Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let's Talk About Aaron Kampman


We want an upgrade at LDE.  Julius Peppers is available, but I'm back and forth on him.  Heck, he may want no part of Philly.  Is there a more pressure packed role than high priced free agent in Philadelphia?  Set Peppers aside for a minute.  If he's off the table we have to consider other options. 

One guy that I absolutely love is Aaron Kampman, the Packers LDE for several years.  They moved to a 3-4 defense last year and he became an OLB.  Aaron had 3.5 sacks and 28 QB pressures before tearing his ACL on Nov. 22nd.  The Packers are not going to tag him.  They are going to offer him some kind of a deal, but he's expected to leave because he'd rather play in a 4-3. 

I think Aaron would be a great fit for us at LDE.  He goes about 6'4, 265.  He has a great motor.  He's quick and fast, but isn't an explosive rusher.  He will play the run.  Aaron is a high character veteran who will give you 100% on every snap.  He's been very productive over the last 5 years. 

2009 - 3.5 sacks, 30 solo tackles, 1 FF
2008 - 9.5 sacks, 47 solo tackles
2007 - 12 sacks, 48 solo tackles, 1 FF
2006 - 15.5 sacks, 59 solo tackles, 3 FFs
2005 -  6.5 sacks, 59 solo tackles, 3 FFs

Now let's talk about the downside.  Don't you hate this part?  Aaron is coming off a torn ACL.  That is a huge factor, both good and bad.  The only reason that he is likely hitting the market is the injury.  If healthy he'd get tagged by the Packers.  Do you want to go after a free agent coming off a torn ACL?  Is that playing with fire? 

Here are a couple of things to consider:

"We're going through all of the information, continue to gather it and so forth," coach Mike McCarthy said of Kampman.

"We'll watch his rehab, which will be a big part of it. He is off the charts as far as where he is at in his rehab. It's pretty remarkable how he has responded in coming back from his surgery so fast. Those are all the things that we'll look at."
and ... 

Kampman's season-ending knee injury came during the Nov. 22 game against San Francisco, and he had surgery Dec. 4. He said he is "very encouraged" by his progress in rehabilitation and expects to be ready to hit the field by training camp.

"Things have gone very, very well," Kampman said. "I'm very thankful."

Is that true?  Is that just posturing?  This isn't agent-speak, which makes me feel more at ease.  Stacy Andrews and his agent spun a real positive story last year, but they had reason to.  Kampman is saying the right things, but the first set of comments is from his soon-to-be former coach.  Mike McCarthy doesn't gain anything by saying that Aaron is ahead of schedule.  Those comments don't mean that Kampman is truly on a great pace, but it does make me feel more confident about him. 

There is another factor that makes Kampman different than Andrews...6'4, 265 compared to 6'7, 340.  Aaron is in great shape.  He's got a chiseled body.  You can bet he's killing it in the gym to get back on the field ASAP.  Stacy isn't lazy, but O-linemen just can't do the same level of workouts because of their size. 

Obviously you'll never be 100% comfortable with a guy who tore his ACL late in the year.  You'll always be nervous about the knee.  One good aspect to Kampman and the ACL tear is that he's never been an explosive athlete.  Some guys lose their explosion and never get back to being good players.  Aaron makes plays based on effort, leverage, and technique.  Osi Umenyiora injured his knee in the summer of 2008 and wasn't back to his old self in 2009.  He didn't have the same burst and speed.  He's never been a player who was technically proficient.  Osi used athletic ability.  Kampman knows how to beat blockers when he isn't able to just run around them. 

The other major issue with Aaron is age.  He'll turn 31 in November.  How many good years does he have left?  Patrick Kerney had 14.5 sacks in the year when he was 30 going on 31.  Greg Eliis has remained an effective player in his 30s.  Jason Taylor is still a quality force off the edge.  Aaron Smith remains a key player for the Steelers.  Shaun Ellis is turning 33 this year.  Kampman could have 3 good years left.  Maybe more.  Maybe less. 

There are no guarantees in football.  If we're going to take a chance, Kampman is the kind of guy to do it on.  He won't fail due to lack of effort or work.  I think he'd be a great fit for our defense based on his style of play.  Aaron is relentless on the field and will do whatever it takes to win.  I think Aaron would be a fan favorite because of his motor.  What you see is what you get with him. 

What do you guys think?  Could you be happy with the signing of Kampman?  Is this too risky?  Who thinks this is just a flat out dumb idea? 

I'll post thoughts on other targets in the next couple of weeks.  For now try to limit this discussion to Kampman.


Tommy Lawlor said...

In the last comments section someone asked about Sergio Kindle.

I think he can definitely play LDE for us.

I'm still figuring out if he could play SAM for us, like Orakpo did for WAS.

He's strong, physical, quick, and athletic. I just don't know how effective he is playing in space.

I do think Sergio could fit our style of DE play. He has the kind of athletic ability that allows him to come off the ball under control and then use a good burst to close to the QB.

Tommy Lawlor said...

RE: Jared Odrick

He came to Penn State as a DE, but grew into a DT.

I think he could play LDE, but I don't think the Eagles will look at him like that. We like to be creative with our DEs. I don't see Jared being effective with some of the things we do.

Netherman said...

I would love the signing of Kampman, but I would still draft a DE regardless of whether we snagged Kampman or not. After reading your article about Earl Thomas, I hope we give Macho and Demps another shot. I would hate to blow our 1st on something that may not even be a need. I would rather see them snag Kyle Wilson or one of the DE's in round one (even if it means using a little juice to jump up a bit in the draft). The improved pass rush will make our whole secondary look better.

Jay said...

I, as I imagine most Eagles fans, would be happy to have Kampman on our team...under one condition, however. I would not be happy if he was the only addition at DE.

I'm really tired of putting all of our eggs in one risk filled basket. Need numero uno on this team, as far as I'm concerned is a consistent pass rush from the LDE position. I would not be happy if we banked on Kampman and Kampman alone to be a medical marvel and heal faster than nearly every other athlete that I've seen tear their ACLs.

If we sign Kampman and draft a DE early....I'm on board. But, if he's our only option, I'd be worried ... I'd have a strong feeling that we'd be right back to this same position next year.

Cliff said...

Yeah, let's go get him.

Eddie said...

First last off-season we took a risk with a player who just came off a ACL tear and that turned out great(Stacy andrews) so i definitely want a backup plan in Graham or Kindle. Also tommy what do you think about Terrence Cody, this guy is perfect in a 2 gap system we run and some mock draft have him going in the 3 round i dont think he will go anywhere that low but what do you think.

Kevin said...

I love Aaron Kampmann. He's a perfect fit for us as he's a stop the run first 4-3 LDE. Not only that, due to his 3-4 OLB experience, he'll be fine dropping in zone blitzes. He's also a guy who can play 3 downs, but more importantly, allows Parker a breather. Babin would be the likely casualty, but Kampmann is such an upgrade that you have to do it.

My only concern is $. I'm guessing teams desperate for a 4-3LDE with cash (Giants, Titans).

Added value of Kampmann? It allows the Eagles to go DB early and often in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Edward said...

I'd definitely be happy to see him signed but i agree with Netherman. It wouldn't change what i would like the Eagles to do in the draft. A DE in the first or second - wherever they felt was better value - would still be a priority.

Anders said...

I would love Kampman and a first round pick on a DE.

Eddie said...

i think if we get kampman we dont need a DE in the First round, because we have ok depth in our current de but the higher i could draft a de if we get kampman would be the second round.

Virgile said...

Hey tommy,

Thanks for your answer on Kindle. Thanks a lot.

Kampmann : I love him. And what I think is a big plus, is that his style of play is not based on pure athleticism, like Kearse, but on his energy/motor, so it makes me feel more confident in his ability to play effectively after a torn ACL.

Tommy Lawlor said...

Interesting thoughts.

I would not plan on taking a DE in the 1st after signing Kampman.

I think Kampman/Parker would give you a good 1-2 combo at LDE. I would spend some pick in rounds 2-4 on a DE to try and develop.

Now, if the right DE is on the board at 24 you absolutely take him. You just don't make special plans for a DE at that point.

mcud77 said...


I admit you've got me leaning towards Kamp over Pepp. Good argument I suppose, as it changed my mind. Nice job, as usual.

Re: Kindle

No no no to Sergio Kindle at SAM. There's a line in "We Were Soldiers" where Sam Elliott observes Sgt. Savage and says "that big, strong over there...he wants to win medals." Thats Sergio. Let him advance on a beachhead, and you've got something. Stick him behind a desk, and you'll have a washout. SAM might as well be a desk job in this defense.

Hope that metaphor makes some sense. I don't question his ability for a second. I question his desire if given the SAM's responsibility...

Stephen said...

The ACL thing bothers me, everyone talks about coming back faster than scheduled but they never quite seem 100%.

I do however think its a great idea to add him anyways, no one says he has to contribute this year.

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ mcud...

Thanks for the Kindle input. I'll keep that in mind.

Edward said...

What are your thoughts on Derrick Morgan Tommy? Watching him play you can see why he's highly rated, great rusher and pretty stout against the run. However considering what you said in that article about a DEs responsibilities in the Eagles system, he seems like a poor fit. Overpursues quite frequently and all of the sacks i've seen have typically been when he was exploding off the ball playing the pass. Unlike Hughes who i like more and more.

Do you agree/would you take him at #24 and hope to coach him up a bit?

Myron said...

Hey, maybe this could be the Packers' way of repaying us for the Reggie White trade, right?

It took them to a Super Bowl title, why can't one of their free agents take us to a title? :)

(I'd still rather draft Brandon Graham if given the choice, but Kampman can be a solid addition as long as we don't have to give up draft picks for this guy)

Anders said...

No matter if we pick up Kampman in FA, we need to take the best play avaible betwen DE, CB and LB at 24. I could see us trade up abit like last year if a person the FO have on there list starts to drop.

Adam S. said...

I'm on board for Kampman. I would not spend our first round pick on a DE if we were to go out and sign him. We have other priorities as well, it's not like LDE is our only position of need. OLB, DB, OG are all up there. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if they picked Mike Iupati for his versatility, we all know AR loves lineman who can play multiple positions. Not who I would want them to pick though. Don't really have a feeling on anybody specific yet.

Bringing in Kampman would make Parker more effective with the rest he would get. Plus having an effective, albeit no standout, player already on the team takes the pressure of Kampman to show up and have too much weight on his shoulders. He was their best DL for many years and maybe not having too be counted on so heavily allows him to play better/get healthy faster.