CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 24: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals fumbles the football after being hit by Calais Campbell #93 of the Arizona Cardinals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Cardinals 23-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
We know about the nice contract that defensive end Calais Campbell signed with the Arizona Cardinals. We know many of the details; like the amount of money, the years of the contract, and the cap savings for this season. We also know the production he can have and has had on both defense and on special teams.
He sacks the quarterback, makes tackles and blocks field goals.
He also says the right things, as noted in the press conference that followed the signing. Hit the jump for the quotes.
"I'm excited about this opportunity. I really feel like this team is a special team, and I feel like if we just continue to get better, we can definitely be a championship team."
"I think I have a long ways to go. I'm just getting better one day at a time."
"Pressure is part of the game. I think it brings the best out of players. I like having pressure on me. I think it makes me work even harder. It's easier to work hard."
Now he has to prove it. Too often athletes get comfortable when they get secure. Their drive is diminished slightly because they aren't playing for their contract. They have it.
I am not saying Campbell is that type of player. He has said the right things. Now he needs to follow up and at least duplicate the success he had a year ago. He now has the attention of the league, meaning teams will scheme for him and to be successful he will have to make adjustments to his game.
He has taken every step in the right direction. Now would not be the time to step off that path to stardom.
The Cardinals need his production to be the dominant defensive team they hope to be and need to be, as there is still much uncertainty on offense.
What do you all think? Will he be the same Calais Campbell now that he has his contract?
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