Calais Campbell: We’re starting back at zero

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After the Jaguars lost to the Patriots in the AFC title game in January, veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell said that he wanted his teammates to “use this as fuel” as they got ready for the 2018 season.

The loss is the only thing from last season he wants to be part of the team’s mindset this year. The Jaguars made a big jump from the bottom of the barrel to a division title last year, but Campbell wants the team to realize that those gains don’t carry over into the next season.

Campbell said Jacksonville’s success now “means nothing” and spoke from experience about what happens when you act differently.

“You start back at zero, so everybody’s equal,” Campbell said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “You have to earn the right to have the opportunity to make it to the playoffs. When people start picking you as the favorite and [predicting] what you should do, it’s kind of poison. You’re kind of relaxing and start believing you’re better than you are. I experienced that back in ’15 in Arizona. We went to the conference championship, and everybody next year predicted us to win the Super Bowl. I think it kind of affected the way we played. I think we kind of believed it instead of earning it.”

The Jaguars earned their spot in the NFL’s final four last year and the talent is on hand for another run. Campbell’s words are a reminder that talent alone doesn’t decide who survives and advances come January.

12 responses to “Calais Campbell: We’re starting back at zero

  1. They’d finish 8th in the NFC

    Yet they’re still the only tough out New England might have to face on the way to another Super Bowl appearance

    So much for parity

  2. Great mindset for the vet to bring to this talented young defense. The window is never open long.

  3. From what I can see, the Jaguars have a good core of players under contract to have a solid push to contend for the super bowl over the next couple of years

  4. Great defense, but they overachieved on offense and then compounded their problems by signing Bortles to a big extension. They will not repeat those results this season.

  5. The Jags are now another team that Tomlin has no idea how to beat. Well at least the Steelers get to play in the cream-puff AFC North

  6. They had the talent in the past, but their coaching was below par. Their new coach took them to the playoffs and nearly the Super Bowl last season. They should do well again this year.

  7. What a great asset for the Jags, Calais Campbell knows what he’s talking about from experience, and rookies and newbies are lucky to have his leadership to guide them.
    Other teams could learn from what the Jags were able to do last season, and I look forward to seeing them become one of the premiere teams of the AFC. Their high octane, spirited aggressive defense makes them fun to watch, which is becoming something of a rarity in the NFL of recent years.

  8. Calais Campbell is as valuable for team leadership skills as he is for his awesome playing abilities. He is the best free agent acquisition in Jags’ team history.

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