Calais Campbell

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.

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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.”

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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).’’

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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'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."

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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."

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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.” 

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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?’ ”

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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

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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."

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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VIDEO: Calais Campbell's VIP Party

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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.

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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.

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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.

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VIDEO: Calais Campbell tells ProTips4U about his greatest moment

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Calais Campbell Keeps Coming

He didn’t make the Pro Bowl, which wasn’t a huge deal to Calais Campbell but was a rallying point to many who believed the Cardinals’ defensive end deserved such an honor.

If nothing else, the support Campbell got underscored the strides he had made. Campbell sees it as a natural progression.

“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,” Campbell said. “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.”

The Cards would take that. Even though Campbell missed three games with a calf injury, he is still is third on the team in tackles with 63 – impressive for a 3-4 defensive end – has 5½ sacks, seven passes defensed and has played very well against the run.

He has been excellent the past two games especially, showing off the growth he’s made just since signing his contract extension last offseason.

“He has said himself at times, he didn’t turn his switch on fast enough,” said veteran defensive end Vonnie Holliday. “When he takes the approach to the game where he feels he has to prove something, when guys get after him about needing to make plays, he seems to play with better pad level, better hands.

“Early in the season, we talked about, ‘Are you really in shape yet? Then he got hurt and it kind of put him in perspective a little bit, all the expectations after getting the big deal and what it takes to be that guy in this league.”

Campbell believes his game would have advanced even without the new contract. But after a big 2011, he did understand people wanted to see a repeat once he wasn’t in a contract year anymore. It is safe to say, Pro Bowl or not, Campbell has done that.

“I feel like you’ll progress if you have the competitive spirit in you,” Campbell said. “You will mature on the field and off the field every day. But I do feel like there is natural pressure when you sign a big deal because everyone expects you to produce. I feel like I could have played better this year, especially earlier in the season. I feel like it was just starting to click when I got hurt. That stinks, because I think those three games were critical.”

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proCane Players of Week 16

Co-Offensive Players of the Week:

Reggie Wayne: proCane Colts WR Reggie Wayne caught five catches and scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter with a little over four minutes to play to help seal an unexpected playoff berth for a young Colts team. Wayne helped Luck break the single-season rookie passing record Sunday, ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,315 yards and fifth in receptions with 102. Wayne extended his NFL record 63 game streak of having 3 or more receptions.

Andre Johnson: proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson recorded his 800th career reception in Sunday's loss to Minnesota, reaching the impressive milestone in the second-fewest games of any player in league history (Marvin Harrison). The 10th-year wide receiver built on another terrific season with a seven-catch performance, eclipsing the 100-catch plateau for the fourth time in his career. The Miami, Fla., native, who has the fourth-most catches of any active player, now ranks third in the NFL with 1,457 receiving yards and fifth with 100 receptions. Johnson finished the game with 7 catches for 97 yards.

Lamar Miller: proCane Dolphins RB Lamar Miller in his first chance at extended play for Miami this season didn’t disappoint. Miller rushed 10 times for 73 yards in Sunday's win over the Bills, leading the Dolphins in rushing. Miller is getting an extended look with Daniel Thomas out for the season, and showed big-play ability while filling in for Reggie Bush. He should go into the offseason no worse than second on the running back depth chart, and could be considered for a starting role if Bush doesn't re-sign.

Honorable Mention: Santana Moss, WR Redskins.

Defensive Players of Week:

Sam Shields: proCane Packers DB Sam Shields continued his stellar play after returning from injury three weeks ago. Shields had 1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection and 1 interception in Packers blowout victory over the Titans. Since his return Dec. 9 from an ankle injury, Shields has two interceptions in three games, his first sack in nearly two years and seven passes defensed, just a few stats to tell of his big hits, inseparable coverage and feisty nature in no man's land.
Honorable Mention: Calais Campbell, DE Cardinals.

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season with four punts in Week 16. Bosher’s four punts totaled 167 yards with a long of 47 yards, and average of 41.8 yards and two punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.

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Calais Campbell playing like a Pro Bowler

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell said he’s nowhere close to 100 percent healthy, even after two games back from a calf injury that sidelined him for three weeks.

“In the NFL this time of year, I don’t think anybody feels 100 percent,” Campbell said. “It’s impossible, because it’s a long, physical season. No matter how many games you go through, you start getting nicks and bruises and things that just hurt and you have to suck up.”

You wouldn’t know looking at him play, though.

Even with a three-game hiatus, the 6-foot-8 defensive end is near the top of many of Arizona’s defensive categories. His 53 tackles are fourth on the team, and his 4.5 sacks are second — and tops on the defensive line.

And after three tackles for loss in last week’s win over Detroit, Campbell now leads the squad with eight stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Campbell finished with eight tackles against the Lions, the same amount he had a week earlier in the embarrassing 58-0 loss in Seattle. But against Detroit, Campbell had more explosion.

“When I got back in that Seattle game, I didn’t have that push-off like I wanted to have,” he said. “But last week, it came back and I felt like it allowed me to do some things that I wish I could have done all season.”

Had he been healthy all season, Campbell would have stood a very good chance of being named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad for the first time in his five years in the league. And with the rate at which players drop out of the Pro Bowl, Campbell may make it there anyway.

“Those things factor into a couple things: your win-loss record, your publicity or your notoriety around the league, and then how well you play,” defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. “You keep your fingers crossed. Statistically, you’d hope that Daryl (Washington) and Patrick (Peterson) would be a shoo-in, and then Calais on the body-of-work deal.”

Pro Bowl squads are announced on Wednesday.

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Cardinals continue counting on Campbell

While rumors swirl that the days could be numbered for longtime Cardinals defenders such as SS Adrian Wilson and DT Darnell Dockett, we hear the star status of DE Calais Campbell has never shined so brightly.

Having been a bit limited in the Week 14 catastrophe in Seattle after missing three games with a calf injury, Campbell was an unstoppable beast in the Week 15 victory over Detroit, registering a sack and eight tackles, including four for loss. While his numbers weren’t nearly as imposing before his injury, daily team observers considered performances like Campbell’s overpowering effort vs. the Lions pretty much par for the course.

“When he’s been at full strength, he’s played at a Pro Bowl level,” one daily Campbell observer said. “He’s been really good. He’s always been a good pass rusher, but he has also really improved against the run this year. He’s been far and away the team’s best D-lineman.”

While the team’s front-office moves, or lack thereof, have been subject to increased criticism in the desert lately, two moves that most team insiders agree made a ton of sense were the contract extensions given to Campbell and fellow defensive cornerstone ILB Daryl Washington through the 2016 and ’17 seasons, respectively.

“They look really smart for doing that,” the source said. “Campbell is in his fifth year and is only 26. And he’s just a great guy, big in the community. He’s been a dream come true.”

Not nearly as becoming, though, is the depth at end behind Campbell. Unlike the case when Campbell was waiting in the wings behind Antonio Smith, there is nobody on the roster with what would be considered heir-apparent potential.

“They need to address the position,” the source said. “David Carter has been swinging back and forth between tackle and end, and there are questions about him in a starting role. The other backups, Vonnie Holliday and Nick Eason, are well over 30. They don’t have a guy they’d really be willing to plug in for Campbell if need be.”

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proCanes Players of Week 15

Co-Offensive Players of the Week:

Leonard Hankerson: proCane Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson caught two passes for 56 yards with two touchdowns in the Redskins' Week 15 win over the Browns. Hankerson made the most of his two targets. His first score came when he blew past Sheldon Brown and Kirk Cousins threaded the needle between three Browns for a 54-yard score in the first quarter. His second touchdown came on a simple goal-line bootleg from Cousins. Don't chase these plays as Hankerson continues to rotate with Josh Morgan opposite No. 1 target Pierre Garcon.

Andre Johnson: proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson caught 11 balls for 151 yards and a touchdown as the Texans defeated the Colts 29-17 in Week 15.
He was targeted 13 times, a game high on either side of the ball. Johnson was truly dominant against Colts top CB Vontae Davis, consistently winning 50:50 balls in the air and scoring from three yards out on a rub route deep in the red zone. Johnson has reasserted himself at age 31 as a top-five NFL receiver and likely future Hall of Famer. The past eight games have been the most productive stretch of Johnson's career, averaging 8.4 catches and 119.6 yards per game. He needs just seven receptions and 140 yards to join Marvin Harrison as the only receivers with at least 100 catches and 1,500 yards in three seasons. Andre Johnson also topped 11,000 career receiving yards this week

Honorable Mention: Travis Benjamin WR Browns, Jimmy Graham TE Saints, Frank Gore RB 49ers.

Defensive Players of Week:

Calais Campbell: proCane Cardinals DE Calais Campbell in his first game back from a calf injury played his best all-around game since Week 2 at New England despite still dealing with the lingering effects of a calf injury that sidelined him for a month. He wasn’t in pain while he recorded eight tackles, four for losses, a sack, a quarterback hurry and a pass deflection, but his calf wasn’t completely healed either.
Honorable Mention: Sam Shields DB Packers

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season though this week he only had two punts but made them count. Bosher’s two punts totaled 100 yards with a long of 61 yards, and average of 50 yards and one touchback.

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Calais Campbell Hits Lions Hard

Calais Campbell popped off the grass late in the fourth quarter as Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford laid 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and jumped right into a batting stance.

His home run swing was as picture perfect as a 6-foot-8, 300-pound defensive end can get wearing shoulder pads and a helmet. The imaginary home run, however, may not have landed yet.

Now imagine if Campbell was 100 percent healthy.

Campbell played his best all-around game since Week 2 at New England despite still dealing with the lingering effects of a calf injury that sidelined him for a month. He wasn’t in pain while he recorded eight tackles, four for losses, a sack, a quarterback hurry and a pass deflection, but his calf wasn’t completely healed either.

“I think I was able to make all the plays I couldn’t make last week because I had pain in my calf and I had to play little more in control,” said Campbell, who had eight tackles last week at Seattle. “(On Sunday) I was able to dive and get off balls and fly around and make plays. It felt good.

“(But) I didn’t have the explosion I wish I had but I had a lot more than I’ve had since I got hurt.”

Campbell felt like he was going to explode when he was forced to watch from the sidelines against Atlanta, St. Louis and New York. The frustration of not playing pain free for the last month boiled over against Detroit.

“When I got a chance to get back I was giving everything I got,” Campbell said. “When you miss it, you don’t really know what you have until it’s gone really.”
Campbell had to pick up some of the slack left by Dan Williams’ large void. Williams missed the game with a hamstring injury but Campbell made up for the nose tackle’s absence by recording his first full sack since October.

“It’s nice to see Calais back in to play and making those kinds of things happen,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s something that we’ve missed.”

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Calais Campbell: 'I'm very optimistic about return'

Currently suffering through a seven game skid that has been marred by injuries on both sides of the ball, the Cardinals could really use some good news.

After missing his team's last two games with a calf injury, Cardinals defensive tackle Calais Campbell will most likely be making his return to the field this Sunday against the New York Jets.

"I'm very optimistic," said Campbell about the possibility of his return. "I thought I was ready to go last week and it was hard not being able to go. But I'm feeling very strong and explosive and just trying to get it one day at a time."

With a defense that is currently ranked seventh in the league allowing 327.9 yards per game, most of the blame for the Cardinals recent misfortunes has been placed on the team's poor pass protection and lack of scoring. But after spending back to back games on the sideline, Campbell said he's just ready to get back out and help his team right the ship.

"It's hard watching on the sideline knowing you can make a difference," said Campbell. "It's hard watching the team lose. The defense is playing strong in my absence and I'm proud of them but I'm hungry to get back in there and try and help them make some plays."

With the return of Campbell, the Cardinals will be welcoming back their second dynamic playmaker in as many weeks. Running back Beanie Wells made his return to the field last week after missing the majority of the season with turf toe. With Kevin Kolb, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, LaRon Byrd and Kerry Rhodes all suffering from their own ailments, Campbell said the recent string of injuries has affected team play but felt the players handled the adversity like any great team should.

"I think we tried to overcome a few [injuries] and I think we did well. You never want to make excuses but injuries do hurt," said Campbell.

Lining up against a struggling Jets offense, Campbell said he was prepared for a strong running attack awaiting the Cardinals at MetLife Stadium this Sunday.
"They're a powerhouse running team," said Campbell. "They have a really good back in Shonn Greene. He runs hard and makes good reads and the offensive line is pretty strong. They can open up some holes."

When asked about the presence of the two prominent QBs on the opposing sideline, Campbell stressed that preparation would be key to combating a possible dual quarterback attack.

"They do some tricky stuff with Tim Tebow in there and [Mark] Sanchez at the same time," said Campbell. "So you really have to watch some film and be prepared for all of the different looks they're going to give us. If you don't prepare to see [Tebow] he's going to get in there and he's going to be able to beat you. So you have to be able to prepare for him because he's a good opponent and he's a good player."

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Whiz expects Calais Campbell back for Week 13

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt expects LE Calais Campbell (calf) back for Week 13 against the Jets.

Campbell said he'd be back for Week 12, so take this with a minor grain of salt. However, coaches are usually more realistic about injuries than players. The two games Campbell has missed since the Cardinals' Week 10 bye are one more than he missed through his first four NFL seasons. His return will be bad news for Mark Sanchez.

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Calais Campbell wants to return Sunday

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell sat out Sunday's loss to the Falcons with a calf injury but says he doesn't plan on watching from the sidelines this weekend when they host the Rams.

"Oh yeah, I'm feeling good about it and I'm looking forward to getting back on the field and helping my team win games," he said Monday. "It was tough watching, don't want to do that again."

Campbell, who has 37 tackles and 3.5 sacks on the season, was injured before the bye week and says he hurt his calf while running. He felt a pop and said it's just one of those things that happens during football.

"I mean it's just little things, different kind of movements and stuff," he said. "I'm pretty sure I'll be back this week unless I have a setback."

That's something Campbell does not expect to be an issue, adding that he sat out Sunday in part just to be safe.

"It's something that's not that serious. You know it can nag so you just want to be careful and be smart with it," said Campbell. "The team looked real good out there without me so I was excited to see David Carter go in there and play well."

The defense did look good against the Falcons, forcing five interceptions and one fumble, but chances are they would still like to get Campbell back this week against the St. Louis Rams to try and help stop this six-game losing streak.

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Calais Campbell sits out practice

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona Cardinals had a significant absence as they returned to work this week looking to revive what began as a promising season but has descended into the misery of a five-game losing streak.

Defensive end Calais Campbell sat out Wednesday's practice because of a calf injury and his status for Sunday's game at Atlanta is uncertain.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt says his long evaluation of the team over the bye week has led to some strategy adjustments, but he said he couldn't discuss details. Last week, the coach announced that rookie Jake Potter, a seventh-round draft choice from Boise State, would replace D'Anthony Batiste at left tackle on the beleaguered offensive line. That leaves Arizona with rookies at both tackle positions. Fourth-round pick Bobby Massie starts on the right side.

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Calais Campbell injury a concern

TEMPE, Ariz.—Defensive end Calais Campbell has a right calf injury, the extent of which has not been made public. Campbell missed a practice last week during the bye and did not work out Monday.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt declined comment.

Until last week, the Cardinals defense had enjoyed good health. But outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield suffered an ankle injury against the Packers a week ago and is out for the year. Quentin Groves is a competent replacement, but the Cardinals have no depth there now.

The other outside linebacker to dress in the last game was rookie Zack Nash. Vonnie Holliday likely will replace Campbell with David Carter and Nick Eason behind him.

Again, the Cardinals are an injury away from depth issues at end. Losing Campbell for an extended time would be damaging. He and linebacker Daryl Washington are the best defensive players on the team.

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Calais Campbell nursing leg injury

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell missed practice on Wednesday and apparently will be nursing a leg injury during the team's off weekend.

The severity of the injury is unknown. The team isn't issuing an injury report this week, and coach Ken Whisenhunt declined comment.

Campbell, the starter on the right side, was seen limping in the locker room following Tuesday's practice.

A significant injury to Campbell would be a huge blow to the Cardinals.

He has 3 1/2 sacks this season and has played well against the run.

Campbell's injury explains why the Cardinals signed a defensive end, Ronald Talley, to fill the roster spot created when linebacker O'Brien Schofield was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.

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Defensive duo of Calais Campbell & Washington gets top 50 recognition

The Cardinals’ defense hasn’t been playing as well of late as it started, but they have had a pair of players who have done well all season: defensive end Calais Campbell and inside linebacker Daryl Washington. It makes sense then that both were recognized on’s top 51 players of the first half of the season. Campbell came in at No. 36, while Washington was No. 17 — interestingly, tucked right between both 49ers inside linebackers, NaVorro Bowman at No. 18 and Patrick Willis at No. 16.

Here’s what the site had to say on both:

17. Daryl Washington, ILB, ARZ
Washington continues to make plays for the Cardinals even if his reckless abandon style has seen him miss 11 tackles already this year. At times has struggled in coverage but his inside linebacker leading 62 tackles and eight sacks show just how much of a playmaker he is.
Key Stat: Has picked up 17 quarterback disruptions on 86 blitzes.

36. Calais Campbell, DE, ARZ
Last year Justin Smith upstaged him and this year it’s J.J. Watt, but Calais Campbell is damn fine player. Incredibly productive on every down, he’s gone from a guy who generated a lot of pressure, to a player who can (and does) do it all. Regularly commands a lot of attention from offenses, but has still managed to make 24 defensive stops and bat four passes.

Key Stat: Has made a stop on 8.8% of all running plays he has been in on.

It doesn’t hurt that both players were wisely signed to long-term extensions by the team recently, Campbell this summer and Washington right before the season. That’s turned out to be a very smart move. Again, this list is about every player, not just rankings at each position.

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PFF mid-season All-Pro team features Calais Campbell

About a week ago, I presented to you the Pro Football Focus Pro Bowl cheat sheet list. On it were Daryl Washington and Calais Campbell, but only one of them was mentioned in a positive light. Washington was excluded from their list, as they believed that due to a few missed tackles, NaVorro Bowman and Sean Lee made it ahead of him. Patrick Willis, another 49ers linebacker, was also in the mix, but didn't make it.

Even with his 2 sacks and 6 tackles against the 49ers on Monday Night Football, nothing has changed. D-Wash was excluded from another Pro Football Focus list.

PFF still has Washington on the outside looking in on their mid-season All-Pro team. With Sean Lee out for the season, Patrick Willis has stepped in to take the second 3-4 inside linebacker spot next to Bowman. Here is their reasoning:

The hardest decision out there. It was near impossible to leave Daryl Washington and his eight sacks off the team, but he can at times be a little erratic in the run game and has a tendency to miss tackles (11), which puts him a whisker behind the 49ers' duo. Both men have shown their versatility with some excellent play going backwards and coming forwards. If Sean Lee was still healthy he'd be in consideration as well.

Honorable Mentions: Daryl Washington (ARZ)

And just like last time, I still disagree with their analysis. Even if he misses a few tackles, it his presence on the field that makes all the difference. He commands attention wherever he is and can make plays from any position on the field. Can Willis or Bowman play safety? I don't think so. Washington can.

But don't be too sad, Cardinals fans. We still have Calais Campbell. He was one of the top names listed among 3-4 front defensive linemen next to Aubrayo Franklin and J.J. Watt. PFF doesn't mention much about Campbell other than, "the Cardinals' right end (is) having another stellar season."

Campbell has certainly been dominant, but has been near invisible for a couple of games this season. I was surprised to see Washington be snubbed, but Campbell make it. It's all in the positions they play, I guess.

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Alex Smith to Calais Campbell: 'Hate is a strong word'

Arizona DE Calais Campbell is frustrated.

He felt like he should have had four sacks in the Cardinals' 21-14 loss to Minnesota last week, instead, he settled for none.

“I got to make up for that this week especially going up against the 49ers, who I hate with a passion,” Campbell told SiriusXM's Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan. “I can't wait to go out there and stick it to them and Alex Smith. I've got him down a few times, I know he's thinking about me a little bit.”

Smith found Campbell's comments more amusing than anything when asked about them Thursday.

“Hate is strong word. It's a strong word,” Smith said, holding back a smile. “I mean, they're a division opponent, obviously there's a lot of history there, we play them twice a year. Great rivalry, hate is a word I wouldn't use.”

As could have been expected, Campbell's comments made the rounds at the 49ers facility. No one -- at least not publicly -- seemed to care much about what was said.

OLB Aldon Smith played the sympathy card.

“I'm sorry he feels that way, first of all,” he said. “We're going to go out there and compete, whoever we play. We play the Cardinals on Monday so we're preparing to play them and compete hard.”

Not exactly fighting words coming from a player known for letting more than his play do the talking on game days.

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Calais Campbell hates the 49ers, “with a passion”

On Monday night, the Cardinals will try to reverse a current three-game losing streak, via a game against the 49ers.  Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell is looking forward to the opportunity.

“I really felt like I could have had four sacks last week and I had zero,” Campbell told Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, regarding the Cardinals’ Week Seven loss to the Vikings.  “So I gotta make up for that this week especially going against the 49ers who I really hate with a passion.  I can’t wait to go out there and stick it to them.  Alex Smith I’ve gotten down a few times so I know he’s thinking about me a little bit.  So I can’t wait to get out there.”

Told that the Niners don’t like him either, Campbell had no complaints.  “They’re not supposed to like me,” Campbell said.  “I’m not supposed to like you.  That’s what makes this game so special.  I mean, off the field I don’t have nothing against anybody but on that field come Monday night, it’s on and crackin’.”

It definitely is, and it definitely will be, in six days.

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Calais Campbell raffling off football ticket package for charity

Calais Campbell, defensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals, is raffling off an ultimate Monday night experience to raise money for his CRC Foundation. The package includes two tickets to the Oct. 29 game, in which the Cardinals will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Glendale. A meet and greet with Calais following the game, a signed Calais Campbell jersey, and $100 to the Peoria BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse to enjoy before or after the game.

Tickets are available for $2 on and all proceeds benefit the CRC Foundation. The deadline to enter is Oct. 25 at 8 a.m. The winner will be selected and notified the same day.

“The fans have been a big part of our teams early success this season, as well as my own personal inspiration, so to do things with them on occasion, while benefiting people who need us most right now-- it’s a big win for all involved,” said Campbell. “The CRC Foundation, an organization I started with my family to better the lives of students in the greater-Phoenix area appreciates the continued support, enabling efforts you can see and feel in our community, so I hope that every Cardinals fan feels lucky enough to enter and win an ultimate Monday night.”

About The CRC Foundation:
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 please visit

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PHOTO: Calais Campbell vs. Dolphins

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) tries to block the throw of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz.

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Calais Campbell: Player of week, and beyond

NFC West teams used 2008 second-round draft choices for Donnie Avery (St. Louis), John Carlson (Seattle) and Chilo Rachal (San Francisco).

The division landed one other second-rounder that year: Calais Campbell, chosen 50th overall by Arizona.

Campbell is the only one of the four remaining with his original team. The defensive end is also the NFC's defensive player of the week after collecting two sacks, three quarterback hits and 10 tackles during the Cardinals' 20-18 victory at New England in Week 2.

As the Cardinals noted in their news release, Campbell becomes the first player in team history to receive such an honor in multiple categories. He was previously named the NFC's top special-teams player following a 2009 game against Jacksonville.

The 6-foot-8 Campbell blocked a field goal in Arizona's opening-week victory over Seattle. He blocked three last season and has blocked six for his career.

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Calais Campbell: Cardinals' pressure led to Patriots' missed kick

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, who also mans the interior of the field-goal block unit, said his  team generated significant pressure on Stephen Gostkowski's first four field-goal attempts, all of which the New England Patriots kicker made.

But, Campbell believes, knowing similar pressure was coming -- and the nerves of the situation -- were factors in Gostkowski missing the potential game-winning field-goal try wide left Sunday in the Cardinals' 20-18 upset.

"I love being inside because I'm 6-foot-8 and we'd gotten good push all game," Campbell said in a telephone interview before he flew back to Arizona. "We got good push again. We went after it as hard as we could. I think that had something to do with him pushing it to the left."

As important as the missed kick was to the Cardinals improving to a surprising 2-0, so was forcing repeated field-goal attempts, Campbell said. The Patriots scored five times, but four of those were field goals.

"That was so huge for us because you know how great Tom Brady is, and to keep him out of the end zone as much as we did was so huge," said Campbell, who has blocked six field goals in his NFL career, according to the Cardinals. "To hold them to three (points) was so important."

As for Gostkowski's wayward kick, it capped a sequence of bizarre events that started unfavorably for Arizona, when running back Ryan Williams fumbled at the Cardinals' 30-yard line with 1:01 remaining. That was followed by Patriots running back Danny Woodhead scoring an apparent 30-yard touchdown that was negated by a holding penalty.

"That hurt me when Woodhead got into the end zone because it was crazy we got them the ball back," Campbell said. "When I saw the flag came out, I knew we had a chance. That was the critical call of the game."

The Patriots moved to the Cardinals' 24 before the missed field-goal try.

"That's why you never want the game coming down to kickers," Campbell said.

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Calais Campbell plans even bigger year

Calais Campbell stands an imposing 6-foot-8 and weighs 300 pounds, making him one of the tallest defensive linemen in the NFL.

The size of the Arizona Cardinals' defensive end can be a blessing and a burden - a blessing because he can swat away passes and field goal tries and bury hapless quarterbacks, a burden because he has to constantly remember to stay low lest he be an easy target for blockers.

''This is a battle I've been going through my whole life,'' he said after practice Wednesday. ''The name of the game is stay low, the low man always wins.
''When it comes to batting down passes and blocking field goals, being tall definitely comes in handy, but you have to stay low first.''

Last season was a breakout one for Campbell, and he has been rewarded with a five-year, $55 million contract extension, with $31 million guaranteed.
He acknowledged that, with the big contract comes added pressure to perform.

''I guess naturally it puts a burden on you a little bit,'' Campbell said. ''But I put a big burden on myself to go out there and be the best I could be. I'm very passionate about this game. I love what I do. I want to be held accountable and I want to be worth every dollar they gave me.''

A second-round draft pick out of Miami in 2008, Campbell has led or tied for the team lead in sacks each of the past three seasons. Last year, he had eight sacks, 73 tackles and 11 passes defensed, two forced fumbles , a fumble recovery and a whopping three blocked field goals - all career highs.

The three blocked field goals tied Seattle's Red Bryant for most in the NFL. Campbell was the leading force on a team that had an NFL-high five blocked field goals last season. He has five blocks in his career.

The most dramatic one came on Nov. 6 against St. Louis when he knocked down Josh Brown's 42-yard attempt on the last play of regulation. Arizona went on to win the game in overtime.

''I learned that if I do things the right way, I can be very dominant in this league,'' Campbell said. ''I got a lot of confidence from last year. I'm looking forward to this year to see if I can do better. That's the challenge, to try to do better, to get better every year, every game, every week.''

The Cardinals open their season Sunday at home against Seattle, a favorite foe of Campbell's.

He had 2 1/2 sacks against the Seahawks in their first meeting a year ago, marking the third time against Seattle he had at least one quarterback sack. In last year's regular-season finale, he had a solo tackle and quarterback hit against the Seahawks before leaving with an ankle injury in the second quarter.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that there's one simple way Campbell can be even better, though, a reason the big lineman already knows all too well.

''Play better technique,'' Whisenhunt said. ''I think one of the things with him being 6-foot-8 is playing too high sometimes. If he can continue to work on staying lower and using his hands, it will make him an even better player. I like to think about those kinds of things because was productive as he was for us last year, if he can improve on that, it will make us a better football team.''

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Calais Campbell gives back on life-changing trip

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell doesn't shy away from his upbringing in Denver, saying he was poor growing up with seven siblings.

Today he is the team's third-highest-paid player with his recently signed five-year, $55 million contract.

But he is more than just the multi-million dollar contract he commands, giving back as often as possible through his CRC Foundation, established in memory of his father, Charles Richard Campbell, who died in 2003 while waiting for a new liver.

Calais plans to build a development center in the next two years to teach kids life skills in Arizona.

In July, Campbell teamed up with Cardinals linebacker Sam Acho and Acho's father, Dr. Sonny Acho's Living Hope Ministries organization to assist in Acho's home country of Nigeria, carrying men and women who received surgery from the operating room to their hospital beds.

At 6 feet 8, 300 pounds, Campbell admits that some of the people he carried were heavy even for him and at times had a bit of a struggle with them in his arms.
"Man that was crazy," Campbell said. "I'm young so I haven't had the chance travel a lot but I want to see the world. It was one of my lifelong dreams to go to Africa. So when Acho asked me I hopped on board quick. I'm glad I went -- it was definitely an eye-opening and life-changing experience."

He said he will now try to help those in that country with his own foundation or donate to Living Hope Ministries to continue to give back to poverty-stricken areas in Nigeria.

Helping out on the field

Campbell finished the 2011 season with a team-high eight sacks, 72 tackles, and two forced fumbles.

He also blocked three field-goal attempts for a Cardinals team that had an NFL-high five, though he gives the credit to teammates and special teams coach Kevin Spencer for putting him in the right spot.

"Great team player, works hard (but) always is going to have things that he has to work on, especially being as tall as he is, staying low," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "But he's a very good football player and I think he's a great teammate, guy will do anything he can to help contribute to the win."

"If that means playing special teams, or if he could play offense I'm sure he would try to do that but he's working very hard."

Cardinals fans shouldn't expect to see Campbell on the offensive side of the ball this season, but the fifth-year University of Miami standout feels that he still has room for improvement in his own game and hopes to help the Cardinals back to the playoffs after a two-year absence.

"I think I really want to concentrate on causing more turnovers," Campbell said. "That's an aspect of the game that, as a defense, we can improve on a whole lot. I think we can win more games if we can cause more turnovers so our turnover ratio is my number-one goal."

Constantly in his ear is fellow defensive end, 36-year-old Vonnie Holliday, whose advice Campbell soaks up like a sponge.

"To play with somebody with that kind of wisdom is awesome; he helps me out a lot," Campbell said. "We go through a lot of drills together. I think he watches pretty much everything I do because every time I come to the sideline he's giving me some pointers.

"But I really do appreciate it because he's just a wise guy, he's smart and he's played the game a long time. I try to take as much advice from him as I can get."

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A grand day with Calais Campbell and the Marines

Even though I had to get up at the crack of dawn today, the event I covered was well worth it.

I got to hang out with my fellow Marines and Cardinals DE Calais Campbell at Skyline High School, as Calais took part in some training with them and 51 applicants who are striving to earn the title of “United States Marine.”

I really applaud Calais for two reasons: 1.) He volunteered for this “mission,” and 2.) He did as many exercises as he could, considering he was under the weather.

I talked to Calais in-between exercise stations, and he told me that he liked what he saw from the Marines and the applicants. The “strict” nature of how things ran really impressed him.

For those of you that workout, you might think that lifting 30 pounds over your head is easy, but try lifting it in a steel ammo can over 110 times, which is what Calais did!

That was a truly impressive site, but what impressed me more was the effort and desire from the 51 who are trying to be one of “The Few, The Proud.”

When I looked at them and how hard they were working, I couldn’t help but flash back to the year 1989.

I graduated high school in Harrisburg, Pa., and two weeks later, I was at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., for Boot Camp.

Should all 51 make it that far, they are in for an experience like no other!

I really hope that Calais got something out of the training, and takes it back to his team. I know it’ll benefit them greatly.

After all, it’s worked for us for 237 years. It should work for the Cardinals.

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Calais Campbell gettin ready for 2012 season

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Calais Campbell Speaks to Kids at United Way's Youth Empowerment Summit

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Ultimate Calais Campbell Highlights

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PHOTO: Calais Campbell Buys His Mom Her First Benz

Calais Cambell this photo of his mother along with this message: “Just bought my very amazing mother her very 1st luxury car #Benz=happy mother”

Calais Campbell on WhoSay

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