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Kampman Investment Paying Off

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by tromadz, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Packersnews.com (who i dont write\edit for, even though thats been said) :


    Kampman investment is paying off

    By Dylan B. Tomlinson
    Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

    In March, on the eve of free agency, the Green Bay Packers made a hefty investment in Aaron Kampman.

    Kampman had been one of the Packers' top defensive players during the 2005 season and reportedly was receiving a great deal of interest from other teams. To keep Kampman in Green Bay, the Packers gave him a four-year, $21 million contract with $12 million in guaranteed money.

    It was a monster contract, one that is typically given to Pro Bowlers. At the time, there was the overwhelming feeling this was another case of the Packers overpaying to keep one of their players.

    After all, the Packers gave left tackle Chad Clifton a six-year, $32.35 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus in 2004. They gave defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila a six-year, $37.3 million contract with a $13.25 million bonus in 2003. They gave Bubba Franks a four-year, $28 million contract with a $7 million signing bonus before last season, and they gave receiver Robert Ferguson a five-year, $10.87 million contract with a $3.5 million signing bonus in 2004.

    All four players still are with the Packers, but all four have seen a decline in their play since they signed the big contracts.

    The difference with Kampman is he appears to be worth every cent.

    As Kampman's pay scale has escalated, so has his play.

    "He's been our leader on defense, there's no question," safety Nick Collins said. "There's a lot of pressure on him (because of the contract), but nobody works harder than him."

    Through two games this season, Kampman has been one of the few bright spots for the Packers. He has four sacks, which is tied for the NFL lead with Philadelphia's Trent Cole. In the first quarter of Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints, Kampman sacked quarterback Drew Brees while forcing and recovering a fumble, which led to a Packers touchdown.

    "A play like that just gets your defense going," linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "We need more guys to make the kind of plays that Aaron has during the last two games."

    Saints tackle Jon Stinchcomb was matched against Kampman for most of Sunday's game and said he was impressed.

    "He's a hustler. He doesn't stop going on any play," Stinchcomb said. "He's a very good player, one of the toughest I've seen."

    Packers defensive ends coach Carl Hairston admits he knew very little about Kampman when he joined the Packers' staff in January.

    "I didn't know anything. I had heard of him and I was told he was a good run-stopper," Hairston said. "Then as I watched the film from all of the games from last year, I thought this guy is a better pass rusher than people give him credit for."

    Kampman had 6½ sacks last season, but he was primarily known for being solid against the run. Hairston said it's a credit to Kampman's work ethic that teams are forced to look at him differently this season.

    "He never gets tired, and that's a pretty good trait to have in a pass-rusher," Hairston said. "He brings a ton of intensity on every down."

    Two of Kampman's three sacks on Sunday came against a Saints tight end. It's likely future opponents won't take a chance against Kampman by using just a tight end to block him.

    Kampman said he's been pleased by his play but has a hard time enjoying personal accomplishments when his team is 0-2.

    "I'm sick of losing," Kampman said. "I'd rather be statless and get a win."

    It's that kind of attitude that is a big reason why Kampman is a favorite of his teammates and coaching staff. It's why Packers coach Mike McCarthy wasn't worried about Kampman changing as a person or as a player after getting the huge contract in March.

    "He brings his lunch box to work every day," McCarthy said. "He's the same guy every day. He's a true pro."

    Hairston said he thinks Kampman is only beginning to show how good he can be. At 26, Kampman is young enough to continue to improve and can give the Packers a great return on their investment.

    "He does everything right," Hairston said. "He studies film well. He always knows the opponent, and he's never unprepared. He's only going to get better. I can see really good things happening for him."


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    Kampman is da man. I am glad he will be on that line for a while.
     
  2. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    It's about time this guy gets some recognition. Of course, there will still be the "experts" out there that will say he's not an every down player. (I mean the sportswriters) These are the same guys that say Donald Driver isn't a number one reciever. It seems that even when they put up the numbers that PROVE they are good, they still get no love.
     
  3. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    I think there's a good chance Kampman makes the Pro Bowl this year, especially if he keeps playing like this. I've always liked the kid.
     
  4. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    While it is easy to dwell on Ted Thompson's mistakes, he deserves a lot of credit for this signing and keeping him at a lower price last year. Matching the viking offer last year was cheaper than the next higher tender. The current contract is front loaded so that he will not be a cap casualty in the future.

    A good move that will pay off for awhile.
     
  5. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Whoever re-signed this guy should be FIRED!
     

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