Campbell To Cardinals Camp

With day one wrapped up, defense takes the cake. With the addition of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as well as defensive end Calais Campbell out of Miami, the Cardinals have added major depth and can now focus on the offense in the later rounds. Campbell comes in with boundless potential and a mold defensive line coach Ron Aiken can work with, and from a school Rod Graves admires.

The Cardinals added another Miami alum to the roster with Calais Campbell joining the crew. Campbell doesn't consider Miami an NFL factory, but attributes the impressive alumni group such as Antrel Rolle and Edgerrin James to a hard-hitting curriculum.

"It's the work ethic that we've got to learn at Miami," Campbell said. "They push you to the limit and get you mentally tough.''

Rod Graves considers the success of the group to be along the same lines.

"I think its' the confidence those players have," Rod Graves said. "There's a swagger about the University of Miami and there is camaraderie among those players. They believe they have a first-rate program and the players believe they have an ability to play and they come into this setting with a lot of confidence. Obviously, if they're talented, they have a lot of ability. But I think that added element of confidence that a lot of the University of Miami players display goes a long way in the NFL."

Whether it's nature or nurture, Campbell can read a play with the best of them. Critics will say he doesn't use his 6'7", 290 frame to his advantage and his production drop off in 2007 has people talking.

"I believe my biggest knock is my strength," Campbell said. "I didn't feel like I played as well as I could this year, so I've got to prove I come to work and that I'll work hard every day.''

Former pro scout Tom Marino has more than 30 years of experience in the league. Here is now he sizes up Campbell:

"Has lots of natural skills, play strength and initial get off quickness, but has a tendency to lose his focus and play to the competition. Has good COD and can really close on the ball once he sees it. Very impressive inside counter move as a pass rusher. Huge wing span will pose a major problem for QB's within the league. Very nimble big man, but is not there yet. Had a noticeable drop in production from his sophomore year. Late first- round draft potential."

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications. Her analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports.

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