Although it still is not a definite that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will miss the start of the 2016 NFL season due to suspension, it appears more likely than ever that third year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be behind center when the Patriots take on the Cardinals week one.
The Cardinals boast an improved defense, with a revamped pass rush (thanks, Chandler Jones) and one of the better secondaries in the game. If Garoppolo indeed makes his NFL debut against Arizona, he will be facing a tall task.
One of the Cardinals' longest tenured veteran defenders, Calais Campbell, is salivating at the possibility of facing a 1st time starter in Garoppolo. Speaking about the matchup during a radio interview on CBS Sports' "Tiki and Tierney," Campbell was rather straight to the point:
Licking my chops. You get a rookie quarterback, pretty much. You know it's always exciting when you get a guy like that for his first game because he's going to be nervous. He's probably going to be sitting there holding the ball a little longer or trying to get rid of it quick, throwing bad balls. As a vet, we definitely pride ourselves on welcoming rookies the right way.
In all fairness, Campbell has a legitimate reason to be excited. Campbell is one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the league, and gets to face a first time starter at quarterback and an offensive line that is revamped, but still struggled to close the 2015 season. The Patriots have done quite the job against first year quarterbacks over the years, so why should he think differently?
Nonetheless, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a master motivator. If Garoppolo is anything like Tom Brady, these quotes from Campbell should provide an extra chip on his shoulder for the season opener.