Campbell thanks Fitz, Dockett for age defiance

Posted by Darren Urban on January 17, 2018 – 1:57 pm

It’s been a magical year for former Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who went for the big money in Jacksonville as a free agent all the while insisting the Jaguars could win this year — and he was right. It’s been in no small part because of Campbell, who had a career-high 14.5 sacks and was named Wednesday as the Pro Football Writers of America’s choice as NFL defensive player of the year.

Obviously, Campbell’s career was built in Arizona, regardless of what happens in Jacksonville. That subject came up during Campbell’s press conference this week prior to the AFC championship game, as Campbell was asked about his huge year as a 31-year-old. Campbell said he simply has worked hard to make sure he has stayed in shape and preserved his body — something he had to learn in his early years as a Cardinal.

“When I was younger I wasn’t as active in taking care of my body,” Campbell said. “But I did have some good leadership from guys that taught me how to take care of my body, so it becomes just a habit. That makes a big difference. I’ve got to take my hat off to Larry Fitzgerald and Darnell Dockett. They were two guys that definitely pushed me to take care of my body at a young age and I think that’s really paying off now.”

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32 Responses to “Campbell thanks Fitz, Dockett for age defiance”

  1. By Big Ken on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    Rooting for Calais!

  2. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    Keim should have never let Campbell go…..

  3. By Dr. G. on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    jtdg – Patricia to the Lions…? I’ve read numerous rumors too, but both Matt and Josh are still in play. To say something is definitive is pure speculation right now. Lots of musical chairs left.

    If the Pats lose this week, we’ll all be much smarter on Monday…just hoping MB is on his game… I’ll take either Matt or Josh, but from what I have studied, Matt is our best fit…later

  4. By Coachsearch on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    As it seems many of the Cards head coaching targets are being crossed off the list, maybe they should go after a tremendous special teams guru for head coach, one Amos Jones.

    The Cards will have to move quick as many teams are probably lurking to take him off the market…

  5. By D on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    CC must have cut down on the junk food. Sure paid off for him, good for him.

    Interesting that all of these Candidates interviewing with AZ, none have HC experience, some no have Cord experience. Guessing Keim may look to go the younger route on the roster if they hire a young coach and will they think about Larry’s future even if it may be only one year.

    I bet some fans are hoping for a surprise coaching name to pop out that no one has talked about..but with the Senior Bowl in 10 days, guessing the coaches mentioned for a second interview, one will be chosen.

  6. By Scott H on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    GREAT photo! Made all the greater, of course, because the Cardinals won the game! Might have been our best win of the season.

    Geez, I forgot that our SB season back in 2008 was Campbell’s rookie year. As such, he really didn’t seem so much of a past of it at the time. I wonder how much a rookie can really appreciate a trip to the SB….but when you get this close to a chance to go back 10 years later, I’ll bet it’s a WHOLE different feeling.

    Yes, Campbell’s career was built in Arizona. No doubt. And he was a top notch player here for much of that career. But….has anyone else felt like the rest of the world REALLY found out who Calais Campbell was THIS year? Honestly, I think that might be the case. NOT because he’s with the Jaguars….but because HE was SOOOO dominant this year and he was seen as the key addition to what has been a great defense. I don’t know….I just feel like he’s gotten more attention this year than at any point during his time in Arizona. And that’s not the worst thing, but….just an observation.

    One thing for sure – he sure as hell silenced the people who were saying, in recent years, that he was over-rated and disappeared too often during games.

    Ah, Darnell Dockett… God, I miss him. When he left, we had Campbell to pick up and continue on as a dominant force. With Campbell gone, there has been no one – at least, no one along the defensive line that could disrupt and dominate like the guys mentioned above. What Jones WAS able to do this year just made it all the more frustrating that Campbell’s departure left such a gaping hole in this defense. And that Nkemdiche was such a zero.

  7. By creditcard on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    Two HOFers, two great people.

  8. By creditcard on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    As per coaching candidates …. I think it would serve the new coach and organization better if the Cards select someone completely different than Arians.

    If the Cards select a seasoned mid-50’s type coach who used to be an OC; I think it would be natural that the players would compare new coach to Arians — which is bad.

    Thus, getting a dark horse (so to speak), that is young and has not been a coordinator. I like Flores. I’m certain any head coach will skin their knee,but being new and young — players and coaches could grow together.

    The comparison issue, would not be as great or as significant.

  9. By Coach K on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    Mike Munchak is off the list, so who is left?

    I hope Bidwell and Keim will consider going with a young offensive coach and keep Betcher and his staff intact.

    Any ideas on who might be a good young offensive coach to step in as head man

  10. By Steve on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    Darren: From your vantage point as a sports writer who has covered this team for many years and seen it all, does this particular HC hire seem more challenging than most previous coaching hires? I ask because it seems that the coaches MB and SO want are not interested in the job, perhaps they will have to ‘settle” for a coach who wasn’t originally high on their list? Seems like all the other teams got the coaches they wanted but not us…..

  11. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Challenging

    Two things.

    1) Bidwill said it was going to take a while. So that it has taken a while, no, it’s not a surprise.
    2) I understand you said “seem” but other than Munchak, how do you know who they are truly interested in? I have to be honest, I do not, and I am leery of anyone who says they do. They’ve done a nice job of playing their cards close to the vest. Same goes for other teams — you really don’t know who each team wanted the most.

  12. By georgiebird on Jan 17, 2018 | Reply

    It SEEMS like the Cards job is the least desirable of all the HC openings. Doesn’t mean the Cards can’t get a good HC (like Arians) but it sure seems like a 2nd class destination.
    It annoys me that the Giants always get their man.

  13. By Johnson on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    Every time I see Calais in another uniform other than the Cardinals, I cringe and wonder what if we had a better management in this organization – they would have definitely done everything possible to keep such an important player. 14.5 sacks and chosen as the Best Defensive Player by the Pro Football Writers is amazing feat – He is at the Doorstep of going to SuperBowl and I would cherish every moment and time if Jaguars do win it! – Great Job Keim and all that talk about being on the wrong side of 30 – What a joke!

    He made the right choice to go with a team that did everything possible to develop the defense and accordingly the offense! Not many team can go into Pittsburgh and win like that – TWICE!

    I really do hope Larry can follow in Calais’s footsteps and go to a team that can win another Super Bowl – if not, then hopefully the Cardinals can build a roster and coaching panel (Todd Haley, Special Teams etc) that can attract Larry to come back – but can the Cardinals even win 3 games next season? – Highly Doubtful!

    2 of my favorite players over the last 10 years – Hopefully Calais can win a Super Bowl, if Larry doesnt!

  14. By El Gallo on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    Well done CC! His NFL Defensive PoY is well deserved. Being that his unit is top notch and his team is still playing, to include his own accomplishments. Great guy, awesome to hear him mention Larry and Dockett, says a lot about his character.

    – Although the “Writing on the Wall” for many of the coaching candidates may be up and out there, there is still time for the unexpected. Nothing is “Official” yet.

    Negotiations are ongoing and they’re all trying to build the best staffs they can with the approval of Ownership. Think this is pivotal in determining who will end up where as HC. Who will agree to follow new HC..

    I suspect this is where the Cardinals FO and MB spend a great deal of time. Ensuring they go through this with each candidate as they vet each possible staff member. It worked in 2013.
    Arians doubled down as HC/OC; Bowles DC. Both units elevated the Cards to the top NFC, competed for NFC West crown (got it once). By year 3 they were one game away from Super Bowl. Sad to say that ST was more often the odd man out! Cost games and impacted team morale. So it matters they take a deep look at who’s coming in to avoid similar setbacks. Just don’t take too long, time waits on no one. Those who ask receive, those who take a shot have a chance to score.

    – Lets focus on Defense for a sec.

    Hasn’t been mentioned much but it’ll prove to be critical in the years to come with the influx of new offensive minds (OCs) and talent within our divisional counterparts.

    Our Defense is good. But it can be great. Imagine they bring in a DC that can make all the pieces work in unison, have it firing on all cylinders. We’d have that to counter our conference foes dynamic young QBs. We can go that route till we find ourselves a Viable QB. Our defense needs this, or we don’t stand a chance.

    (Military minded side of me says)
    *Basic tactic: if your adversaries offensive firepower is superior, you must build up your defensive measures and some. While always figuring out ways to dominate with your offense. Can’t always be conventional, you have to be innovative at times. Always have contingencies.*

    I know getting a QB is paramount to winning along with having someone to guide him, be it HC or OC. But you can’t forget about the Defense.

    It’s been our teams backbone along with Larry. If Larry chooses to hang up the cleats, hope not, but the defense will have to carry us forward. David Johnson can’t possibly do it all himself on offense. He can’t run and block for himself, or throw himself the ball. Our team will have to rely heavily on PP, Jones and company.

    Maybe new DC can get Nkiemdice, Reddick, Gunter going? They have all the talent and “potential” in the world but can he bring it out of them during the bright lights is what we wanna see.. That would get everyone fired up! They’re on the team might as well play em’ just adds to our defense.

    Betchers schemes were ok but even PP asked him to tone it down, simplify it. Seems Betcher didn’t have the pull or trained eye to see Tramon Williams was better for CB2 from the get go. Wasn’t able to get much out of #90, #43, #95 and those could be some incredible weapons if used correctly.
    Analysts and fans alike saw the defensive unit struggle throughout the season. You want to see them have success for more than just the first 3 qtrs. Often in the games won it felt as if they barely survived the 4th Qtrs. Or Defense would be ok 1 semi-whole game and disappear the next (London game).

    Just saying it’d be something to see our defense become a dominant force with new leadership as we build our offense.

    -Respectfully, long time fan here

  15. By JTDG on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H,

    D Line;

    Don’t sleep on Olsen Pierre. He was red shirted his first year, not playing a snap. But this year, he slowly was eased into the lineup. He ended up starting the last 7 games.

    He put up 30 Tackles and 5.5 sacks , finishing the season with 4 tackles and a sack against Seattle.

    I fully expect Pierre to make that jump to full time starter and be the Campbell/Dockett on the line.

    I think most look at Nkemdiche to make that leap, mostly because he is a first round pick, but I am not seeing anything except a couple plays. I mean he finished with 7 tackles and no sacks in 12 games. Not what you want to see out of a first rounder.

  16. By JTDG on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    This what I find interesting about this article.

    Please understand, this is not a knock on Dockett, but just an interesting fact.

    Dockett was done after 2013. He played 10 years in the league and was clearly slowing down his last few years.

    Campbell is roughly at the same age/years played as Dockett, when Dockett was done, yet he is making 15 million a year while becoming Defensive Player of the Year.

    Was there no one around when Dockett was younger to guide him or did he not take his own advice? It could just come down to genetics, but clearly his body did not hold up as he turned 30, while Campbell has never looked better.

  17. By clssylssy on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    I’m getting the sinking feeling that we are going to end up with Bettcher and this all has been a “going through the motions exercise”. I hope I’m wrong but Keim has his “three year plan” that he seems to have sold to Bidwill, and Mr. Bidwill seems just conservative enough to not want a costly change (a younger, more progressive HC might not be satisfied with Keim’s vision and want to have a say in bringing in more expensive staff and players),
    When BA was doing his media tour of the Rich Eisen Show, NFL, etc., he said he WOULD be in training camp, whether it was with the Cards (depending on the HC hire) or with the Jets leaving the impression that he may be “retired” but not gone and still planned on being a part of “the process”. I think this would be a big mistake, perhaps a reason Muncheck cancelled the second interview, knowing BA’s “steamroller” personality,
    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks. I like Flores, DiFillipo, LaFleur and Matt Patricia (not necessisarily in that order) and would like to see this organization do something progressive and a bit innovative, although those traits don’t seem to fit with the identity that has been the Cardinals or the Bidwills. The turnover rate we’ve had with our HCs would be a BIG red flag to many candidates, since both Coaches Ken and BA won Championships for this organization but were disposed of in a relatively short time pointing to a questionable management style that might not be appealing.
    If this job is being sold on the merits of the “resort weather” rather than the actual job, I guess we should be lucky we aren’t interviewing in the summer when it’s 120 degrees and bear in mind that most of these guys come from cold weather climates and might find that most of the year the weather here is oppressive.

  18. By JTDG on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    OK, I have several times come out to question whether the cardinals job is attractive to coaches. I stick by that because I think the offense is a mess. But let me take a moment to point out what I find is right about the cards.

    1. It starts with pass rush. This was always a problem for the cards of the past. With Chandler Jones and Marcus Golden, the cards have one of the best duos, if not the best pass rushing duo.

    2. With those two coming on, you need someone to push the pocket and give an interior rush. We started to see Pierre emerge as he pilled up 5.5 sacks while starting 7 games. We have a nice run stopper and leader in Corey Peters.

    3. Our two interior ILBs are fast and can get sideline to sideline. With Reddick moving inside to pair with Buc, we should see more production from these two with a new DC. With their speed, you should see more “A” gap blitzes, more sacks, more of an ability to cover backs out of the backfield.

    4. Pat P is a great CB. Say what you will, but he shuts down other teams top receivers. Every time I see him drop in a zone, I cringe. Used properly, he is the best. We finally saw a CB2 step up, although he is 35 and a FA. This must be addressed.

    5. Budda Baker and Antoine Bethea played SS and FS really well. Bethea, for an aging vet, really worked well playing center field. Budda showed he can play in the box and cover in the slot at times. He was exposed deep, so they need to avoid putting him in those spots. These two should be the safeties moving forward, although I think they might play another safety on the team instead.

    6. Our kicking game got a lot better. FGs and punts improved under Dawson and Lee. (please note, I am not saying Special teams got better-just the two kickers)

    7. With DJ coming back, we have a weapon in the backfield. We saw what he did in 2016 and what Gurley and Lev Bell did this year. A back who can run between the tackles and catch the ball like a receiver is a deadly weapon.

    8. We have Fitz. Well, at least I believe he comes back for one more year.

    Yes, we have a very poor oline, holes at receiver and no QB, but we do have a star running back and a potentially good defense. Does that interest a young coach like Brian Flores, who most likely will be DC in NE with Patricia leaving?

  19. By D on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    Bottom line, SK needs to have a top 5 off season for this team/fan base continue to grow and move forward. Steve needs to bring in the right free agents and have the best draft of his GM career.
    Regardless of what unknown coach is hired, he needs the players to succeed in the NFC West where all other teams have young QB’s, young play makers and confidence. Unless your related to Wilks, Flores, etc no one know’s how they will be as a HC.

  20. By Dr. G. on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    Well…last eve I watched as The Wolf said he would like to see Alex Smith come to AZ along with moving up to get a good QB pick. This has been rumored for some time now…probable good moves.

    Can you say, “”Smith to Fitz for another record?”” I’m betting talks with KC are going on just now…

  21. By John S. on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    Calais Campbell.. class act and a great player. Neat picture above with Fitz too, two class acts in fact and fine people; we miss you and wish you still wore the Red, but also understand the business end to it all… sometimes you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do. Make sure you save a lot that big money as well, football and your body certainly won’t last forever and like to see that you’re in a comfortable position when all is said and done…

  22. By Big Ken on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    A lot of praise on Brian Flores. If they hire a defensive minded guy, it would be interesting if he would keep Betcher. A lot of smoke and mirrors, misdirection plays.

  23. By Jo Ball on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply


    Not sure what “championships” you’re referring to but neither Whiz nor Arians won a championship for us. Arians was not “disposed” .. he retired. Whiz was given 2 full years after last playoff run in which we actually got worse each year so I’m not sure where the “relatively short time” comment comes into play either.

    With that said, I really wanted Shurmur but looks like he’s unofficially gone. Then Patricia, who is also gone. So, my next choice would be John DeFlippo or Brian Flores. All along, I’ve said anyone but Munchak or Bettcher. Thankfully, Munchak took himself out of consideration. Now if we can just dodge the mistake that is Bettcher who I don’t even think should be the DC let alone HC. Imagine a situation where Bettcher is the HC and he retains Amos as the Special Teams coach. lol

  24. By D on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    K. Cousins??? I hope that rumor isn’t true, his weak arm isn’t worth $30 mil that he will get in free agency. If they do land him, then they won’t need a QB whisper type coach, most likely could go Special teams or a Def HC.

    Guessing the Redskins will try very hard to resign him, but the several games I watched of him, he looked like a above average QB that needs a lot of talent around him to win this past year.

    The positive of Cousins is that they are could fill a hole in other areas at #15 in the draft, like WR, CB or OL. They won’t be moving up in the draft if they sign a Cousins….and Larry would most likely come back for another year.

  25. By Corgon on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    I’m so happy for him! Let’s go for that ring CC!

  26. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    I see reports that the Cards are interested in Cousin’s…. My take GOD NO!!!
    He is not worth the $30m he is looking for…. I have seen him play a few times. I think he is overrated and over paid. Alex Smith would be a better choice for the Cards. Then they can draft a QB that can take over in a few years. I don’t think Gabbert or Stanton are the answer either. Maybe one of them as a backup.

  27. By Dr. G. on Jan 18, 2018 | Reply

    JoBall ~ ~ Patricia is not gone…nor is McDaniels. Neither can sign until they are eliminated or win it all….just rumors right now. This HC pick will tell us a lot about how good Bidwill is at personnel evaluation. I’m rooting for him to do the right thing here…always the biggest decision of his job.

    Arians was not such a difficult pick, ‘cuz he was on a good lucky temp HC run with the Colts…so Bidwill could rest easy on that choice. This QB whisperer stuff was total bs…look at the guys he had prior to Arizona…all stars with any coach. Who did BA develop with the Cards? Palmer saved his behind here.

    If you want to name a real QB whisperer, take a look at Jon Gruden. He makes the QBs think, not just perform a play that is called…gotta be smarter than the QB to do that….BA?

  28. By clssylssy on Jan 19, 2018 | Reply

    Ever been to a Cards game and see those big bannders hanging? Whiz has two that say “Division CHAMPIONSHIP”, plus one that reads “CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP”, and was less than a minute of one reading “NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP”. BA has a “Division CHAMPIONSHIP” and together they were the winningest HCs in Cardinal history! And, two years to turn a team around and come back is NOTHING in the NFL especially when you don’t have the sharpest GM picking your roster for you, You see, it takes a group effort to win CHAMPIONSHIPS so two years is a relatively short period, given all the movings pieces that come into play!
    Watching BA’s interviews since his “retirement” does leave alot of questions about the exact circumstances. When he came here he was on his way to “retirement”, had a few good years, some serious health issues, and while it had been rumored that he would retire, or it was “mutually decided he would not return”, I guess we are left to choose which truth we prefer to believe. Meanwhile Coach Ken is enjoying success with the Chargers as their OC, a role I believe he prefers and which he is well suited for as not everyone seeks to be a media darling but is all about the x’s and o’s and his players.
    FWIW: Just read an article in which Kurt Warner gave his ringing endorsement to Todd Haley as his choice of candidates for the Cardinals HC position, noting that Haley was tough and but could bring out the best in his players to get wins and that if he still had anything left in the tank he would come back and play for Haley!
    If you have been a football fan for long, you know by now that there always needs to be a scapegoat when a season (or two) don’t end like the fans were hoping and in most cases the guy thrown under the bus is going to be the HC or one of his high ranking coordinators, when the reality is that it was a shared failure.

  29. By Scott H on Jan 19, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE: Pierre

    Yes, he was truly a bright spot for this team this year. I won’t sleep on him. But let’s see a little more before we put him in the Darnell Dockett / Calais Campbell category. That is pretty elite company. Can’t put Pierre there after one season.

    But I like your optimism, seeing as you don’t speak highly of just anyone.

    Dude….did the Browns really hire Jones??? My God, are you kidding me?? First, they “pass” ( no pun intended ) on Carson Wentz, now they hire HIM?? Holy cow….we may need to get some environmental people out to the Cleveland area to test the water, the air, etc. Because those people are clearly being affected by SOMETHING.

    Is pot legal in Cleveland??

  30. By Jo Ball on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Gotcha, I didn’t know we were counting division champs which in the long run is worthless but still a good accomplishment. Whiz got fired because of his QBs. He didn’t want to take one early, he failed to develop the ones he took and the front office failed to find one in free agency. The coach has a say in drafting so you could share that blame with him as well.
    The thing is, I rarely judge a coach on wins vs losses. I judge them on their decision making, leading, the systems they run, and the adjustments they make. I think we can all agree that any coach can win with 22 superstars. I think BA’s most impressive season was the year we went 10-6 and had lost something like 14 players for the season. That was one of the finest coaching jobs I had ever seen. Then 2015 happened, BA got careless or had different plans. I will never blame a man for picking his family and health over a job but his heart was not into it after 2015. And then you saw all of those qualities I mentioned dissapear. He constantly threw his players under the bus, failed to make any sort of adjustments, talked about accountabilty but didnt enforce it on guys like butler or any of his staff. He openly said he would bring back Amos because our kicking improved. Seriously? Moving on was good for both sides. No risk it no biscuit had run its course, we were on the decline and BA was not the man who was going to try anything different to get us out.

  31. By motnoy on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Calais was always built for a 4-3 defense. Playing in a 3-4 the last 6 or so years in AZ prevented him from getting national recognition. Very happy that the switch resulted in him being DPOY.

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