Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell is one of the most well-respected and successful players of his era. The 15-year NFL veteran has 93.5 career sacks to his name and is still going strong at age 36.
However, his opponent on Sunday apparently didn’t get the memo.
New York Jets rookie right tackle Max Mitchell spoke about Campbell ahead of his first career start this Sunday. While he was initially complimentary of Campbell, his praise quickly turned into apparent apathy.
Mitchell claimed that Campbell was “just another dude” and “nothing we haven’t seen on the field before.” That’s quite the claim for a rookie fourth-round pick who’s yet to play in an NFL game.
"“A 15-year vet, so he’s got some salt to him. Dude is big, long, strong, fast … but nothing we can’t handle, nothing we haven’t seen on the field before. He’s a renowned guy, but he’s just another dude.”"
Calais Campbell and the Ravens will look to make the Jets pay in Week 1
Campbell has spent the last two seasons with the Ravens where he’s proven that he can still play at a high level despite his age. Campbell’s 80.8 Pro Football Focus grade ranked eighth among all interior defensive linemen in the NFL.
While he may never be the perennial double-digit sack artist that he was in his prime, he’s still a very talented player. Dismissing him as “just another dude” feels misguided, especially for someone like Mitchell.
A fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, Mitchell will be called upon to start at right tackle for the Jets after a series of injuries. With Mekhi Becton and now Duane Brown sidelined, the Jets will be moving George Fant over to left tackle while the rookie Mitchell steps in at right tackle.
He’s not someone the Jets wanted to play early in his career, and the Ravens will have an opportunity to expose him on Sunday. To make matters worse, Mitchell has just added some fuel to the fire.
Look for Campbell to make Mitchell eat his words in Week 1. He’s not “just another dude.” He’s a six-time Pro Bowler, former All-Pro, and a potential future Hall of Famer.
That’s who Calais Campbell is.