JACKSONVILLE FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Aaron Kampman #74 of the Jacksonville Jaguars pressure Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos during the NFL season opener game at EverBank Field on September 12 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
The signing of free agent defensive end Aaron Kampman was one of the most criticized signings of the off-season, nationally. Some pundits even dubbed it as one of the dumbest moves of the off-season.
This move would have been great a year ago. Unfortunately, Aaron Kampman tore his ACL in November, which means there's a very small chance he'll be anywhere close to 100 percent by the season opener.
With that in mind, why would the financially strapped Jaguars just burn away $11 million like this? I don't get it, but I guess there's a reason wise teams like the Colts and Steelers are in Super Bowl contention every year - they're smart enough to realize that you don't win by acquiring overpriced free agents.
I won't name who said that, it should be pretty easy to figure out.
So far, the $11 million looks like money well spent. Aaron Kampman is making a new word resonate through Jacksonville Jaguars fans.
re·lent·less adj \-ləs\ : showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace
This is what Aaron Kampman brings to the defensive line, as a whole. The man does not stop and it rubs off on the rest of the players. I think it's hard-wired in rookie defensive tackle Tyson Alualu as well, and you can see the ripple effect it has. Guys on the defensive line want to match that. The young guys on the defensive line want to match that intensity by Kampman. He's stepped right in and is that leader the team needed on the defense.
"The key to everything in the organization is to be relentless, that’s the kind of mentality we wanted in this game. We just wanted to be relentless and come out victorious," said rookie Tyson Alualu.
"Kampman is a proven player with incredible awareness and determination. He’s a guy that the motor never stops, that’s what Joe Cullen talks about all the time is motor, and being in pursuit of the quarterback. He hit the QB and was real close on a couple others where when our coverage gets a little better, and it will, he’s going to have additional sacks. It was a huge day for him, he was very dominant out there," said Jack Del Rio after the game.
While it's silly to project after only one game, Kampman is on pace to shatter the over under set by Las Vegas.
I don't think double digit sacks for Kampman are out of the question, but the big deal will be the effect on the rest of the line. Even Derrick Harvey, who's been heavily criticized by fans, had an excellent game that will go largely unnoticed because of the play of Alualu and Kampman. The defensive line should get better as the season goes on, especially Kampman.
Remember, Kampman's "no where near" 100%.