Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell plans to take game up a notch in second half

As the Arizona Cardinals prepare to start the second half of the season, defensive tackle Calais Campbell is ready to heed his coach's advice.

A lackluster performance by Campbell against the Cleveland Browns prior to last week's bye prompted a critique from Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who told an Arizona radio station that the massive tackle "needs to be dominating the game."

Campbell, who was limited to three tackles versus the Browns, addressed Arians' comments days later and admitted he couldn't disagree with the assessment.

“I have high standards for myself, and there are a lot of plays out there — especially in the first half of the season — that I feel I’ve missed out on,” Campbell said. “Each week, you just want to play your best game and, you know, (Arians) is right. I could play better. He wants to see me play better."

Slow starts to the season have become somewhat commonplace for the 6-foor-8, 300-pound Campbell. He registered six of his seven sacks over the final eight games last season and notched five sacks over the last seven games in 2013.

“There is definitely another level there, and I’m ready to hit it,” Campbell said. “The second half of the season is really when you want to play your best football. Some guys peak too soon, they’ll start playing too well, too early and they’ll fizzle out at the end of the season.

“I’m expecting to play my best football moving forward and hopefully deep into the playoffs.”

Bookmark and Share

Arians challenges Calais Campbell to 'dominate the game'

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is known to publicly call out some of his top players, presumably as motivation.

Calais Campbell is the latest to have his play questioned by the coach.

The remarks came in Arians' Monday day-after news conference following Sunday's 34-20 victory at Cleveland.

"He needs to be dominating the game," Arians said. "He got very close, but he loses his technique sometimes and doesn't use his hands. He should have had a four-sack day. His stats were minimal."

Campbell had three tackles, one quarterback hit and no sacks against the Browns.

"He's got the talent (to dominate a game)," Arians said, "and he's shown he can. He needs to do it all the time."

Campbell wasn't around to respond to his coach's criticism during the time the locker room was open to reporters following Tuesday's brief practice. The practice Wednesday probably will be even shorter, then the players are off before reassembling next Tuesday to begin preparation for a Nov. 15 Sunday night game at Seattle.

It's probably no coincidence that Arians publicly criticized his 6-foot-8, 300-pound Pro Bowl defensive lineman ahead of that contest, where Campbell will go against a sometimes shaky Seahawks offensive line.

Campbell is fifth on the team in tackles with 40. He has five tackles in the last two games after compiling 35 in the first six contests. Still, he is by far the tackle leader among defensive linemen. Frostee Rucker is a distant second with 16.

But tackles don't tell the whole story. Campbell often occupies opposing players while Arizona's linebackers make the play.

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher calls him "a special player."

No player in the Arizona locker room is more amiable than Campbell, who's in his eighth season with the Cardinals. There's a school of thought that he's just too nice of a guy to consistently be a fierce defensive lineman. Bettcher firmly rejects that idea.

"I honestly don't even look at that," Bettcher said after Tuesday's practice. "I see him when he plays and he plays hard, he plays violent, he makes plays and he's disruptive. It's just his expectations for himself and mine for him are really high."

Because he plays in a 3-4 defense, Campbell is not the conventional, high-profile pass-rushing defensive end often found in a 4-3 scheme. He's more of a tackle listed as a defensive end. That was among the reasons that he didn't make the Pro Bowl until last year.

This season, he's played all three positions up front, often lined up as an imposing figure at nose tackle. He towers over the line regardless of where he plays, and he increasingly knows how to use that size.

"One thing I think he's done over the past couple of years is he's really learned to play with his length well," Bettcher said. "If he does that consistently, there's not a lot of people who will be able to block him.”

Campbell's breakout season last year made blocking him even more of an emphasis for opposing teams.

"I think that's one thing that moving him around helps," Bettcher said, "so they can't just zero in and find that he's always playing on the left, or he's always playing on the right, or he's always playing the middle."

Campbell joins the likes of Patrick Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, and even Carson Palmer as those to be mentioned publicly by the coach in a less-than-positive light.

"He wants to put that pressure on you," Palmer said, "that kind of tough-minded, always-yelling, never-good-enough mentality, because he knows that's what it takes to win."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell sees road to Pro Bowl easier as DT than DE

TEMPE, Ariz. -- If Calais Campbell makes his second-straight Pro Bowl this season, it won't be as a defensive end.

The eight-year veteran had his position reclassified as a defensive tackle. He spent the first seven years of his career -- including his 2014 Pro Bowl campaign -- as a defensive end. The change appeared on the Arizona Cardinals weekly depth chart this week.

The decision to officially enter the world of interior lineman wasn't a surprise to Campbell because of how his role in Arizona's defense this season has him playing primarily inside. Campbell gave his permission to change his position when the Cardinals asked.

But the difference to Campbell is just a matter of letters.

"My position hasn't changed," Campbell said. "I still do the same thing I've been doing every year of my career, so it's kind of like a hybrid. At times, I play D-end but most times I play D-tackle. In passing situations, I'm inside. There are a few blitzes I play outside but 85 percent of my work is done in the interior so it makes sense to be a D-tackle."

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Campbell has played 70.8 percent of his snaps this season as a defensive tackle -- with the large majority coming at right defensive tackle. That number has skyrocketed from the past two seasons, when Campbell played 14.7 percent of his snaps at defensive tackle in 2014 and 8.4 percent in 2013.

While it's a matter of changing one letter, becoming a defensive tackle puts Campbell in a new Pro Bowl category -- from which it may be easier for him to earn the annual accolade.

Last season's Pro Bowl interior defensive lineman included Buffalo's Marcell Dareus, St. Louis' Aaron Donald, Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy, Kansas City's Dontari Poe, former Lion Ndamukong Suh and Buffalo's Kyle Williams.

If Campbell was listed as a defensive tackle last year, he would've been a clear-cut Pro Bowler, leading that group in tackles, finishing fourth in sacks with seven, and was one of four with a forced fumble and one of two with an interception.

Thus far this season, Campbell has the most tackles with 32 and his 1.5 sacks are third most among that group of interior offensive linemen. As a defensive tackle, Campbell won't have to compete against the likes of Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, DeMarcus Ware, J.J. Watt and Mario Williams to earn his annual trip to the NFL's all-star game.

"I do think it's a lot easier to get to the Pro bowl from a D-tackle than it is as a D-end, especially for a guy that's a 3-4 kind of hybrid D-end but really line up in the three technique most of the time, where mostly tackles play," Campbell said. "I think it'll be a lot easier."

But saying goodbye to his days as a defensive end wasn't completely easy.

He knows how defensive tackles are perceived compared to defensive ends, but he's out to prove he can be a new breed of interior linemen.

"People consider D-ends a little more fast and athletic so there is an emotional connection," he said. "I'm just fast and athletic. I'm just a very athletic D-tackle."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell's 11-tackle game termed 'lights out' by Cardinals' Arians

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell drew rave reviews for his performance in Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams.

"I’m not sure I’ve seen a defensive tackle dominate a game like I saw Calais Campbell," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said per Arizona Sports. "I mean he had 11 tackles and completely controlled the line of scrimmage. To me, maybe his best game as a pro."

Arizona coach Bruce Arians was equally effusive in his praise of the 6-foot-8, 300-pound Campbell, who registered 43.5 sacks over his previous seven seasons with the Cardinals. 

"(He) was lights out," said Arians, who labeled the effort by Campbell "as dominating a performance as you could ask for a defensive lineman."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell's appearance on NFL Rank top 100 shows progress, respect

It's been a year of progress for Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell.

First, he made the Pro Bowl in January.

Then he was rated among the top 100 players in the league by ESPN.

Campbell was ranked 78th (81.20) on the list, which was revealed Tuesday, and was the second Cardinal to appear on the list. Cornerback Patrick Peterson was 49th (84.85). Campbell was the seventh defensive end named to the list, but he should've been higher. He's not yet better than Houston's J.J. Watt (No. 1 -- 98.87) or Buffalo's Mario Williams (No. 46 -- 84.93), but Campbell's size and length makes him a better defensive end than New York's Muhammad Wilkerson (No. 50 -- 84.65), Miami's Cameron Wake (No. 51 -- 84.54), Seattle's Michael Bennett (No. 60 -- 83.13) and New York's Sheldon Richardson (No. 61 -- 83.04).

There were 71 total voters, including ESPN analysts, Insiders, reporters, and Stats & Info NFL experts, as well as partner sites including Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders.

Campbell doesn't play for a team that attracts the limelight like the Jets or the Dolphins, or hasn't had the success of the Seahawks. But he's quietly become a defensive factor that has teams double-teaming and planning against him because he's 6-foot-8 and has the quickness of an outside linebacker.

At No. 49, Peterson appears low but he's the fourth cornerback on the list behind Seattle's Richard Sherman (No. 8 -- 93.31), New York's Darrelle Revis (No. 9 -- 93.24) and Cleveland's Joe Haden (No. 42 -- 85.46). Depending on the day, Peterson could -- and should -- be ranked higher than Haden.

Trimmer, slimmer and intent on proving he's better than his 2014 stats show, Peterson is poised to have a better year than he did last season.

But with a slew of young talent, the Cardinals are also poised to have more names on the list next season.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell will represent Cardinals on 'Celebrity Family Feud'

Survey says…Calais Campbell had a great time over the weekend filming 'Celebrity Family Feud'. Campbell will represent the NFC team along with Vernon Davis, Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy, and Thomas Davis. 

"It was a good time. I had fun," Campbell said, via "I don’t want to give any spoiler alert, but it was definitely entertaining. (Host) Steve Harvey definitely made fun of a lot of us, including me."

Campbell said Harvey did not hold back on any of his jokes and was making fun of everyone. He said he was "just hanging out, doing comedian stuff, making everybody laugh. All of us laughed."

The celebrity series of 'Family Feud' will begin June 21 on ABC.

Bookmark and Share

It's time for Calais Campbell to lead with Dockett gone

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Calais Campbell deflects questions about his leadership role like he deflects the hands of offensive linemen trying to slow his rush.

"We have a lot of leaders," he says without ever mentioning himself.

In that respect he is the anti-Darnell Dockett. No chest thumping. No inflated sense of his importance to the younger players. No discernible ego.

"My role is: just continue to be me," Campbell said when pressed this week during OTAs. "Make sure I am vocal when I need to, get on some young guys when I need to, but just lead by example in being the best player I can be on the field. Leaders by example are always the best leaders."

Whether he admits it or not, Campbell will assume the mantle of leadership along the defensive line this season. Dockett is gone, cut in a highly publicized and occasionally acrimonious cap move. Campbell's best friend on the line, Dan Williams, also departed after signing a free-agent deal with Oakland. 

Veteran Frostee Rucker is well-respected, capable and articulate and the Cardinals also signed veterans Cory Redding and Corey Peters to shore up the line. But Campbell is the best player on that unit, the heart and soul of a position group that has been strong for several seasons, in spite of a late-season slip last year.

Bruce Arians didn't shy away from anointing Campbell when the Cardinals coach discussed him at the NFL owners meetings in March. Nor did he shy away from asking more from his 6-foot-8 defensive end.

"I'd like to see more consistent play out of him," Arians said. "He went to the Pro Bowl, but I still think he has not even scratched his consistent level of play. He disappears too much. I told him that the other day: 'you can't disappear in games any more. You've got to be dominant the whole game.'" 

Campbell missed two games last season after suffering a sprained MCL on Oct. 5 from an infamous chop block by Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas that Arians called the "dirtiest play I've seen in 37 years." He still led all Cardinals defensive linemen in tackles (58) and solo tackles (48). He had three passes defensed and 17 quarterback pressures and he finished second on the team in sacks with seven, but all of those sacks came in four games.

He earned his first Pro Bowl nod in December. Arians hopes the confidence that comes from that honor will help Campbell take his game to another level this season. The absence of Dockett could have just as big an impact. Dockett's big personality often drowned out other players. Campbell is no longer in that shadow.

"Losing Dockett and Dan Williams (and Antonio Cromartie), it happens; it's part of the game," Campbell said. "Those guys were really good for the team the last couple of years, but we have a lot of good leadership now. A lot of guys that were younger are stepping up."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell uses OTAs to get back in football groove, adapt to new teammates

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell has narrowed his focus during the first two weeks of organized team activities.

He's working on regaining his technique.

"During the offseason you don't really work technique drills before OTAs, you kinda just work on conditioning and getting your power and explosion and all that good stuff in the weight room," Campbell said. "And now when you get on to the field, you want to work on your technique so you're almost like starting brand new again, just getting a feel for it again."

Campbell is also using OTAs to get a feel for his new teammates, especially those who'll line up next to him on the defensive line. The Cardinals didn't re-sign Dan Williams and cut Darnell Dockett, both of whom who, along with Campbell, comprised the Cardinals' defensive front from 2010-2013.

Arizona signed Cory Redding and Corey Peters in their place, and the last week-and-a-half have given Campbell an opportunity to see how they rush and how the three complement each other.

"You can sort of start here," Campbell said. "It's sort of different, though, without pads on and without going 100 mph. Everything is so much different.

"So, now you just scratch the surface on how it's going to be and you get a feel for it. We're still a long way's away."

Part of getting new teammates is adjusting to their leadership styles.

After years of watching Dockett and Williams in the locker room, Campbell is finding out how a veteran like Redding commands respect. Replacing Dockett, Williams and even Antonio Cromartie will be left up to the new faces as well as returning vets like Jerraud Powers and Rashad Johnson.

"It happens," Campbell said. "It's part of the game. Those guys were really good for the team the last couple years.

"Cory Redding coming in is a natural leader. Frostee [Rucker]. Even Sean Weatherspoon is a guy that is very well spoken. On the defense, we're not missing any leadership."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell debuts on top 100 list

The NFL Network’s annual top 100 players list began to be revealed tonight, and the first 10 players included a Cardinal: Defensive end Calais Campbell.

It’s the first time Campbell has made the list (last year, Daryl Washington was named, as was Larry Fitzgerald and finally, Patrick Peterson.) There is little question the last year or two Campbell had a serious argument that he should have been in when he wasn’t. As for this year, Campbell clearly has mixed feelings.

“It’s a cool list to be on but I don’t feel they really get enough people to vote on it so I don’t know how accutrate it is,” Campbell said. “But it is cool interacting with the fans and putting it on NFL Network and everyone likes to watch it. I just wish they did a better job getting more votes. Still it’s cool to be on the list and even if you are not it’s cool to watch it and see the other guys and see what people think of other players.”

It’s hard to argue the point about accuracy — as good as Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is, can he really be considered better than Campbell? (Campbell was 99th on the list, Vinatieri is 98th.)

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell compares Denzel Perryman to Ray Lewis

If you ask Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell what player he likes coming out of the 2015 NFL Draft class, he doesn't give you an answer right away. On the latest "Big Red Rage" podcast, on which Campbell regularly appears, Campbell was asked that question. At first, he hesitated, but then gave the name of a player from his alma mater who could also fill a need the Cardinals have.

He likes Miami inside linebacker Denzel Perryman. The Cardinals could be looking to add a player at inside linebacker. Daryl Washington's future with the team and the league this season is still unknown. 2013 second round pick Kevin Minter has yet to step up and become the player the team has hoped he would.
The team did sign Sean Weatherspoon to a one-year contract out of Atlanta, but another at the position could be in play with the draft.

Perryman could potentially be that guy.

"My man Perryman from Miami, I think he's going to be a stud," Campbell said. "He has a lot of the same issues that Ray Lewis had coming out. He's too small. I don't think that really matters in the NFL these days if you can play sideline to sideline."

Yes, Campbell did just compare Perryman to the future Hall of Famer, but it was only in the context that both had a knock coming out of college as being too slight play inside linebacker in the NFL. He is 5-11 and 236 pounds. He ran a 4.7-second 40 at his Pro Day.

He has not been projected to be a first rounder in quite a while, although he has been mocked to the Cardinals before. Would he be a good fit in Arizona, and could be be the stud Campbell thinks he will be? Or is this just another case of a player being a bit of a homer because the player comes from school he attended?

Bookmark and Share

Bruce Arians would like to see a more consistent Calais Campbell

But Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians thinks Campbell, who has amassed 43.5 sacks in seven NFL seasons, can be even better.

"I'd like to see a more consistent player out of him," Arians said Wednesday at the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the annual NFL Meetings. "He went to the Pro Bowl, but I still think he's not even scratched his consistent level of play.

"He disappears too much. I told him that the other day, you can't disappear in games anymore. You've got to be dominant the whole game."

Though Campbell finished the season with three sacks, he tracked down the quarterback in just four different games. Three of his seven came in Seattle, a game where afterwards Arians said the defensive lineman could have had a couple more sacks.

But as Campbell, a second-round pick out of Miami in 2008, heads into his eighth season, he does so as a player who has been recognized as being one of the best at his position in the NFL. As a Pro Bowler, he got to spend time talking with -- and learning from -- some of the game's greatest players. The confidence that comes from being in that setting could lead to a different Campbell next season. Arians, for one, is hoping it does.

"I only saw him for a minute…you automatically see swagger in a guy as he changes," the coach said. "Haven't been around him enough to see it to know. But I would hope -- saw it in Justin Bethel, especially the second time because he's been around rehabbing a lot. I've seen a little bit of it in Calais just the other day, but I want to see it on the field."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell recovering from sports hernia surgery

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell finally made his first Pro Bowl appearance two weeks ago despite playing through an MCL sprain and a sports hernia during the 2014 season.

Campbell returned to the Cardinals' facility on Tuesday after undergoing successful sports hernia surgery last week.

Per Darren Urban of the team's official website, Campbell expects to be fine when offseason practices begin in a couple of months.

One of the game's most underrated stars, Campbell held Todd Bowles' injury-depleted defense together last season.

Outside of Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, there hasn't been a better 3-4 defensive end over the past two seasons.

NFL players can compensate for last year's oversight by voting him to NFL Network's The Top 100 Players of 2015.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell talks football, humanitarian work

It's been an interesting year for the Arizona Cardinals captain, Calais Campbell. The past week has been a whirlwind for the biggest of the Bird Gang.

From Radio Row at Super Bowl 49, Campbell commented about his time at the Pro Bowl. It was his first time appearing the NFL's all-star showcase which was held Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.

Campbell also made headlines with a record-setting donation to his alma mater, the University of Miami. He endowed an athletic scholarship with $1.6 million.
The defensive end also finds it hard to root for his conference rival, the Seattle Seahawks, in Super Bowl 49 and has predicted New England will win the game by three points.

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase=",0,47,0">

Bookmark and Share

Finally, Recognition For Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell and Joe Staley lined up across from each other on Thursday afternoon, just like they’ve done twice a year since 2008.

This time, the game faces and helmets were removed, replaced by large smiles as they playfully engaged in a pass-rush simulation.

Staley, the longtime 49ers stalwart at left tackle, has been through these low-key Pro Bowl practices before, attending this week’s walk-throughs at Luke Air Force Base and Scottsdale Community College as a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Campbell is the newbie. While the Cardinals’ standout has been among the most productive defensive ends for the past several seasons, the Pro Bowl recognition never came. He isn’t the flashiest player, doesn’t play in a big media market, doesn’t put up huge sack totals, and for a long time it left him outside the elite Pro Bowl circle.

Finally, 2014 was his year. Campbell was sidelined for two games with a knee sprain and didn’t have his best statistical season, but maybe word has finally spread. The ‘underrated’ tag can go.

“I’ve been voting for him for the Pro Bowl for, like, four years,” Staley said. “I was so pumped for him. He’s a guy that deserves it. He’s been doing his thing for a long time. We played them in Week 17 after the Pro Bowl rosters were announced, and I told him after the game that I was really proud of him, happy for him that he made it. He deserves all the recognition he gets.”

Campbell’s Pro Bowl chances have always started at a disadvantage, because the fan vote has regularly placed more well-known defensive ends above him regardless of overall play. This year it wasn’t enough to leave him out, as the coaches and players’ tallies spoke loudly by rocketing him up the ballot.

The votes from Staley and the others made Campbell smile broadly.

“Me and Joe have been battling non-stop for so many years,” Campbell said. “When you have the respect of your peers, especially your opponents who are rivals, that says a lot.”

Some of the Pro Bowlers are good-naturedly grousing about the location of the all-star game, preferring the beaches of Hawaii over Arizona. Campbell, though, looks like he’s having the time of his life.

He’s struck up a friendship with Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt, the best defensive player in the NFL.

Campbell has his eyes on the new truck awarded to the Pro Bowl’s most valuable player, and is trying to take a preemptive strike by slowing down

Watt, a teammate in the game but a top competitor for his award. A McDonald’s meal was passed out to interested consumers at the Pro Bowl draft, and it’s where Campbell hoped to begin his sabotage.

“Here, eat a burger,” Watt said Campbell told him. “I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do that, man.’”

“He’s always eating healthy,” Campbell lamented. “Even when he has a cheat day, it’s healthy. I’m like, ‘OK, well you’re making me feel bad because I eat pretty bad sometimes.’”

Campbell said he’s enjoyed picking up tips from players like Watt and others he respects. He’s also quickly learning there is a mutual admiration. Watt asked Campbell about some of his techniques, and both Watt and Staley marveled at the fluidity of a 6-foot-8 player who begins each play with a hand in the dirt.

“A big dude that can move, and then he uses his hands for leverage,” Staley said. “Overall, he’s just a really good football player.”

While this is Campbell’s first Pro Bowl, he doesn’t look or sound like a fish out of water. He’s been a menace on the defensive side of the ball for a half-decade, and while it took time to break onto the Pro Bowl scene, the others on hand are well aware of his ability.

“He’s been a good player for a long time,” Watt said. “It’s good to see him out here (getting recognized).”

Campbell has a lingering sports hernia injury which will require surgery in a few weeks, but it’s not bad enough to make him miss the Pro Bowl festivities. He’s hoping this is the first appearance in a long line of them.

“I could get used to this,” Campbell said. “I could definitely see myself doing this again sometime.”

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell donates $1.6M

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Less than two months after receiving its largest donation from a former athlete, the University of Miami athletic department has received an even larger gift.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell has given $1.6 million to the Hurricanes to establish an endowed scholarship for defensive linemen in perpetuity, it was announced Wednesday.

Campbell's donation topped the $1.5 million gift from former Hurricanes running back Ken Hunt in December. Miami will rename its defensive line room after Campbell, making him the sixth former Hurricane to have an area of the football offices named after him.

Campbell's donation, which he said was his first to Miami, helped the Hurricanes' athletic department surpass $106 million in its Momentum2 capital campaign.

The 28-year-old had been trying to figure out a way to help the Hurricanes and decided a scholarship was the best way to leave his mark. As a student at Miami, Campbell received an endowed scholarship, and he says he stays in contact with the donors, Robert and Connie McGee.

Campbell graduated in 2008 with a degree in advertising and marketing.

"I know how rare these jobs are," Campbell told of being an NFL player. "I want to make sure that every kid, especially at the University of Miami, understands the importance of having a good fall-back plan, something you would enjoy doing if the NFL doesn't work out for you.

"This is my way of showing it."

Campbell, who had seven sacks in 2014 while getting voted into his first Pro Bowl, was All-ACC in 2006, when he finished with 10.5 sacks, ranking ninth in Miami history.

Topping Hunt's contribution wasn't meant to turn donating into a competition, Campbell said.

Miami athletic director Blake James praised Campbell's focus on education.

"Calais is an incredible man and, along with his family, understands the importance of education and the impact a positive environment can have on a student-athlete," James said in a statement.

Campbell will join former Hurricanes Clinton Portis (football wing), Ed Reed (football operations office), Edgerrin James (meeting room), Jon Vilma (players' lounge) and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (locker room) in having rooms or areas named after them.

"It's kind of come full circle," Campbell told "For me, it's a representation of just how much the school means to me and to be able to be a part of it."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell make All-NFC Team

After every season, the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) vote to honor players as the best in the league. I happen to be a member of the PFWA, so I also get a vote.

Two Arizona Cardinals players made the PFWA All-NFC team -- defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback Justin Bethel (as a special teams player).

Not a single Cardinals player was named to the All-NFL team this year. Last year, Patrick Peterson and Bethel bother were on the All-NFL team and All-NFC team. Peterson was left off the teams this year.

Campbell had seven sacks, an interception and 59 total tackles, 12 for losses. He also was credited for an additional 17 pressures and 12 hits on opposing quarterbacks.

Bethel was credited with 18 special teams tackles on the season, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell named Arizona Cardinals' nominee for Walter Payton award

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell will represent the organization this year as a nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

The NFL each year recognizes a player from each team who is an outstanding community contributor and elite on the field.

Each nominee will receive a minimum of a $1,000 nomination from the NFL Foundation to their selected charities while finalists can receive up to $50,000 toward their causes.

Campbell's charity, the Charles Richard Campbell Foundation -- named after his late father -- exists to bestow scholarships and aid on Phoenix families and children in need. The organization has fed more than 300 families while donating more than $15,000 to 12 area non-profits since being created four years ago. Campbell says he hopes to one day open a community center to further empower families and children.

Bookmark and Share

Sizzling Calais Campbell knows he could be better

Defensive end Calais Campbell is playing exceptionally well. He deserves to be considered for the Pro Bowl. He had three sacks last week in Seattle, and then this is how Bruce Arians evaluated Campbell’s game: “Calais played his normal game. He could play better. He had potential for a five-sack day. Three sacks is nice when it comes to sacks, but he’s a better player than that.”

Not exactly a huge pat on the back — and Campbell said B.A. said exactly what he should say.

“It’s true,” Campbell said. “I didn’t do enough to help my team win. I missed tackles, coach gave me credit on the sheet for two missed tackles but there were three or four other plays I could’ve made but I didn’t. I have a lot of pride in my game and I want to make those plays. I am glad Coach has high standards for me. I love his honesty. Otherwise it lets me take a step to be less that I was.”

Campbell missed two games with a knee injury and has been wearing a brace (and dealing with pain and a not-100-percent knee since). Yet he’s tied for the team-lead in sacks (six, coincidentally the same as linebacker Alex Okafor, who missed three games with injury this season), a team-high eight tackles for loss and leads all defensive linemen in tackles, with 37.

Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles like the way Campbell is playing, but both see a guy who is dominant and should produce on a dominant level all the time. Campbell embraces that line of thinking.

“If (Arians) was ‘Calais played great’ and I didn’t feel I played great, eventually I might be like, ‘Well, at least coach is happy,’ ” Campbell said. “Not to say he wasn’t happy, because he was, but he should expect more from me, because I expect more from me. I respect that part of him, because he knows how good I can be.”

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell among Pro Bowl voting leaders

Pro Bowl voting is in full swing. Fans can vote for their favorite or the best NFL players to be on the Pro Bowl, which will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium the week before the Super Bowl.

The NFL announced the current results of fan voting and a couple of players do not appear in the top 10 in votes at their position.

Receiver Larry Fitzgerald is not there, nor is defensive end Calais Campbell.

Fitz is understandable. He hasn't been there among the fan votes for a while. But Campbell continues to not get the credit he deserves.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson is among the top 10 corners in voting,. He is currently sixth.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell is named Arizona Cardinals/Walter Payton Man of the Year for 2nd time

The Arizona Cardinals Football Club announced on Thursday that defensive end Calais Campbell was named the "Arizona Cardinals/Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year."

The NFL will grant $1,000 to the charity of Campbell's choice for receiving this honor and he will be recognized by Cardinals President Michael Bidwill for his accomplishment following practice tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. This is the second time Campbell has been selected as the Cardinals "Man of the Year" after previously being honored in 2011.

Campbell is one of 32 NFL "Man of the Year" winners to qualify for the league's national 2014 "Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year" award. The award recognizes a player's off-the-field community service as well his playing excellence. The overall winner will be announced prior to Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona. Finalists for the award receive $5,000 for their charity of choice from NFL Charities and the winner receives a $25,000 donation.

Campbell created the CRC Foundation in 2010 to honor his late father, Charles Richard Campbell. The foundation is committed to the enhancement of the community by teaching quality life skills to assist with the development of young people. Through the foundation, Campbell hosts a variety of events including providing meals to the less fortunate during Thanksgiving the past three years. This year, Campbell is supporting 300 families for dinner during the Thanksgiving holiday.

His "Christmas with Calais" event is an annual tradition where Campbell and his Cardinals teammates take 100 underprivileged children on a holiday gift shopping spree to Target and provide them with dinner and an opportunity to meet Santa. This past April he hosted his second annual golf tournament and in September, he hosted his fourth annual CRC Foundation Fundraiser Dinner event at Eddie V's in Scottsdale.

In 2013, Campbell launched "Right Track," a daily after school program serving students from the Roosevelt School District in Phoenix with tutoring and mentoring. He also created the "Cheer for a Cause" program last year that encourages fans to not only cheer at Cardinals games, but also help others while doing so. The program is an initiative where a fan wearing a Campbell jersey is randomly selected at every game and has the opportunity to win money for a charity of their choice. So far, Campbell and the CRC Foundation have given out more than $15,000 to 12 non-profit organizations.

Campbell has also partnered with United Way and the NFL as the Cardinals spokesperson to promote reading and the importance of education. In addition to helping to recruit volunteer readers, tutors and mentors, Campbell has taken part in the United Way's Great Phoenix Literacy Fair the past two years.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell: ‘We Know How Important Each Game Is’

The Arizona Cardinals trailed the St. Louis Rams 14-10 through three quarters on Sunday, and then, well, then the fourth quarter happened.

Arizona outscored St. Louis 21-0 in the final quarter to win 31-14 and improve to 8-1. It was just the second time all season that the Cardinals won by more than 10 points. Average margin of victory entering Sunday? 8.1 points.

What makes this team so good when it matters most?

“We’re confident,” Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We know that the game is won or lost in the fourth quarter. Everything that happens before then, you just got to put yourself in position to have a chance to win the game. We always perform well in the fourth quarter. We take pride in performing well in the fourth quarter.”

The Cardinals certainly did that on Sunday, as backup quarterback Drew Stanton threw a go-ahead, 48-yard touchdown pass to John Brown midway through the quarter to give Arizona a 17-14 lead. The Cardinals added two defensive touchdowns – a 30-yard pick-six by Patrick Peterson and a 14-yard fumble return by Antonio Cromartie – to ice the game.

The Cardinals are 15-3 in their last 18 games dating back to last season, with the only losses coming to Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver – two of which were on the road. When exactly did this fourth-quarter dominance come about?

“It was right around halfway through last year,” Campbell said. “Once we bought into our coaches’ game plan and what they were trying to do with us, I think we started playing so much better. Last year, missing the playoffs, I think, really is the reason we’re playing great now. We know how important each game is. Every game is so critical to making the playoffs this year. We’ve played every game like it was a championship game.”

Given Carson Palmer’s knee injury, it’s a good thing they have. Palmer exited the game Sunday with a non-contact knee injury, which was later diagnosed as a torn ACL. He will miss the rest of the season.

“It was shocking,” Campbell said. “You’re scared for him, hoping it wasn’t too serious. But then you find the news out (Monday) that it is very serious. That’s a tough blow. Carson’s our leader. He’s the guy that we bought into. But in football, stuff like this happens. As sad as it is, you kind of got to move forward. We have a guy in Drew Stanton we’re very confident in. We know that he can get the job done. We’ll make sure as a defense we’ll try to get short fields for him and let him go to work.”

Stanton, 30, is 46-of-93 (49.5 percent) for 614 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in four games this season. The Cardinals have a two-game lead over Seattle (6-3) and a thee-game lead over San Francisco (5-4) in the NFC West, meaning they’re still the favorites to win the division.

Whether Stanton can actually lead the Cardinals to the Super Bowl remains to be seen, but having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs would certainly help. The Super Bowl, by the way, is in Glendale this season.

And if you think the Cardinals haven’t been talking about that, you had better think again.

“Yeah, we’ve been discussing it all year,” Campbell said. “That was our motivation, our goal. This whole year we’ve been discussing (it and) just making sure we do whatever’s required now to set us up to reach our goal and play in the Super Bowl. (Playing it in our home stadium would make) it that much more special.”

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell Will Be X-Factor For Cardinals In Week 10

Sitting atop the standings with the best record in the NFL, the 7-1 Arizona Cardinals will welcome the 3-5 St. Louis Rams to University of Phoenix Stadium for an NFC West showdown on Sunday. This may seem like a mismatch on paper, but the Rams will provide a larger hurdle than the Cardinals expect. If Calais Campbell and the Cardinals cannot improve their pass rush, the Rams could turn Glendale into Upset City.

The Rams’ success largely lies in the hands of quarterback Austin Davis, and he does well when he gets adequate protection from his offensive line. In their three wins this season, Davis has been sacked only three times while being brought down a whopping 20 times in their losses. This is great news for the Rams heading into this divisional matchup as the Cardinals have only mustered eight sacks on the year.

It’s understood that Arizona owns one of the most deadly secondaries in the NFL, leading the league with 12 interceptions on the season. However, that star-studded secondary can only take them so far when the quarterback is consistently dropping back with ample time to find a receiver. I don’t care who you are, it’s impossible to cover an NFL wide receiver forever.

After accumulating nine sacks in 2013, Campbell has only recorded one of the Cardinals’ defensive line’s three sacks this season. Generally, a secondary as strong as Arizona’s allows the front seven to be more aggressive in blitzing because they can cover receivers for extended periods of time, but this is somehow not the case for the Cardinals.

The defensive front needs to step up in a big way if the Cardinals want to turn this game into the laugher their fans will be looking for. After missing Weeks 6 and 7 due to injury, Campbell is slowly returning to full health and needs to start creating opportunities in the pass rush. Whether it’s getting to the quarterback himself or forcing double teams to create openings for other rushers, Campbell needs to make an impact in this game.

The Rams have proven to be a team that gains confidence as they are able to hang around late in games, and an effective pass rush can ruin St. Louis’ poise early.

If the Cardinals want to be considered Super Bowl contenders, it is paramount that they find ways to get to the quarterback. As they face playoff-caliber quarterbacks, their secondary will be picked apart if their defensive line can’t cause pressure. In Week 10, all eyes will be on the team holding the best record in football, and a quality performance from Campbell will be key in avoiding a massive letdown.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell hopes Super payback is in the cards

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It never hurts to have some potential postseason karma in your back pocket in the NFL, and Calais Campbell is well aware there’s only one way he and Julius Thomas -- the Denver tight end who illegally chop blocked him, injuring his right knee and costing him two-plus games -- can meet again this season.  

That would be in Super Bowl 49, and this time, unlike in Week 5, the Broncos would be coming to the Cardinals’ house, University of Phoenix Stadium, where Arizona has started 4-0 this season, going 10-2 there since the start of 2013. Payback can be, well, you know. Even if revenge isn’t your driving motivation. 

“I really hope that I do get to see him again this year,’’ said Campbell on Monday, smiling broadly at the thought of a Super Bowl Sunday matchup of Denver and Arizona, the NFL’s last two remaining one-loss teams. “My mind wonders what that would be like, but that’s what keeps you motivated, the dream, the vision of where you want to go.  

“We’ve got a lot left to do to get there, and it’s so hard. But I think if we can make it to that game, and play the Super Bowl in our stadium, we’d have a huge homefield advantage. It’s just the luck of the draw and I know the other team would probably be a little bit disappointed and upset about it, but what can you do?  Everybody knew the game was going to be played here before the season started, and if we happen to get there, it just makes it a wonderful story.’’   

That story, of course, would have far more heft to it than a rematch between Campbell and Thomas, but for the Cardinals’ star defensive end and team captain, losing that game at Denver earlier this month still stings. And not just because the Broncos are still the only team to beat Arizona this season. Denver won 41-20 that day, but it was only up 24-20 entering the fourth quarter, and Campbell was having his best game of the season, with an interception of Peyton Manning, when he suffered a sprained MCL in the third quarter. On the play, Thomas dove at Campbell’s knee, hitting him low while Campbell was preparing for tackle Ryan Clady to engage him high in pass blocking. 

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians seethed after the game, calling it the “dirtiest play’’ he had seen in his 37 years of coaching, and suggested Thomas be suspended for however long Campbell was out of the Arizona lineup. The Broncos were penalized for a chop block on the play, but the NFL wound up slapping Thomas with the minimum $8,268 fine, and moving on. Eventually Campbell and Arians did the same, but only after Campbell returned to the lineup last Sunday in the Cardinals’ dramatic 24-20 victory over visiting Philadelphia, the game that eventually made Arizona the last 6-1 NFC team standing.   

“Now that he’s back, yeah, I’ve let it go,’’ Arians told me Monday afternoon at the Cardinals’ team complex. “But guys get fined twice as much in this league for wearing Beats headphones as [Thomas] did for that block. That part of it I don’t let go of. Calais is one of the top five ends in the league, and that’s why it hurt so much to lose him. The fact we had three team captains [Campbell, quarterback Carson Palmer and punter Dave Zastudil] in street clothes here for about three weeks was disheartening.’’  

That the block cost Campbell just two-plus games helped in the process of putting it behind him, he said. An apologetic Thomas later reached out to Campbell via text, and the two exchanged their views of the play. That page turned, it was then time to get back to the work of rehabbing and what might be a very special season unfolding in the desert.   

“It’s something that can’t benefit me going forward, so I’m going to let it go,’’ Campbell said. “No matter what I think about the block, or don’t think about it, it ain’t going to change. It’s over and done with. It definitely wasn’t easy to get over, it took me a little while. Because it sucked being off the field. Who knows how the Denver game would have been if I’d played the whole game? Not to say I’m the reason we’re winning games, but I think in that game I was just getting into the zone when I got hurt.’’   

Campbell said he got to speak his piece to Thomas, letting him know that he saw the block as needlessly dangerous and in violation of the unspoken personal code NFL players should live by, even as opponents.

“He texted me and said what he had to say, and I told him what I needed to tell him,’’ Campbell said. “I gave him my little spiel and how he could become a better player and that was it. Because the NFL’s a fraternity, and we all understand how hard we work to play this game, and get better at our craft. I was polite about it, but that’s who I am. It was cool, but I think people will definitely think twice before doing the chop block now.’’ 

Though painful, Campbell’s two-game absence was just another brick in the wall in Arizona this season, where the well-chronicled wave of defensive injuries and defections has been almost ceaseless. It started with this spring’s loss of linebackers Karlos Dansby in free agency and Daryl Washington via a year-long NFL suspension, and continued when valuable defensive end Darnell Dockett was lost for the year with a late-preseason ACL tear, and outside linebacker and 2013 team sack leader John Abraham (11.5) was placed on injured reserve after Week 1 with concussion issues.   

All those subtractions left Campbell, a seventh-year veteran drafted in 2008’s second round out of the University of Miami, as the senior-most member of the team’s defensive roster, at least with Dockett lost for the season. At 28, it was finally Campbell’s turn to become the face of Arizona’s defense, and his team leadership has never meant more to what Arians and Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles are constructing in Phoenix.    

“I’ve always been a leader on every team I’ve played on, from little league football until now, but I think I’ve been waiting for my moment here, and I feel like now is the time,’’ said Campbell, who recorded nine sacks last season and has one sack and one interception in four-plus games this year. “Who I am as a person is beneficial for the team and what it needs at this point. I’m not trying to do anything more than what I am, just being me. I’ve always spoken my mind, always encouraged my teammates, and always played as hard as I could so I could lead by example. But I think now just more people are listening to me.’’ 

It is remarkable what Arians and his NFC-best 6-1 Cardinals have accomplished in the face of this season’s talent drain, but Campbell might be the one player the blunt-talking, Kangol-wearing coach considers close to indispensable.  

“He’s one of the best and he can play any defense,’’ Arians said. “He can play 4-3 end or tackle, he can play 3-4, he can rush the passer, and he’s a disruptive guy. I think he’s gotten a little overlooked partly because of his personality; he’s not about himself. Not that Darnell [Dockett] is, but Darnell’s brash and he talks and he’s always had that rep. So Calais was just always behind Dock in that sense.’’   

The irony is, while Campbell’s contributions can’t be duplicated, this resilient and resourceful Cardinals team is in no way built around the talents of any one special player, the way Arizona clearly was in its Kurt Warner glory days of 2008-09, when coach Ken Whisenhunt’s club went to the playoffs two years in a row and came agonizingly close to this long-tortured franchise’s first Super Bowl title. That club’s window was open as long as Warner remained, and when he retired after that 2009 season, there went the Cardinals’ playoff chances -- at least until Arians arrived in 2013 and put a stunning 10-6 record on the board, just missing the playoffs in his debut season in the desert.  

What Arians and second-year Cardinals general manager Steve Keim have quickly built in their first season and a half together feels solid. It feels like a winning program, not just a good one- or two-year run and done. And Campbell, who played on Arizona’s Super Bowl team of 2008 as a rookie, can tell the drastic difference. When Palmer’s injured throwing shoulder kept him out for three games from Weeks 2-4, the Cardinals started the little-used Drew Stanton and went 2-1 with him under center, losing only at Denver.    

“I don’t think in 2008 if our quarterback got hurt for three games we’re still winning without him,’’ Campbell said. “This year, to see Carson go down and see Drew step up and us continue to play the same way, I think that’s really a testament to our team. It’s really built well, and we have every single piece of the puzzle to be successful.’’ 

Or as Arians put it: “When Drew got his opportunity and showed what he could do, winning those two games, it showed us what we have here. It’s a football team. We’re going to always have a defense first and foremost, and we’re going to play good special teams, and then on offense we’ll scratch out points.’’   

The Cardinals have scratched out enough of them that, spanning the past two regular seasons, they are 13-3 over the course of their past 16 games, tied with Denver for the best record in the league. Arizona is off to the franchise’s best start in 40 years, since the 1974 St. Louis Cardinals opened 7-0, and as midseason approaches, these Cardinals own a two-game lead (the league’s largest) over both Seattle and San Francisco (4-3) in the NFC West, considered the NFL’s toughest division. Arians’ team beat one of the NFC’s best last week with the win at home against Philadelphia (5-2), and now hits the road for Dallas (6-2) this week to take on another contender for the NFC No. 1 seed the Cardinals currently control.   

“I’ll tell you, this is definitely the best team I’ve been on, my whole life,’’ Campbell said. “I’ve never been on a team that’s won 13 out of 16 games. I could get used to that. Even being here my first couple years, we were up and down all the time. We got blown out in so many games, and then came back and went to the Super Bowl.   

“But this is the first time I’ve been on a team where it’s a complete team. And we still haven’t played our best football yet either. We can’t go crowning ourselves Super Bowl champions because we haven’t done enough yet, but we know the potential for that can be there as long as we keep putting the work in each day. This team, we know we can be good for a long time to come.’’   

Another three months or so would suffice for now. Super Bowl Sunday in Arizona -- no matter who the opponent may be -- is just 94 days away. If it’s Campbell and the Cardinals with their shot at payback against Denver and Thomas, all the better. Campbell has this much right: The rematch would make for a story to remember.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbel limited in practice Thursday

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell practiced in a limited capac ity Thursday, according to the team's official website. He has missed the last two games after suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain against Denver in Week 5. Campbell, who practiced for the first time since the injury, told reporters earlier in the week that he's hopeful of playing Week 8 against Philadelphia.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell Not Practicing

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell may still return to the field sometime later this week, but he spent Wednesday sidelined for another practice.

That puts a larger emphasis on Thursday’s and Friday’s sessions should should his strained right MCL feel well enough for Campbell to engage in a full practice.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said about Campbell practicing later this week. “But he’s making good progress.

“There’s a big difference between jogging and running around a hoop, and taking on guys 300 pounds and pushing on him.”

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell could practice later in the week

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he is hoping defensive end Calais Campbell, who has missed the last two games due to a knee injury, will return to practice later in the week.

Campbell has totaled 16 tackles, one sack and one interception in four games. The Cardinals play the Eagles in Week 8.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell jogging, could return Week 8

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday that defensive lineman Calais Campbell (knee) is jogging, reports.

Campbell likely won't be able to play this week, but it appears he could return in Week 8 against the Eagles. He was injured by an ugly cut block in Week 5.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell 'hopeful' to return this week, play at Oakland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Despite Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians saying a return by Calais Campbell this weekend against Oakland is "very slim," the star defensive end is holding out hope.

His goal is to practice by the end of week, which, in his eyes, would mean he could play Sunday.

"I understand that it's a process and all depends on how my body feels," Campbell told ESPN on Monday night at his annual CRC Foundation fundraiser dinner in Scottsdale. "The process right now is just listening to my body and just to see how it progresses over the next few days."

Campbell's initial prognosis was one-to-three weeks. Sunday marked a week since Denver's Julius Thomas injured Campbell with an illegal chop block. The end of the second week would be in Oakland and the third would conclude at home against Philadelphia on Oct. 26.

The process of returning from a strained MCL in a week is different for Campbell than that of a player less agile on the field, such as an offensive lineman, he said. His knee is feeling "way better," but he feels the injury is going to linger.

"I guess the biggest thing is making sure the muscle or ligament reattaches and gets strong enough where it won't re-injure itself," Campbell said. "That's the hardest part, so I won't re-injure myself. Once I get through that point, it's just tolerating pain and being able to play."

On Monday, Arians was asked whether he expects Campbell against the Raiders.

"There's a chance," Arians said. "But it's a very slim one, I think."

Watching Sunday's win from the sideline was tough for Campbell, who only missed four games in his first six seasons. It was harder, he said, knowing he was just starting to find a rhythm that could've taken him straight to the Pro Bowl.

He had 16 tackles, a sack and an interception, in the first four games this season, in which Arizona went 3-1.

"It's frustrating because I felt like I was just getting into the groove," Campbell said. "I felt explosive. I felt like I was getting to that mentality where I could dominate. Really felt in Denver, that second half I was going to dominate.

"Things happen and the beauty of it is whenever I do get back, it's still a lot of football left to be played. I can still do what I want to do and help the team win games."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell: Julius Thomas sent text message apologizing for chop block

In front of the media, Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has yet to seem remorseful for executing a controversial chop block on the Arizona Cardinals' Calais Campbell last Sunday -- a hit that took the defensive end out of the game.

However, Campbell said Thursday on the Big Red Rage on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that Thomas sent him a text message apologizing for the incident.

"He sent me a text (Wednesday) and told me that he didn't mean to do it and he was sorry and (said) good luck in getting healthy," the defensive lineman said. "So that was good. I was happy to hear from him. It made me feel a little bit better about it, but the situation hasn't changed; I'm still going to miss these next few games."

Campbell said Thomas didn't give an explanation for the rough block, but the Cardinals star said he understands how the best players on opposing teams sometimes get targeted.

The seven-year veteran wouldn't comment directly on his feelings about Thomas, but he did say what missing time due to an injury means to him.

"The thing about it is I want to be on the field playing games, and when stuff like that happens and I can't play the game I love, it really hurts inside," he said. "But the beauty of it is it wasn't as bad as it could've been. And (I'll) be back in a week or two, maybe three. And I think this team we have is very special. We're going to do some damage this year, so I'm excited to go back and team up with my guys and go win some games."

After the loss to Denver, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians called the chop block "the dirtiest play I've seen in 37 years of football."

And on Wednesday, the NFL reportedly fined Thomas $8,268 for the illegal hit.

Arians wouldn't comment on the penalty Wednesday, but Campbell did, handling it with class.

"It was a max fine for an illegal block for a first time offender. It makes sense," he said. "I'm glad the NFL did something, and hopefully he won't do it no more."

In four games this season, the defensive end has rang up 16 tackles, one sack, one pass defensed and he recorded his first interception of the season (which he returned 23 yards) in Sunday's loss. Campbell is coming off perhaps his best year as a pro, when he posted 58 tackles, nine sacks, six passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble during the Cardinals' 10-6 campaign.

Bookmark and Share

Bruce Arians calls hit on Calais Campbell ‘the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen’

Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians was livid over a chop block that will sideline defensive end Calais Campbell for about a month, calling it the “dirtiest play I’ve ever seen in the National Football League.”

Campbell hurt his medial collateral ligament when tight end Julius Thomas went low in the third quarter of the Cardinals’ 41-20 loss to the Broncos in Denver. Campbell may have partially torn the ligament, Arians said (via USA Today).

“I’ve been coaching for 37 years and it’s the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen in the National Football League,” Arians said. “It was a flat chop block that put him out of the game. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Ryan Clady was flagged on the play, which erased a 77-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas. After the game, Thomas sought out one of the Cardinals players to send an apology to Campbell and told reporters the play was the result of miscommunication with Clady on who was responsible for blocking Campbell. “I guarantee that being dirty is not a part of my game,” Thomas said, “and to intentionally hurt somebody is not something I would ever do.”

Mike Pereira, the Fox Sports commentator who formerly headed up officiating for the NFL, said it was illegal and explained further to’s Peter King.
“It’s called a ‘lure block,’ ” Pereira said. “Chop blocks are usually the high-low combination blocks, except for this one exception. If an offensive player assumes a pass-blocking posture across from a defensive player, the defensive player is going to assume he’s pass-blocking him. Then it’s illegal for another blocker to hit him low. It’s illegal, and probably will result in a big fine, I would think.”

Pereira refers to Rule 12, Section 2, Article 3 in the NFL’s Digest of Rules. The rule that applies here says: “… Chop Blocks are illegal, including in the following situations: A1 [offensive player one] chops a defensive player while A2 [offensive player two] confronts the defensive player in a pass-blocking posture but is not physically engaged with the defensive player (a lure).’’

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell to miss 3-4 weeks

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, according to FoxSports 910AM.

Campbell was injured on a cut block by Julius Thomas. The play was penalized, and negated a 77 yard touchdown pass. Head coach Bruce Arians was not happy post-game, saying the play was one of the dirtiest he had ever seen. Campbell recorded two tackles before leaving the contest.

Bookmark and Share

Homecoming For Calais Campbell

When Calais Campbell was 6 years old, he wanted to play tight end, because that was the position of his hero – Denver Broncos future Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.

“We’d be trying to flex and stuff, trying to be all swol like Shannon Sharpe,” Campbell remembered.

This weekend’s trip to Denver is important for the Cardinals, but it carries added significance for the defensive end. He is from the Denver area and has been waiting a long time to play an NFL game in his hometown.

He didn’t play there in college (he had a sack for the University of Miami against Colorado in 2005, but the game was in Miami) and the only time the Cardinals have played the Broncos since Campbell turned pro was in 2010 at University of Phoenix Stadium (the Cards won, 43-13).

“I love the game and am very passionate about it,” Campbell said. “I had a lot of dreams of playing in that stadium since I was 6 years old. It’ll be sweet. I am looking forward to it, but I have to play every game the same.”

Campbell’s other hero growing up was running back Terrell Davis, whom he met when he was “about 8,” and even today Campbell raves about what a role model Davis was to him.

Campbell’s life growing up wasn’t easy. His family is tight-knit, but at one point when Campbell was a burgeoning football star in the seventh grade, both his parents lost their jobs and the family had to stay in a homeless shelter for about eight months.  

The veteran just sees that time as part of what made him today, just like those days rooting for the Broncos.

“I have a lot of good memories growing up a Broncos fan but now we’re playing against them,” Campbell said. “No more friends, all business. We’re trying to win a game.”

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell Seeks Dominance

Calais Campbell sat at his locker, dripping sweat. It was Tuesday – the players’ official off day, if they want it – and many veterans take the opportunity for rest.

The veteran defensive end had made it a point to “evolve” his game this season, however, and that meant extra work on the off day. That plan was already in the works before training camp, a natural progression, as Campbell saw it. Then fellow defensive end Darnell Dockett went down with a season-ending knee injury, leaving the defense with a void which had already peeked out after the Daryl Washington suspension.

The Cardinals needed extra from their new defensive captain.

He’s heard such things before. Coaches have told Campbell he needs to dominate more often. So too have front-office execs. In a year when Campbell may be more crucial than ever before, the requests have hit home.

“I think in my career I’ve been satisfied before sometimes,” Campbell said. “That’s hard for a man to admit.”

This isn’t about statistics, although Campbell had a bunch of them last week against the Giants: 10 tackles, three for loss, a sack and general mayhem in the middle of the line. Campbell said he didn’t feel like he had a much different game in New York than he did in the opener against San Diego, when he was credited with a couple of quarterback pressures but only one tackle.  

With Dockett out – and now the team’s best pass rusher, John Abraham, who is now done too after being placed on injured reserve Friday with concussion issues – Campbell will continue to draw a lot of attention from opposing offensive lines. But defensive line coach Brentson Buckner said one of the talents of defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is his ability to free up Campbell sometimes to cause havoc.

When that happens, Buckner said, Campbell must be ready.

"Someone blessed with as much talent as he has, it’s not good to be good some of the time. He needs to be great all of the time,” Buckner said. “I tell him all the time, ‘You can like what you do, you can admire it, but you can never be satisfied.’ If you get four sacks in a game, you should find a way to get six. As well as he played this past Sunday that can be a regular day for him.

“He’ll get his chance to make his plays and be dominant. That’s why we stress there are no plays off. You’re doubled, doubled, doubled, boom, we switch, that light has to already be on.”

Campbell was ready against the Giants. He even lost a sack and forced fumble – the Cardinals recovered – on one of the many illegal contact flags thrown in the game. (“That’s a terrible feeling,” Campbell lamented.) He’ll play a huge role Sunday against San Francisco, which has always liked to set the tone with a power running game. Campbell said the Giants ran at him more than most teams, which helped his tackle numbers.

Off the field, wearing the ‘C’ has not changed him. He still makes an effort to mentor young players – Kareem Martin, a player from the Campbell mold, in particular – as he has in recent years as he has turned into one of the older players in the room.

That notion makes Campbell smile. It was just yesterday when he was coming into the league, a rookie on a Super Bowl team. Expectations were few in those days. Now, the Cardinals need him to be a star on the field and off, need him to take such steps like extra workouts on a Tuesday.

They need him to be dominant, which is good, because Campbell wants that too.

“If I get three or four sacks all season I’ll be perfectly happy as long as we went to the playoffs and play for a Super Bowl,” Campbell said. “I know in the grand scheme of things, if I get 15 sacks, I’ll give my team a better chance to make it to the playoffs so my goal is to pressure the quarterback and the rest will come.
“The satisfaction now is about the wins and losses. I am very satisfied with wins. I am not satisfied with losses.”

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell hosts CRC Foundation fundraiser

SCOTTSDALE -- Calais Campbell, defensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals, will host his fourth annual CRC Foundation fundraiser dinner at Eddie V’s in Scottsdale on Monday, Oct. 13.

Calais will be joined by his Cardinals teammates and other celebrities including Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Dan Williams, Sam Acho, Larry Foote, and Matt Shaughnessy.

A limited number of dinner tickets and sponsorships are available online at or

All proceeds will benefit Calais’ CRC Foundation.

“Every year I look forward to this evening as a chance connect with supporters to recognize and celebrate the good work the CRC Foundation is doing in our community,” said Campbell.

“I invite Cardinals fans to join me for a night of great food in an amazing atmosphere with our new host, Eddie V’s.”

The CRC Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 2010 to teach skills that are not typically learned in a traditional classroom setting that are necessary for real life, such as accounting, budgeting, drug and alcohol awareness, cooking, diversity awareness, and writing.

On Sept. 9 the CRC Foundation launched Right Track, an after-school program at the Black Family and Child Services center to providing daily tutoring to 60 students. The CRC Foundation also provides college scholarships for students from families with five or more children.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell among Cards' captains

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have named their captains for this season, head coach Bruce Arians said, and two are first-time honorees.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was voted the offensive captain, defensive end Calais Campbell on defense, and punter Dave Zastudil and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander on special teams.

“Over 20 guys got votes,” Arians said.

Palmer and Campbell won in a landslide, Arians added. After five straight years as a captain, Larry Fitzgerald will not wear the ‘C’ patch in 2014.

This was the first time since college that Zastudil was named a captain and it’s also the first time for Campbell. Palmer and Alexander were both repeat honorees, earning the patch in both of their seasons with the Cardinals. Alexander was named a captain for the fifth straight year, dating back to his last three seasons with Washington.

This was Palmer’s third captainship of his career.

“It’s a tremendous honor, as good of an honor as you can get in this game, being elected by your teammates and your peers,” Palmer said. “I don’t take it lightly. I am honored. I understand what it entails. I understand what it takes on the field, off the field, around the community, around the locker room.

“I’m just tremendously honored.”

Bookmark and Share

'Underrated' Calais Campbell would love more recognition

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians calls Calais Campbell one of the most underrated players in the NFL.

It's a description the big defensive end doesn't really like.

"To me it's a term that you don't want because you'd rather be viewed as one of the best in the game," he said, "but it's nice that if you're not getting the top accolades, at least people know that you're working hard and they recognize you a little bit. So it's better than nothing."

An imposing 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, Campbell is widely lauded for his talents by coaches and players around the league.

Yet he has never made it to the Pro Bowl, something that Arians says "baffles" him.

One reason is the 3-4 defensive scheme the Cardinals use. That leaves Campbell inside to fight off double teams while others make the play. In the 4-3 system, defensive ends rush the passer and accumulate the kind of sack totals that result in a Pro Bowl invitation.

"When you start getting guys with all the sacks and stuff as rush ends in a 4-3, they're going to get the hype to go to the Pro Bowl," Arians said.
Last year, at least, he was a Pro Bowl alternate.

Campbell toils in the trenches and, as far as responsibilities go, his duties often are nearly the same as a defensive tackle.

"Me and (Darnell) Dockett pretty much do the exact same thing but he is considered a D-tackle and me a D-end," Campbell said, "but that's a good thing because when I got the franchise tag I got the defensive end money."

Campbell spent a mere two months as a franchise player in early 2012 before signing a five-year, $51 million contract, with $31 million guaranteed.
The defensive tackle-defensive end confusion even spread to quarterback Carson Palmer, who called Campbell "probably one of the more underrated D-tackles in the league."

In reality, Campbell plays all along the defensive line, depending on what set is employed by defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
"I move around a lot," he said. "I play nose tackle sometimes ... and even outside on the tight end sometimes."

That versatility is a tribute to Campbell's athleticism, Arians said.

"He's got great extension and length. Also he bats a lot of balls down," the coach said. "It (his height) is an advantage as long as he can bend. Some tall guys can't bend, they have to stay out on the edge. He can bend so he can play all four positions across the front. His athletic ability allows him to do that."

Campbell was an integral part of a defense that ranked sixth overall and first against the run last season.

"It's a team effort," Campbell said. "It comes down to playing well with your team and motivating the guys around you. The good players make the ones around them better. Those are the guys who really are the top of the game, the ones that go out there and command double teams and don't get any stats but make the team around them better. The linebackers and other linemen are able to make big-time plays."

Two and a half weeks shy of his 28th birthday, he is in the prime of his career.

Despite the persistent double-teams, Campbell had a career-high nine sacks last season and 72 tackles. His 12 tackles for loss tied for most on the team. Campbell also forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles and had 27 quarterback pressures. It was the fifth straight season he had at least 50 tackles and six sacks.

And, no matter what anyone says, Campbell is a defensive end.

"I've always been a D-end growing up and I feel like a D-end," he said. "I want to compete against the best and I want to be considered the best just from hard work and dedication. Right now there's a lot of good players in this league. It feels good to be amongst them, but when it's all said and done I want to be the best in the game. That's always been the motivation."

Bookmark and Share

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell still has youth on his side

If it seems a little strange to see the words "seven-year pro" and the name "Calais Campbell" in the same sentence, relax. You're not the only one.
Campbell almost can't believe it, either.

"Yeah, it seems like I turned into a vet overnight or something," the 6-foot-8 defensive end said Monday as the Cardinals returned to practice for their third week of training camp.

Maybe it's the baby face and that boyish smile. Maybe it's because he's still only 27. Or maybe it's because he still hasn't been voted into his first Pro Bowl. He was named as a Pro Bowl alternate for the first time in 2013.

But it's true: Campbell is entering his seventh NFL season and even though he has accomplished a lot, he still doesn't feel as if he's scratched the surface.
He's had five straight seasons with at least 50 tackles and six sacks — the only Cardinals player to accomplish it on five occasions. But to Campbell, that's not good enough.

He had a career-high nine sacks a year ago, moving him into 10th place on the franchise's all-time list with 36½. With 10 more this year, he'll be sitting in fifth place. But that won't be good enough, either.

He's been to the Super Bowl, but he's also played on two teams that finished 5-11.

"I want to be the best," he said.

Campbell has had a chip on his shoulder since the day he got drafted out of Miami in 2008. He expected to be a first-round pick. Instead, he went to the Cardinals in the second round with the 50th overall selection.

"I didn't get drafted as high as I want to and part of that was my fault for not working as hard as I could leading up to the (scouting) combine," he said. "Going in the second round was motivation for me. I knew I could be a good player in this league.

"But I wanted to be one of the best in the game. I had high expectations for myself."

In his opinion, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Campbell has met all the expectations. It's just a shame, he added, that Campbell doesn't receive the type of notoriety as a rush end in a 3-4 defense as he would in a 4-3 scheme.

"When you start getting guys with all the sacks as rush ends in a 4-3, they're the one who are going to get the hype and go to the Pro Bowl," Arians said.

"I think (Campbell) is probably one of the most underrated guys in the league. It baffles me how he doesn't go to the Pro Bowl. With his size and length and the rush he gets — he commands double teams — to me, he's one of the premier 3-4 defensive ends in the league."

Campbell admits that getting overlooked for the Pro Bowl has been humbling. But not getting there, he said, continues to make him hungry to make it.

"It's something I know will come eventually," he says. "I just have to keep working hard and eventually I'm sure it will come if I do everything the right way. It has to."

If it's ever going to happen, this figures to be the season. Campbell insists he is a better player now than he was last season, that he's honed his pass-rushing technique and learned a few new tricks on how to get the jump on opposing tackles and tight ends.

"I'm not going to miss as many tackles," he promised. "I'm stronger. I've got more power. I know how to use my hands better now. … Now that I'm getting a little older and wiser, I'm trying to add more moves to my arsenal."

It also helps that he's leading the charge up front in what many NFL observers are projecting to be one of the more dominating defenses in the league. If the Cardinals make some noise again in 2014, it will be impossible not to notice Campbell.

"I want to win Super Bowls and be the best defense year in and year out and always be playing at the highest level," he said. "That's the ultimate goal and this year is the most critical because our expectations are high. We're a talented team and we're in an interesting situation right now."

So is Campbell. He's entering his seventh NFL season and it seems like he's still one of the younger players on the team.

"I'm definitely young at heart," he said, laughing. "But man, when you look around and start seeing a lot of guys that are younger than you, you really do start feeling like a vet, officially. For me, I still feel like I've got a lot of good years and good football left. I'm still young."

Bookmark and Share

The Value Of Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell is so good that some of guard Jonathan Cooper’s problems in training camp have been directly attributed to having to face one of the best defensive ends in the NFL on a daily basis.

Yet Campbell not only has never made a Pro Bowl, he’s only been an alternate once.

Campbell is good enough that the “Madden” video game franchise gave him a 96 overall rating in their new version, trailing only elite ends J.J. Watt, Robert Quinn and tying him with Cameron Wake – all of whom were Pro Bowlers last season. He’s good enough that the Cardinals gave him a giant contract extension back in 2012.

Yet Campbell has never been included in the NFL Network’s Top 100 players list.

Campbell isn’t the sort to step up on a soap box to complain. He’d admittedly finds it awkward when asked to talk about his place in the game. But he’s noticed what is said and not said about him.

“The term underrated, it’s a term you don’t want,” Campbell said. “You’d rather be viewed as one of the best in the game. But if you’re not getting the top accolades at least people know you are working hard and they recognize you a little bit. It’s better than nothing.”

The Cardinals know what they’ve got. It’s why they signed him long-term and why, when the team drafted Kareem Martin in the third round in May, they were thrilled to discuss him as a Campbell clone. Given that he is a 3-4 end, Campbell’s tackle numbers are usually higher than expected. He had a career-high nine sacks a year ago and a team high 12 tackles for loss.

Darnell Dockett still gets the spotlight along the defensive line, but it is Campbell who anchors the crew.

“When Calais came out, he was 274 pounds and the questions were, 'Is he a 3-4 end, is he a 4-3 end, is he an under tackle, is he a linebacker?' ” General Manager Steve Keim said. "Our projection the whole time was when he hits puberty, he's going to be a 300-plus pound man with long arms and tremendous leverage. He's 308 pounds now, and still scratching the surface. It is scary how the guy just continues to get better.

"When you look at the national scene and J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh and the elite defensive linemen, I am obviously biased, but in my mind there is no reason why Calais Campbell wouldn't be considered among the top five defensive linemen in the NFL."

The defensive ends with the flashy sack numbers are the ones who earn Pro Bowl trips. Campbell’s rise to complete player also came after the Cardinals’ division title run, so his play has been undervalued.

What Campbell might value himself, however, won’t help in getting him on any top 100 list. He’s a believer in the best players making those around him better. In games, that might mean absorbing a double-team so a linebacker can go make a play.

Off the field, it might mean tips for Cooper or fellow guard Earl Watford, the men against whom he often battles in practice.

“He’s a really good player, he’s a unique talent, a good leader and he’s always looking to help guys, especially me,”

Watford said. “He helps with (my) weaknesses and stuff I can work on to put me in better positions against not just him but other players.

“You’re going to line up against good players every Sunday. You learn and get better from it, and limit the number of times he beats you. That’s how it works. It’s good to have players like Calais to go up against.”

Those are veteran moves for a guy who still has a hard time seeing himself as a veteran. As he goes into his seventh season, Campbell insists he can improve considerably.

If he were in a 4-3 defense, perhaps the numbers would be more flashy. As it is, Campbell moves around all along a defensive line – in both the 3-4 base and the four-man nickel line – and has even been used as nose tackle.

Dockett has had much better success making Pro Bowls, and to this Campbell shrugs. Dockett is listed as a defensive tackle and Campbell an end, even though “me and Dockett do pretty much the exact same thing.”

Then again, Campbell smiles when he notes that being called an end helped him tremendously on the financial end when he received the franchise tag with such a designation. He likes the challenge of playing end.

When the coaches and front office are in his ear saying he should be able to take over games, Campbell knows his talent is appreciated and needed. So maybe sometimes, he isn’t going to be on a “Sunday Night Football” promo, or be on the NFL Network Top 100 countdown.

“You can control what you can control,” Campbell said. “With that, all it can be is, ‘Wow, left off again?’ ”

Campbell smiled.

“Madden knows what they’re doing," he adds. "They’ve always given me good rating though. They know good football.” 

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell lands on 'defensive matchup nightmares' list

Even in a league populated by physical freaks, Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell is an anomaly.

With his combination of height, muscle and agility, Campbell is consistently a matchup concern for opposing offensive coordinators.

Now, he's landed on ESPN insider Field Yates' list of the the league's biggest defensive matchup nightmares. Campbell, who is entering his seventh season with the Cardinals, is seventh in Yates' pecking order.

Campbell's numbers are very good, but it's best to evaluate him by throwing out the stats. His combination of a thick build and length (he's 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds) allows him to play practically anywhere along the defensive line. Campbell can line up as an edge rusher; he can anchor the middle of the line; he can play in a 3-4 or a 4-3 -- no matter where he is, he's bound to generate pressure. His long arms allow Campbell to ward off double-teams at the point of attack and wield leverage against stockier offensive linemen. He has a Watt-like feel for when to get his hands up in the passing lane, too.

Campbell is the third defensive end on the list, behind only Houston's J.J. Watt (first overall) and St. Louis' Robert Quinn (second overall).

In 2013, the former Miami Hurricane registered 58 total tackles and a career-high nine sacks for a defense that took great strides under first-year coordinator Todd Bowles. Campbell also forced one fumble, recovered two others and knocked down six passes.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell: Cardinals still have a 'top defense'

The Arizona Cardinals boasted the NFL's most underrated defense last season, finishing first in run defense and sixth in total yards allowed.

After watching Todd Bowles' troops lose Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Washington on top of Karlos Dansby's exit and Tyrann Mathieu's uncertain status for the first month of the season, we have expressed doubt that the Cardinals' defense can repeat their 2013 success.

One of the biggest snubs from NFL Network's The Top 100 Players of 2014 remains unfazed about his team's prospects, however.

"We have Kevin Minter stepping up, who did great for us, but we're still talented all the way around," defensive end Calais Campbell told Trey Wingo of ESPN's NFL Live on Thursday. "The defensive line, DBs, keep the job easier. John Abraham, he had a good year last year. We'll still be a top defense. And offense got way better this year."

Campbell also touted coach Bruce Arians as a "genius" and proclaimed that the Cardinals could "really do some damage this year."

With Michael Floyd turning heads, Andre Ellington poised to "make the leap" and the offensive line overhauled, we fully expect Arians' offense to score more points in 2014.

Campbell's optimism notwithstanding, the flip side is that the defense is going to surrender more points.

Bookmark and Share

Cramping isn’t Calais Campbell’s style

When Miami Heat star LeBron James went down with a cramp in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the role of hydration in sports was thrust into the headlines.

Take a spin through the countless stories about James' cramps and it's clear that being hydrated doesn't always prevent cramps, and dehydration isn't always a reason for cramps.

Any athlete in Arizona knows this. They also know how important hydration is when temperatures straddle 100 degrees, as they did Wednesday when Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell spoke to a group of kids as part of Gatorade's "Beat the Heat" program.

Before Campbell stood in front of them and told his football story, the sweat began beading on his forehead and soaking through his grey T-shirt. Even out of his uniform, Campbell said he understands the need to stay hydrated.

That becomes even more important during the season or during organized team activities and minicamp, when Arizona is practicing outside as the temperatures reach 100 or higher like it did at times during the last month.

"Me personally, I sweat a lot," Campbell said. "I'm a big sweater. I have to hydrate two, three days before. I just kind of try to stay hydrated all the time. I'm always hydrated. I'm never dehydrated."

Campbell learned about hydration the hard way. He remembers cramping during his time with the Hurricanes to the point he couldn't move. Even his neck was cramping. That experience showed the boy from Colorado staying hydrated is important.

Growing up in the rocky mountains, consuming water or a sports beverage wasn't always a priority like it was for high school football players playing in warm-weather environments. When Campbell got to the University of Miami, he experienced how humidity could make him sweat -- profusely. And in Arizona, Campbell saw how excruciating extreme heat can be, especially on his body.

"In college, you learn that a lot," Campbell said. "I go out there coming from Colorado and didn't know any better. I'm like, 'OK, it's hot out there and I'm just going to keep drinking.' Drink a lot.

"Pulled muscles come from being dehydrated. And the one time I've ever really had a pulled muscle or got hurt was when I tore my calf. I missed a couple games because I was dehydrated. You can't be that way."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell spends Monday at White House

TEMPE, Ariz. -- While the rest of his teammates were learning what life would be like under first-year strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris as offseason workouts began, Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell spent Monday on the South Lawn of the White House.

He was one of a handful of NFL players who joined President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for the White House's Easter Egg Roll as part of the First Lady's Let's Move initiative. Washington's Robert Griffith III was also in attendance as was Indianapolis' Dwayne Allen, among other players.

Campbell's experience at the White House, which included a run-in with Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner, was captured via Twitter and Instagram.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell Named To All NFC West Team by ESPN

Arizona tied Seattle with four defenders on the 12-man team as all four defensive Pro Bowlers earned a nod. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was honored along with defensive end Calais Campbell, who were both Pro Bowl alternates. Linebacker John Abraham, who finished with 11.5 sacks and moved into the top 10 on the all-time sack list, was one outside linebacker and Patrick Peterson was named at cornerback, infiltrating an otherwise all-Seattle secondary. If Dansby had trouble making this squad, than Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington would've struggled cracking this rotation especially playing just 12 games because of a suspension.

Click here to see the rest of the players named.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell is still on the rise

Most defensive ends who were as productive as Calais Campbell in 2012 would reflect proudly upon the havoc they wrought.

Despite missing three gamesicon1 to injury, Campbell finished second on the Cardinals with 6 ½ sacks, knocked down seven passes, led the team with 14 quarterback hits and blocked the sixth field-goal attempt of his career.

But when Campbell looked back, all he could think of was the opportunities he missed. In his eyes, he should have finished with at least 10 sacks, and the seven pass deflections were four fewer than he had in 2011.

“Finishing,” Campbell said, when asked what he wanted to improve upon this season. “I told myself I want to be dominant. My goal is to affect every gameicon1, make a play that helps us win. So far, I’ve been doing a fairly good job of that.”

Campbell leads the team’s defensive linemen in tackles with 40, is tied for second on the team in sacks, has deflected two passes, forced a fumble and recovered two of them.

Campbell, in his sixth season, has never made a Pro Bowl, but those who closely follow the NFL have known for some time how good he is., which analyzes every play and player in the NFL, has graded Campbell as the fourth-best 3-4 defensive end this season.

The Texans’ J.J. Watt is regarded as the best. Here’s how the website evaluated Watt and Campbell in Sunday’s game between the Cardinals and Texans.

“Yesterday’s matchup between these two had the air of two of the game’s best going back and forth in a game of one-upmanship, one setting the target and the other going out here to match that impact.”

Campbell didn’t record a sack in the game, but he spent a considerable amount of time on the Texans’ side of the ball. He’s been doing that for several weeks now. In the past five games, Campbell has recorded 25 tackles, 3½ sacks, five tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble and 12 quarterback pressures.

“The NFL is about matchups,” said Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, whose team hosts the Cardinals on Sunday, “and he’s a guy who creates matchup issues. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s really active. He gets off the ball and he’s very disruptive.”

Campbell, 27, is just entering his prime. At 6 feet 8, 300 pounds, he’s playing with better leverage, staying low enough that offensive linemen can’t drive him.
This off-season, he concentrated on using his hands better, something coach Bruce Arians and defensive-line coaches Brentson Buckner and Tom Pratt have emphasized.

“He was on the ground a little bit too much for me,” Arians said of his evaluation of Campbell in previous seasons. “He is using his hands so much better and shedding blockers and keeping people off of him.”

Campbell has improved as a pass rusher, too. He’s strong enough to push guards back, and when he is stymied, he’s developed some countermoves. Against the Texans, he used a spin move to his advantage.

“He’s a guy who plays every play,” Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said, “works hard, chases the run down from behind. We have some work cut out for us.”

A second-round draft pick in 2008, Campbell developed quickly enough that the team could allow Antonio Smith to depart through free agency a year later.
Before last season, Campbell signed a five-year, $55 million contract, $31 million of which is guaranteed. For that money, the Cardinals are counting on Campbell to be among the better 3-4 defense ends.

So far, so good.

“I do want to be considered one of the best,” Campbell said. “Everybody wants to leave a legacy when they’re done playing, and what people think of you is a big part of your legacy. But, really, I feel like winning games is the Number 1 thing. My mind-set has always been: ‘How can I affect the game and make sure we win it?’ ”

Bookmark and Share

Team Calais fan giveaway support United Way

PHOENIX -- He’s known for crushing people on the football field but this morning Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell is showing off his softer side in an attempt to get volunteers.

Campbell announced a fan giveaway in conjunction with his involvement with United Way TEAM NFL. He is competing against other NFL players to see who can recruit the most volunteers to help mentor and tutor teenagers in an attempt to diminish the high school dropout rate.

"It's a competition and I don’t like losing at anything," said the gentle giant. His goal? 3,000 volunteers.

Campbell has already recruited 563 fans. He teamed up with the Arizona Cardinals to give fans who join TEAM CALAIS the opportunity to win a number of unique prizes.
• 1,000 volunteers -- autographed Calais Campbell jersey
• 1,500 volunteers -- lunch with Calais and a few of his teammates at the Arizona Cardinals facility
• 2,000 volunteers --  visit from Calais to your work or child's school from Calais
• 2,500 volunteers -- volunteer alongside Calais at a United Way event
• 3,000 volunteers -- a day with Calais at your home to put him to work, walking the dogs, watching your kids, manning the barbecue
• 4,000 volunteers -- a VIP experience at an Arizona Cardinals home game including tickets for four and a meet-and-greet with Calais following the game.

One lucky TEAM CALAIS volunteer will be chosen when each milestone is reached. Fans who join TEAM CALAIS have the chance to win more than once.
Take the pledge and enter to win at

Bookmark and Share

Cards hopeful on Calais Campbell

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians sounded optimistic that defensive end Calais Campbell, who is recovering from what the coach labeled a "bruised spine," will be able to play Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks.

"He looks like he is cleared to play," Arians said during his weekly segment on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday night. "He is fine. He bounced back into the team meeting room [Monday morning], and the guys all jumped up and were excited to see him."

Campbell was limited in Tuesday's walk-through but was working with the first-team defense during the open portion of practice.

Campbell went down with less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter Sunday in San Francisco after trying to strip a fumble from 49ers running back Frank Gore. Doctors and trainers attended to Campbell, bracing his head while emergency responders strapped the 6-foot-8 player to a stretcher and wheeled him to an ambulance. He was taken to Stanford Hospital, where he underwent tests including an MRI and a CT scan. Later Sunday, he flew back to Arizona on a plane provided by team president Michael Bidwill.

Campbell, who underwent more tests Monday afternoon, isn't concerned about returning to the field.

"I feel pretty good now. Football's my life, I love it. I'm definitely looking forward to strapping it up and playing again," Campbell said. "Football is a fun game. If you play it correctly, you can limit your injuries. I'm not really scared as long as I play the right way."

Arians talked about seeing Campbell strapped to the gurney after he went down.

"You never want to go out there as coach and watch the doctors put that collar on a guy's neck and put him on a stretcher," Arians said. "When I was out there, I felt more relieved that he had feeling in both arms and legs. It was more of a short-term stinger, body stinger."

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell back with team after scary

Calais Campbell, as usual, was all smiles.

There was no hint that the defensive end had been taken off the Candlestick Park turf on a stretcher late in Sunday’s game against the 49ers. Maybe that’s just because it was essentially precaution that led to the dramatic exit – Campbell actually wanted to get up and walk off under his own power only to have the medical staff insist he stay down and still until he could be tested.

But Monday, Campbell was back in the locker room, back in team meetings and talking about how he was hopeful to play Thursday night against Seattle.

“I feel pretty good now,” Campbell said. “Football is my life so I am looking forward to strapping up and playing again.

“Football is a fun game and if you play it correctly, you can limit your injuries. I’m not really scared as long as I play the right way.”

Campbell was not part of the Monday practice as he went to the hospital to try and get cleared to play again. He said he was “a little sore” but that he’s always sore on Mondays anyway.

Coach Bruce Arians said “I’ve got my fingers crossed” Campbell will be able to play.

“There have been a number of times I’ve been out there watching guys getting towed off on a stretcher and it’s never fun,” Arians said. “You just start praying and hoping everything is going to be alright, but he was coherent and talking and you could see the fingers and the feet start coming back pretty fast, so I was very optimistic.”

Campbell said he was trying to force a Frank Gore fumble when he put his head down on the tackle. He said the sensation was like a stinger, except the jolt went down to his feet. It started to go away before he even left the field, but he was still immobilized – at least until he put his finger up to signal to his family in attendance he was OK.

He said he didn’t even notice the crowd doing the “Wave” that caused so much furor at the time.

“When I got off the field I gave the thumbs-up and the crowd did a pretty good cheer so I felt pretty good about that,” Campbell said. “I felt a lot of love.”

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell leaves field via stretcher, can move extremities

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell was taken off the field on a stretcher after being injured in a collision in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game at San Francisco.

Campbell gave a thumb’s up as medical personnel prepared to take him off the field.

According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, Campbell is said to be able to move his extremities, though he has experienced some tingling and numbness, per an announcement made in the 49ers’ press box.

Campbell was credited with four combined tackles and a half-sack before leaving the game. He has notched 3.5 sacks on the season.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m. ET: Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Campbell can move his extremities, the club’s Twitter feed reported. He will be evaluated at a hospital.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell Jumps Toward Improvement

Calais Campbell doesn’t need an actual jump rope.

The idea of one works just fine.

His teammates laugh when they see his legs skipping to a beat only Campbell can hear, making sure his legs get off the ground faster and higher each time. But Campbell knows the more he skips the invisible rope, the better he’s getting.

“In my mind I’m trying to get my feet right because that’s the most important thing when you’re in the middle of a play and you got a chance to win,” Campbell said. “If you can just pick your feet up a little faster and turn the jets on a little quicker, that’s the difference between a big play and an almost big play.”

There were too many “almosts” last season. Campbell spent the offseason retooling his body to become lighter, quicker and more powerful, making sure there are more actual big plays under new coach Bruce Arians.

He lost weight, dropping into the 290-295 range. He did hours of defensive line and hand-placement drills. When he wasn’t partaking in the Cardinals’ offseason conditioning program, he started doing CrossFit and went to Portland, Ore., to work with a mixed martial arts coach. There, Campbell worked on his endurance, balance and a striking mentality. And just about 10 days into wearing pads at training camp, his compatriots on the line can already see a bigger, slimmer, faster Campbell.

“He’s got a lot of sacks and everything but I feel like he’s now growing into the type of player he can be,” nose tackle David Carter said. “He understands how he’s athletic now. Last year he wasn’t the most athletic guy and now he’s more athletic this year. He’s stronger this year. He can play inside more. He’s better against the run. He’s done a lot of growing in the offseason and he’s taking more of the leadership role.”

It could all add up to Campbell’s first Pro Bowl appearance, but he’ll be the first to say it’s not a priority. Even so, another big year could land him in Hawaii. Campbell finished with 6½ sacks and 51 tackles in just 13 games last season. His new defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, knows his 6-foot-8 defensive end has the talent. It’s now about the little things.

“He’s already a Pro Bowl-caliber player but he has to do the right thing within the scheme that makes everyone else better also,” Bowles said. “I think he’s been doing that thus far. Calais is an outstanding talent. He can play inside and outside. He’s a grown man and a force to be reckoned with. We just have to continue to work on the fundamental parts of his game that allows him to do that.”

In Bowles’ new 3-4 difference, a primary goal is to get the down lineman in one-on-one situations. Under different guidance last year, Campbell was asked to occupy the two defenders that inevitably found him on most plays, in hopes of distracting them from linebackers breaking through the line.

That’s fine and all but Campbell likes his odds against single coverage – even more now that he’s quicker on his feet.

“If I’m a betting man, I bet on (defensive tackle Darnell) Dockett, myself and (nose tackle) Dan Williams in one-on-one matchups any day of the week,” Campbell said. “I don’t think anybody’s going to ask for two. It’s flattering to a degree but I’ll take one. I’d rather beat them up a little bit.”

Campbell’s already seeing the dividends of an offseason of grinding. He can sense he’s faster and if he wasn’t already intimidating offensive linemen with his size, this season they’ll have to deal with his speed.

“When he’s a defensive end he’s probably a little bit of a matchup nightmare for some guys just because of his length,” guard Daryn Colledge said. “He looks like he’s doing pretty well and it looks like they’re going to give him an opportunity to do a little more.”

In Campbell, coach Bruce Arians sees someone who’s “as steady as they come.”

Bowles sees potentially 12 sacks.

And Carter sees someone whose perfected imperfections could start him on the path to the Hall of Fame, Ring of Honor and even another Super Bowl. First, there’s this season.

“I’m going to play at that level,” Campbell said. “I’m going to approach every play the same and try to do something to help the team win. And I think by doing that hopefully, if that talent’s there, which I think it will be, I can be a Pro Bowl player.”

Bookmark and Share

VIDEO: Calais Campbell's VIP Party

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell among top 10 NFL D-lineman

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell has been a model of consistency since being drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Each of the last four seasons, Campbell has recorded at least six sacks, and from 2010-12 has at least 60 tackles to his credit.

While Campbell has often been overlooked -- yet to make a Pro Bowl -- in the shadow of fellow teammate and lineman Darnell Dockett, people are starting to take note of the former Miami standout's playmaking abilities.

In his weekend column, NFL Insider Pat Kerwin ranked the top 10 lineman out of the league's possible 116 starters. The rankings weren't just based on statistics (sacks, hurries and knockdowns) but rather which players have the most success regardless of their scheme -- be it a 3-4 or 4-3.
Campbell came in at No. 8 on the list.

8. Calais Campbell, Arizona: Campbell has a rare combination of size and athletic ability. He was overshadowed by teammate Darnell Dockett for years but has emerged as a dominating 3-4 DE. At 6-feet-7 he can play with leverage and get under the pads of shorter offensive linemen.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell hosting charity golf tournament

PHOENIX -- Calais Campbell, defensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals, will host the first annual CRC Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic May 10 at the Raven Golf Course in Phoenix.

Confirmed golfers include former NFL stars Donovan McNabb, Jake Plummer, Patrick Peterson, NBA star Cedric Ceballos and many of Campbell’s current Arizona Cardinals teammates. The star-studded two-day event is presented by the Diamond League and kicks off with a VIP reception event Thursday, May 9 in Chandler On Friday, May 10, participants will hit the links alongside a celebrity golfer to raise money for a good cause.

Foursomes are still available and can be purchased by contacting Ian Grutman at or visiting Non-golfers can also support the cause by attending the VIP reception Thursday May 9 at a private residence in Chandler, AZ. Tickets for Thursday night are $100 and also available online.

“The support the CRC Foundation has received in the Phoenix community has meant so much to me,” said Campbell who is entering his sixth season with the Cardinals. “I’m looking forward to bringing together my friends from the Hollywood and sports to enjoy a fun day of golf. I know some of these celebrities take the game pretty seriously, but I’ve been working on my short game so I’m up for the challenge.”

The CRC Foundation is a non-profit, 501 c(3) organization established in 2010 to teach skills that are not typically learned in a traditional classroom setting that are necessary for real life, such as accounting, budgeting, drug and alcohol awareness, cooking, diversity awareness, and writing. Future CRC classrooms will use the facilities as an alternative to negative activities in the community. Students will also have the opportunity to shadow mentors from the community, participate in sports and develop creative talents.

For more information, check out or call 602-565-0759.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell thinks Cardinals will 'surprise'

The Arizona Cardinals may have a tough road ahead of them in 2013, drawing a daunting schedule next season. But that hasn't deterred one player's belief that this team could surprise a lot of people.

Defensive end Calais Campbell, a guest on NFL Network, discussed the Cardinals' challenging opponents for the 2013 season and explained why he feels they can answer the call.

"We got a new coaching staff in there that I think everybody loves so far," Campbell said. "Bruce Arians is just a great coach -- his motivation, his swagger, the way he talks to us -- everyone loves playing for him already."

Campbell also believes the Cardinals will showcase their talents on a primetime stage against the Seahawks in Week 7.

"It'll be a good chance for us to show the world how good we are against a team that is well-respected," Campbell said. "I think we are going to surprise."

NFL Network's Heath Evans has also come out and said he thinks the Cardinals are a sleeper team in the NFC West this season.

Bookmark and Share

VIDEO: Calais Campbell tells ProTips4U about his greatest moment

Bookmark and Share

ESPN calls Calais Campbell best Cardinals draft pick in five years

Arizona Cardinals

Best choice: Calais Campbell, DE, 2008 second round. Campbell and inside linebacker Daryl Washington were the top candidates in this spot. Both were second-round picks who signed contract extensions in the past year. Campbell's deal averages $12 million per year over the first three years. The three-year average for Washington's deal is $9.2 million. Teams value defensive linemen over inside linebackers as a general rule. That is one reason I selected Campbell over Washington for our purposes here. Arizona credited Campbell with 11 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and seven passes defensed despite missing three games to injury in 2012. Some might point to Patrick Peterson as a candidate for consideration. Expectations for a player drafted fifth overall set the bar high.

Worst choice: Cody Brown, OLB, 2009 second round. Brown suffered a wrist injury during his rookie camp, went on injured reserve and never played a down for the team. Brown bounced from the Cardinals to the New York Jets to the Detroit Lions without ever playing in a regular-season game. None of the other 36 players Arizona has drafted since 2008 challenged Brown for consideration in this spot. Ryan Williams, a second-rounder in 2011, could qualify if injuries continue to keep him off the field. Williams has already played in games and shown promise when healthy, however. Brown did not do those things.

Verdict pending: Williams, RB, 2011 second round. This assumes the verdict is already in for 2009 first-round choice Beanie Wells, whose future with the team appears tenuous. Williams suffered knee and shoulder injuries during his first two seasons with the team. He has missed 27 of 32 games and averaged 2.8 yards per carry on 58 career attempts. The Cardinals still have high hopes for Williams. There's still a chance Williams will become a key contributor, particularly as the Cardinals upgrade their offensive line. He must stay healthy, however.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell Doing His Part to Help Special Olympians

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell is a gigantic man with an even bigger heart. He joined teammates Jay Feely and Lyle Sendlein on Tuesday morning at the CBS Outdoor Special Olympics Putting Event. The event proceeded this weekends Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Campbell is not the greatest golfer in the world, but he did enjoy what the event represented. This should put a smile on any fan’s face. Even though the Cardinals did not have a great or even average 2012 season they are still able to go out and help their community in any way possible.

Feely is an avid golfer, but you can pretty expect that from any kicker. He says putting is not his strong suit, but was satisfied with what the effort of his group. Also, he says, “any time you’re around Special Olympians, it gives you an appreciation for athletics and what it can do.”

The event mattered so much to Lyle Sendlein that he even played a round of golf to warm up for the event. I would have probably done the same thing, I mean who wouldn’t want to play golf, but it’s still great to see players care so much about people with struggles around them.

The NFL does so much for their communities and sometimes it’s easy to forget that when you are a fan of a losing team. However, next time you are yelling at your favorite team imagine them reading to a child or visiting kids in the hospital and you may find yourself a happier person.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell agreed to a five-contract

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell agreed to a five-contract extension Thursday. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The 6-foot-8, 300-pound lineman had 51 solo tackles and 73 overall tackles last season. He also had eight sacks, two forced fumbles, 11 passes defensed, one fumble recovery, his first interception, and blocked three field goals. The Cardinals had placed the “non-exclusive” franchise tag on the 25-year-old Campbell on March 2. Drafted in the second round in 2008 out of the University of Miami, he was the Cardinals 2011 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community work.

Bookmark and Share

Calais Campbell not worried about Pro Bowl, is happy with growth in 2012

There were call for Calais Campbell to make the Pro Bowl, but the defensive end will not be making the trip to Hawaii (at least not yet, but he probably will when half of the Pro Bowlers drop out due to "injury"). Campbell doesn't appear too broken up about being left off of the Pro Bowl squad, though. Instead, he's happy about the way he's played in 2012, continuing to grow and become a better player than even the one who signed a contract extension before the season.

Last year I feel like I was playing at a high level and some good ball but I feel this year I am just a lot more knowledgeable and I feel more comfortable in the game. I get in my stance and feel like I can see what’s going to happen before it actually happens, which of course allows you to have success when you know where the ball is going. Hopefully my game continues to get better and better.

Campbell has 5.5 sacks on the season and seven passes defensed. But the most impressive number is his 63 tackles, which is fantastic for a player who missed three games this season and even more outstanding for a 3-4 defensive end.

For Campbell, it is all about getting better right now. The Pro Bowl can wait. After all, if he keeps improving he'll be a Pro Bowler before long and many, many times over.

Bookmark and Share