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Monday, January 24, 2022

DE Calais Campbell ready to ’empty the tanks’ as Ravens veteran pillar of defense

A week before Thanksgiving, John Harbaugh saw Kyle Campbell sitting down for a meal at the end of the day at Ravens Cafeteria.

Harbaugh doesn’t spend much time thinking about Campbell. Why would that be? In a world beset by anxiety and uncertainty, at the center of the Campbell Ravens defense is the seasoned oak tree – tall, strong and true no matter what swirls around it.

After 14 years leading an NFL team, Harbaugh knows what a blessing it is to have a great player who grounds the entire operation. On this occasion he felt compelled to say so to Campbell. “Hey man,” she said to Vishal, smiling with a hoarse voice, “I really appreciate you.”

Campbell has played for as long as Harbaugh has coached, and he doesn’t take moments of acknowledgment like this lightly. When he was a youth defender for the Arizona Cardinals, he saw the seriousness of Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson, who intended to maximize every day he had left in the NFL. He spent time after practice with defensive end Bertrand “B-Train” Berry, learning his first move to the quarterback’s cadence. Dwight Freeney taught him to make tandem pass-rush plans and take care of his body outside the team facility. There were so many wise men.

Nevertheless, Campbell aspired to be a role model and teacher for the next generation. He wanted 15 years in the NFL to reach a point if he decided to play next season.

“I always wanted to be a player who made a mark on the game,” he said. Harbaugh’s thanks to Campbell’s discovery, which is now much closer to its end than it is to its beginning.

There is no limit to the slyness in the respect that teammates and coaches express for him. Standing next to Number 93, the Giants feel a little stronger. Young people hope for a career like theirs, even though they know it’s unlikely.

“Calais, he’s the ultimate man,” said rookie linebacker Odafe Owe. “He just holds himself with so much respect and so much… his appearance. The type of person he is, he has his presence with it. He’s just so respectable. He has so much knowledge for the game and outside of the game.” That’s how to handle myself as a pro and everything.”

Campbell didn’t have a disappointing first season in Baltimore in 2020. He made his sixth Pro Bowl in seven years and peaked in the playoffs when the Ravens combined for 30 points for a pair of explosive offenses. But a strained calf and a bout with COVID-19 have cost him four games since 2014 with no misses, and he hasn’t got his paws on the quarterback as consistently as it was in peak season.

He came back for his repeats and offered no guarantee that he would play past his current contract, which expires later this year. But he was the team’s most influential defensive lineman from the first snap of training camp, and he remained exactly the same, playing at least 70% of the defensive snaps in the first 11 games of the season, but in two (that team). had missed the victory of) over the Cleveland Browns because he was in concussion protocol).

The team’s other veteran inner defender, Campbell’s fellow “Monstars” falters. Nose tackle Brandon Williams has missed four games and hasn’t played with his normal force when he is active. Defensive and Derek Wolff will not play at all this year due to a sick back.

According to Pro Football Focus, Campbell, the oldest of the three at 35, is classified as the fourth-best defensive lineman in the NFL. Some analysts refer to him in the same breath as Aaron Donald or Miles Garrett. They see half the sack and move on.

But you see the Ravens on tape and almost every time they fill up a play on the line of scrimmage, Campbell is in the middle of the action. Teammates talk about his selflessness, the way he captures two or three blockers to make sacks or tackles to make up for losses.

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“I think it’s a blessing to be on the field with a guy like this. He’s sacrificed a lot,” said fellow veteran Justin Houston. “He doesn’t get enough credit for the way he plays, and if You see him, even in near-rush situations, he has three people. Therefore, it is easy for us to be free and other people to run away from the gap because he is taking on three people at a time. ,

The Ravens need Campbell more than ever this season, and they have answered the call. She misses Wolff, whom she relied on to read accurately and hold the line of the scramble. “It allowed me to get some rest,” he said.

But he knows that hurting valuable teammates is as inevitable as aching legs on a Sunday night, so he simply doubles down on his urgency.

“He’s playing very well. He’s a leader. He’s out here every day,” Harbaugh said. “He’s in the weight room every day. He gives advice to the youth every day. it’s that kind of man [he is], and I think it will be his legacy.”

Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said he wants to celebrate Campbell with another award equal to his 2019 Walter Peyton Man of the Year for every contribution to the sport.

You get the sense that players like Ove would be passing on the lessons learned from Campbell when they’re the graybeard in the room.

“Even in sports, like when we run our stunts in sports, he’ll tell me the right way to run it,” Ove said. “. … He’s just smart. I depend on him for so many things, and I’m glad I have him.”

Words like these mean the world to Campbell. “If I have any legacy,” he said, “I hope it is that I try to keep the game strong and pass on all the knowledge I’ve built up to the youth.”

It did not become an oak tree by accident. Credibility is his football cult. “I have worked hard to be a consistent player.

Like previous Ravens (and Miami University) greats Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, he is studious by nature. He spends an estimated $200,000 a year every Sunday on specialists helping to prepare his body for battle. He tells young players that it may sound like a lot of money, but if it adds years to your career, it is a prudent investment.

Right after a game, his legs feel so heavy that he doesn’t want to walk. He resuscitates them slowly over the course of the week, moving on to pulling them into a cold tub to massage with a dry needle.

He is a creature of habit, and that is why he talks about the past year with despair. “With COVID, I haven’t been able to do my regular routine my whole career, you can see – I still played pretty well, but it wasn’t at the same level,” he said. “My body just hasn’t responded.”

He doesn’t believe in the word satisfied, but he is close to meeting his expectations this year, and believes the Ravens have the makeup of a potential champion.

Does that mean Campbell will consider playing in 2022, whether for the Ravens or another contender? The appeal for Harbaugh and General Manager Eric DeCosta will be clear. The Ravens are likely to rebuild their defensive line after this season, and Campbell will be the best possible bridge for a new era.

Wish He Want to go through another year of physical, mental and family sacrifices? Or will he decide that enough is enough and retire at the top, as Marshall Yanda did after the 2019 season? Campbell said he hasn’t spoken to the Ravens about the possibility and that their future, reaching a 15th season, is far from his mind.

“There’s nothing to talk about right now,” he said. “I’m trying to empty the tank. I don’t have the luxury of worrying about next year, because it might.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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