The Baltimore Ravens have made some high-profile defensive acquisitions over the course of the last few years. During the 2020 offseason the team acquired defensive lineman Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a fifth-round selection. Then during the 2021 offseason Baltimore signed outside linebacker Justin Houston as a late addition to bolster their pass rush.
When speaking to the media on Wednesday, Houston was asked about his relationship with Campbell, and couldn’t stop gushing about his teammate. He called being on the field with the defensive lineman a “blessing” and talked about what he brings to the field when he plays.
“I just think it’s a blessing to even be on the field with a guy like that. He’s sacrificed so much, and the way he plays … He doesn’t get enough credit for the way he plays, and if you watch him, even in pass-rush situations, he’s got three guys on him. So, it’s easy for us to be free and for other guys to run through the gap, because he’s taking up three people at a time. When you’ve got somebody like that, it’s a blessing.”
Campbell has been playing at an extremely high level in 2021. He’s accumulated 33 total tackles, one blocked kick and half of a sack while being a force against the run. However as Houston notes, his impact goes far beyond the box score. Campbell’s ability to draw multiple blockers frees up space for his teammates, which contributes to positive plays for the defensive unit as a whole.
Both Houston and Campbell have been around the NFL for a long time, and thus can identify when players truly make an impact on multiple different levels. Houston sees that in Campbell, and it’s hard not to agree with the veteran outside linebacker.