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It hasn't taken long for Calais Campbell to acknowledge the hard realities of life in the NFL, where star players come and go with increasing regularity.
Entering his third season with the Cardinals after exceeding expectations in 2009 as the replacement at right end for free-agent departee Antonio Smith, Campbell has wasted no time coming to grips with the loss of key defenders Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle, who signed with the Dolphins and Giants, respectively, on the first full day of this year's free-agent period.
"Players are always out to make a lot of money, Every year key people are going to other teams. It's kind of become expected," Campbell told PFW during a break in his participation in the Cardinals' offseason workout program.
"I'm happy for Karlos and Antrel. They were great players who contributed a lot to our team. But we've brought in some really good players like Joey Porter. He is a huge pickup."
As important as anything in the Cardinals' offseason workout program is the bonding experience it provides, especially with new additions to the team.
Campbell has really enjoyed bonding with Porter, a four-time Pro Bowler who is expected to provide a big boost both on and off the field.
"He's going to help us tremendously," Campbell said of Porter, who didn't send the best early signal when he was arrested on a number of counts in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., just eight days after signing with the Cardinals (the charges were later dropped). "He's the kind of guy you want in the locker room. He's very funny. And he's sure going to make my job easier with the way he can rush the passer."
Campbell did his job quite well in his first full year as a starter, tying linemate Darnell Dockett for the team lead with seven sacks. But he won't be totally happy until he's racking up double-digit sacks on a yearly basis.
"That's my goal," he said. "I have the potential to be a double-digit pass rusher and one of the best in the league every year."
Campbell played with a special cast to protect a fractured left thumb late in the '09 season and in the playoffs.
"It's about 85 percent healed," Campbell said of the thumb. "But I'm not limited at all and can do everything in the weight room."
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