Ravens DL Calais Campbell ‘preparing like this is my last year’

At 35 years old, Calais Campbell can still get the job done. He just might not be doing it for much longer.

Campbell is keeping his eyes on 2022. As for whatever lies around the bend, he’ll find out when he gets there.

“I’m in a place right now where I’m just taking it this year. I know I’ve got this year in me,” Campbell said Friday during an appearance on Inside Training Camp Live. “I don’t know if there’s anything left after that, but I’m going to leave it all on the field, empty the tank, and when it’s all said and done, after this year, I’ll reconvene in the offseason to see where I’m at. But right now, I’m preparing like this is my last year. So, I’m going to give it everything I have.”

After recording four-plus sacks in every season from 2009-2020, the three-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler finished with just 1.5 last season. It was the first time he’d failed to earn a Pro Bowl or All-Pro honor since 2013. And it would all be a stunning development if he wasn’t already 35 years old.

He has good reason to return for 2022: Baltimore is welcoming back a number of key defensive contributors and is gearing up for a deep run after falling short of the postseason in 2021. Campbell and the rest of the Ravens have some vengeance to earn.

“Well, we’ve got a lot of pieces. … We have a lot of playmakers,” Campbell said. “It’s a deep, deep roster all over the field. Guys taking turns making plays. But it really starts with Lamar (Jackson) and then down the line I feel like our DBs, our D-line. This is a special D-line. … We have a good mix of veterans that know how to play football and win, and then young guys that are hungry and just trying to prove themselves. Just a good balance of quality, quality players all over the field.”

Campbell is currently in the first year of a two-year deal signed in April to stay in Baltimore, and he turns 36 in September. He has earned the right to focus solely on one season — empty the tank, as he said — before thinking about whether he’ll be back a year from now.

After all, as they say, play every play as if it’s your last. Campbell will bring that approach to 2022.

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