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Monday, June 14, 2010

Jaguars’ Aaron Kampman making a big impression off the field




By Gene Frenette

June 11, 2010

When the Jaguars signed free agent defensive end Aaron Kampman to a four-year, $26 million contract, the price tag included the expectation that the former Green Bay Packer would become a leader in a locker room that needed a veteran presence.

In just three months, and despite Kampman still recovering from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament injury (the Jaguars will likely limit him to once-a-day practices in training camp), he’s making a significant impression on teammates. Veteran defensive ends Reggie Hayward and Attiyah Ellison vouch for Kampman, saying he encourages teammates in a positive way and isn’t afraid to speak up in a civil tone if he sees something isn’t being done right.

One Jaguar put it this way: “[Kampman] gets on people’s butts the right way.” This young team desperately craves a forceful leader, especially on defense. Kampman, 30, has the career resume and personality to fill that void. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew summed it up well, saying: “He’s had double-digit sacks every year in a 4-3 [defense]. That’s a reason to listen to him, isn’t it?"

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