BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore Ravens made a big splash prior to the opening of the new NFL league year when the team acquired 5x Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 5th round pick. Now, Campbell says he is "so glad" he was dealt to a team that has a strong shot at winning a Super Bowl and believes the sky is the limit in Charm City.
The trade addresses one of the team's biggest needs (pass rusher) and brings in a veteran presence to the defense that lost DT Michael Pierce to the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. The 33-year-old Campbell was plenty productive in 2019, snagging 6.5 sacks to go along with 2 forced fumbles and 25 quarterback hits.
That production is why the trade to Baltimore surprised him a bit. But, he told the team website that if he had to be traded anywhere, he's glad it was to the Ravens.
"I didn't expect to get traded or anything, so I didn't expect this to happen," said Campbell in an interview with Garrett Downing on the team's website. "But, I'm so glad that if I got traded, I got traded to a team that has so much young talent, so much potential, so much of an opportunity. The biggest goal for me at the point I'm at in my career right now is to win a championship. I know obviously everybody this time of year is saying winning a championship is the goal. At the beginning of the year there is 32 teams trying to win a championship. But, I feel like the Ravens have a legitimate chance and I'm happy to be a part of it."
After a 14-2 season that ended in a disappointing Divisional Round exit, it was clear that the Ravens needed to make some upgrades to the defensive side of the ball and likely add a receiver or two on offense. It's clear that Campbell is an upgrade defensively, having reached the Pro Bowl each of the last three seasons.
And, as Campbell told Downing, he has studied both one of the Ravens all-time greats and their current young star QB. Campbell says that he likes to study great players and business leaders from across sports, but Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis has been one of his favorites to study and learn from.
"I have studied all the greats, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Tigers Woods, you could go down the list of people that I have studied in my life that are just, have done great things," said Campbell. "But, Ray Lewis has probably been the one guy I have studied throughout my life. The way he speaks, his leadership, also just his workout regimens. The motivation, the tenacity, he's a guy I have studied a lot and he is definitely my favorite."
And when it comes to his new teammate Lamar Jackson, Campbell says he's been a fan dating back to Lamar's college days at Louisville.
"I watched him in college, I'm an ACC guy so I pay attention to all the ACC teams more than any other teams," said Campbell. "Lamar, I really wanted to see him do well after getting a lot of disrespect in the draft process. Nobody knew this was going to happen and a lot of guys were talking bad about it. So I'm happy to see him do well."
Campbell, a Miami alum, and Jackson, a Louisville alum, will look to lead the Ravens to new heights in 2020.
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