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Arizona Cardinals defense not short on leaders, says Calais Campbell

Signings, players stepping up should fill the void of leadership losses over past offseasons.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

With the departure of players like Darnell Dockett and Antonio Cromartie this offseason, and the loss of Karlos Dansby last offseason, there have been questions about the leadership on the defensive side of the ball entering this season.

However, Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell disagrees and believes there is plenty of leadership and it is all part of the "Next Man Up" philosophy.

"We have leaders," he said (via Arizona Sports). "Losing players is part of the game."

He is right. Sure, perhaps the most vocal leader in Darnelll Dockett is gone and the veteran presence and example on the practice field of Antonio Cromartie and Karlos Dansby have moved on, but there are a lot of players who can lead the way.

Campbell is one of them.

Free agent linebacker is filling the vocal role Dockett held and is also quarterbacking  the defense as Larry Foote and Karlos Dansby did the past two seasons.

On the defensive line, they still have Frostee Rucker and added Cory Redding, whom head coach Bruce Arians called one of the best leaders he has ever seen.

Foote is a coach, so that leadership is still there. They added LaMarr Woodley to the linebacking corps. Lorenzo Alexander is still around. In the defensive backfield, they still have well-respected and productive veterans in Rashad Johnson and Jerraud Powers. They have Patrick Peterson. And even Tyrann Mathieu carries himself like a leader.

There is a new defensive coordinator in James Bettcher, but as Lorenzo Alexander noted recently, Bettcher "has control of the room" and, according to Arians, has great communication skills with the players.

Campbell even noted how good a relationship the players had with hims as the outside linebackers coach before.

The Cardinals might have lost some key players and good leaders, but between the veterans they have had and have added, there is no shortage of leadership in 2015.