Friday, November 02, 2007

Kampman dominates Broncos, Redskins

Posted by: D.Laurant

November 2, 2007

As usual, all eyes were on Brett Favre during Green Bay's 19-13 overtime victory in Denver this past Monday.

But that contest also gave Aaron Kampman a chance to put his game on display before a national audience, and the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end outdid himself.

Two plays, in particular, stood out. On one, Kampman first shoved a Broncos offensive linemen into the backfield as if he were a human blocking sled. Then, holding off the Bronco with one arm, Kampman reached out with the other and collected Denver QB Jay Cutler for his first of three sacks.

The second play was Kampman's tackle on WR Brandon Marshall, who was handed the ball on a reverse. Kampman lunged at the speedy Marshall and missed. He got up and gave chase, again missing a tackle and winding up on the turf. Undaunted, Kampman jumped to his feet for the third time and ran Marshall down from behind.

Without question, Favre is the beating heart of this wondrously overachieving Packer squad. But it said a lot that Favre and the offense played badly against the Redskins a few weeks ago, but they still won 17-14 -- largely on the strength of the defense. Kampman totally dominated Redskins tackle Stephon Heyer in that game, getting to QB Jason Campbell twice.

Only a fifth-round draft pick, Kampman has gotten better every year, to the point where he has evolved into the most dominant Packer D-lineman since Reggie White. His 15.5 sacks last season led the NFC, and trailed only Shawne Merriman league-wide.

After the 2005 season, Kampman actually lost weight (unheard of for an NFL lineman on either side of the ball), put himself on an exercise regimen that stressed the same movements he would have to make on the field, and made the Pro Bowl.

Earlier this week, Kampman was named the NFC's Defensive Player of the Month for October.

He'll be one of the keys if Green Bay is still playing in late January.

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