As the NFL enters into the playoff season, we take a look back at the accomplishments of one individual player in Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell. Standing at a towering 6’8 and 300 players, the former Arizona Cardinals made his way to Jacksonville via free agency. Many wondered why the Cardinals let him, but looking at the cap space that the cardinals had and the fact they drafted other players to be his replacement, it was an easy choice to let the 31 year-old pro-bowler walk out the door.
Signing Calias Campbell was not an easy task. He had offers from other franchises like the Denver Broncos (he’s from the state of Colorado) where he would have had an opportunity to play for his home team. So, why did choose to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars who’s been in the bottom half of most people’s power rankings for the last 7 years. One name comes to mind. TOM COUGHLIN. During the off season, Coach Coughlin was hired as the Vice President of football operations for the Jags. That meant new leadership at the helm with a knack for winning. The Jaguars has the talent with top five picks in countless drafts, but Coughlin’s vision and proven track record was the ultimate reason Campbell took his talents to Duval county. So how did his first season play out for him with the Jaguars? AMAZING!!!
Campbell upbeat demeanor and love for the game of football was contagious. The old man (by NFL standards) set a new franchise record in sacks with 14.5. He currently is at number 2 (at one point, he lead the league) in sacks. He also added a handful of forced fumbles, double digit quarterback pressures and timely tackles. He is one of the core reasons why the Jaguars have the number one ranked defense. He made the entire defensive line better. Whereas, both defensive linemen Malik Jackson (8) and Yannick Ngoue (12) had career highs in sack. Jackson made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his 6 year career. And many believed Yannick was snubbed from Pro Bowl even though he had double digit sacks and near double digit sack/force fumbles. Even former first rounder Dante Fowler show massive improvement under the Campbell presence of the team. And, he does with a smile. If you ever watch a Jaguars game, you will see number 93 hyping up his teammates and being a leader by making plays on the field. Whether its 1st and 10 or 3rd and 4, Campbell comes up with BIG plays time after time.
He should be considered as Defensive Player of the Year. The fact that he came to a team with 3-13 record, help get them a division title in the AFC South, something Jacksonville has never had since the realignment of the divisions. An applaud is in order for a great season and finally getting the Jacksonville Jaguars to a credible NFL Franchise.
Photo: Perry Knotts via AP
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