadium) before, and Corvallis gets pretty loud too.
Q. You mention Oregon. Do you and Jonathan Stewart ever go back and forth?
Throughout the year a little bit. The Civil War game I couldnt really say nothing after that (Oregon beat Oregon State 48-24). But whenever you have some Ducks and Beavers in the room, somethings gonna be said.
Q. You came in during the middle of the season. Whos been your go-to guy in the locker room?
If I had to say anybody itd be Josh Thomas. He gave me a notebook and some pens on my first day because I flew in here at 1:30 at night. They got me up at 5:30 for physicals and then I was in meetings. So I was sitting next to him and hes helped me a lot taking notes.
Q. You played one series last year with the Browns. How much of a change, or a shock, has this season been as the starting corner?
I wouldnt say it comes as a shock as much as they gave me an opportunity. As a free agent you never know when youll get the chance to prove that you can play. Im very appreciative of the fact that Coach Ron (Rivera) and everyone in the organization wanted to give me the opportunity to play defense in this league.
Q. Howd you learn youd be the starter?
I never really knew I would go in until the second half of Atlanta. (Secondary coach Steve) Wilks told me, Stay by me, you might be going in. But he had told me that before so Im just thinking, OK, stay by you, sure. And then boom, youre in, and since then theyve been giving me reps and giving me opportunities, so Im thankful for that.