Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has been in Atlanta for the last eight seasons and that makes him an elder statesman on the Falcons defense, but he’s not letting that status keep him from giving some of the leadership spotlight to a new member of the team.
The Falcons signed defensive lineman Calais Campbell as a free agent last month and he brings 15 years of experience with him to his new team. He’s not the only new addition to the defense — the Falcons also signed players like safety Jessie Bates and defensive tackle David Onyemata — but he’s the one that Jarrett points to as a player who can serve as a rising tide for the entire unit.
“To have a leader like Calais Campbell come in is going to be crazy,” Jarrett said, via the Falcons website. “It’s almost like reminiscing of when we had Dwight Freeney come in my second year. When you get a legend of the game to come in, because Calais is that, it just raises the bar for everybody.”
The Falcons haven’t had a winning record since 2017, but the hope is that a busy offseason mixed with holding onto players like Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary will allow the team to turn the corner in 2023. If that happens, it’s a good bet that Campbell’s presence will be credited with a big hand in making it happen.
Grady Jarrett: Calais Campbell raises the bar for everyone originally appeared on Pro Football Talk