Cardinals’ Calais Campbell on playing with Chandler Jones: ‘It’s going to be special’

Jun 8, 2016, 8:47 AM | Updated: 3:58 pm
Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones during the team's mini-camp in Tempe Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (Photo: Ad...
Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones during the team's mini-camp in Tempe Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (Photo: Adam Green/Arizona Sports)
(Photo: Adam Green/Arizona Sports)
LISTEN: Calais Campbell, AZ Cardinals defensive end

By all accounts, Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell is one of the nicest guys in the league.

In fact, it’s a label that has followed him for the last few years. Critics wonder how someone so big (6-foot-8, 300 pounds) and so athletic isn’t more dominant on a consistent basis.

Campbell made his second straight Pro Bowl following a 13-3 season that ended in a loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game. The 29-year-old had 61 total tackles and five quarterback sacks.

Others will point out that Campbell is often double-teamed and the lack of established and explosive players around him makes his job more difficult each Sunday.

While Campbell is back, many of the pieces around him on the Cardinals’ defensive line are different. Namely, pass rusher Chandler Jones, who was acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots earlier in the offseason.

There are a lot of curious people who can’t wait to see how Campbell’s performance is affected by a player of Jones’ ilk flanking him. Consider Campbell one of those people.

“Me and Chandler Jones have a really good connection already,” Campbell told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We already have that chemistry. We’re not doing it in pads yet, but you can just tell. It’s going to be special.”

Jones had a career-high 12.5 sacks for the Patriots who, like the Cardinals, lost in their conference championship game. He figures to provide the Cardinals a boost to their outside pass rush, which was a weakness for much of 2015.

“Our connection is the strongest it’s ever been when it comes to running games with a guy (like him) on the outside,” Campbell said. “When we run games together, I think you guys are in for a treat this year.”

Campbell has played with elite pass rushers in the past, like John Abraham and Dwight Freeney. But he’s never really been complimented by a player like Jones — who is one of the best in the business and in the prime of his career.

“Chandler Jones is an every-down player — he’s on the field on first, second and third down,” Campbell said. “Now we become a lot better on first down rushing the passer and be able to run games where we can tell it’s a pass, but it’s a first-down run situation.”

The Cardinals were tied for 20th in the league with 36 regular-season sacks in 2015. A third of them came on first down situations.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the sec...
Arizona Sports

Report: Oklahoma to target Cardinals’ Kingsbury for head coaching job

The Arizona Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury ahead of the 2019 season after he was the head coach at Texas Tech.
17 hours ago
Anquan Boldin #81 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers durin...
Sam Graveline

Former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin named semifinalist for HOF Class of 2022

Among the 26 players who were named semifinalists for the Hall of Fame's class of 2022, former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin made the cut.
17 hours ago
Colt McCoy #12 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the secon...
Arizona Sports

Colt McCoy’s pair of wins starting for Arizona Cardinals: By the numbers

There are a handful of notable numbers to take away from Colt McCoy's two wins as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals.
6 days ago
Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after his tackle against the Seattle Seahawks du...
Tyler Drake

By the numbers: The Arizona Cardinals’ dominance during their 9-2 run

There's no doubting the Cardinals' success so far in 2021. A closer look at Arizona's impressive play through 11 games.
5 days ago
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JULY 30: JJ Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals talks to Chandler Jones #55 durin...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt pays for funeral costs of Waukesha parade victims

Cardinals' J.J. Watt paid honor to the people of the Waukesha parade tragedy in Wisconsin by covering the funeral costs for all six victims.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals players celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 at Lumen Field on No...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ 2021 road success vs. NFC West rivals that of teams past

The Arizona Cardinals haven't left anything up to chance when it comes to playing on the road in 2021, especially against the NFC West.
3 days ago
Cardinals’ Calais Campbell on playing with Chandler Jones: ‘It’s going to be special’