Arizona Cardinals fans know that one yearly Pro Bowl snub has to be defensive end Calais Campbell. He was named an alternate last season, but according to an interview with ESPN.com, it was a disappointment for Campbell after collecting a career-high nine sacks and being part of the league's number one rushing defense.
"I'm very ready," he said. "I want to have an ability to lead my team to a Super Bowl and win one. I feel like now is better than any other time. If I'm going to become the elite player I want to be, it has to be now. I put all the work in to be the best I can be."
Campbell is in a tough spot, for sure. The defensive ends that make it to the Pro Bowl typically are 4-3 ends that are pass rush specialists. Campbell's sack total was "only" nine, but that doesn't pop off the stat sheet. He does get a lot of tackles for his position, but that number has declined the past two seasons.
So what will it take?
He isn't the most popular player nationally. He doesn't have the unquestioned respect of his peers, as he was again absent from the Top 100 Players that players vote on.
Will he have to bump up the tackle numbers and get double digit sacks? Or will it come naturally, as it tends to happen? The saying is that your first Pro Bowl comes a year after you first deserved it and the last time is a year you don't deserve it.
What else will it take for Campbell? Is it the scheme? Is it the team he plays for? Or will he get his chance oon?
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