Calais Campbell: ‘Licking my chops’ to face Jimmy Garoppolo

By Jesse Reed

Jimmy Garoppolo is almost certainly going to be the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots the first four weeks of the NFL, a fact that Calais Campbell relishes.

This is the case because Tom Brady was once again shot down by the court system on Wednesday in his attempt to appeal the four-game suspension levied against him by the NFL for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal.

The Arizona Cardinals are set to host the Pats in Week 1 of the NFL season. If Brady is indeed suspended Campbell sees Garoppolo as an easy mark.

Licking my chops,” Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “You get a rookie quarterback, 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 (inexperienced quarterbacks) the right way.”

For the record, Garoppolo is far from a rookie.

Entering his third season as a second-round pick of the Patriots in 2014, he actually has about a full game’s worth of experience in mop-up duty and has looked good in this capacity (64.5 percent passing, 188 yards with one touchdown and one interception).

On top of that, Garoppolo has looked good in the preseason in his first two years in the league.

As one final note, the young quarterback will be protected by head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels during his stint as the starter. The Patriots will surely rely on the run game, the quick-passing attack and a heavy dose of Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman in the flats and seams.

With all that in mind, we feel quite confident that the Patriots are actually in good hands with the former Eastern Illinois gunslinger under center.

Time will tell, and perhaps in the end Campbell will rue the day he spoke out against Garoppolo.