Vikings to take on Packers’ De’Vondre Campbell, touted to be more than just Pro Bowl talent – Twin Cities
Forget the Pro Bowl, De’Vondre Campbell is now called a Hall of Fame.
The Green Bay mainstay, who played at the University of Minnesota, is ranked second-best linebacker in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, but he was a notable snub last month when the Pro Bowl teams were named. Still, Packers coach Matt LaFleur praised Campbell ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Vikings at Lambeau Field.
“I think every time you have some really talented guys and you combine that with their work ethic and their intelligence, then you start to be a Hall of Fame member, and I think that’s the type of player that it is, âsaid LaFleur.
No one thought of measuring Campbell for a gold jacket when he spent 2016-19 with Atlanta and 2020 with Arizona. He was a good but barely great player who started 70 of 75 games before signing as a free agent a modest one-year $ 2 million contract with Green Bay.
But the difference this season has been huge. Campbell has been perhaps the most dominant linebacker in the NFL, with the exception of Dallas rookie Micah Parsons, ranked No.1 by Pro Football Focus. Campbell, called by LaFleur the âfocal point of our defense,â leads the NFL with 95 solo tackles.
âI think it has a lot to do with what I’m asked to do,â Campbell said of his improvement. “My job responsibilities here are unlike anything I’ve been asked to do before and I think I’m just placed in the right position to thrive and play.”
While Parsons was one of two NFC inside linebackers selected for the Pro Bowl, the other was Seattle’s Bobby Wagner, ranked No.12 by Pro Football Focus. This selection was mainly reputation given that Wagner has now made eight consecutive Pro Bowls.
âI understand how this business works,â Campbell said of not being selected. “It’s like that. We have bigger aspirations than the individual rewards. When you run a business, it will all come.”
The Packers’ goal is to make the Super Bowl, and, at 12-3, they have the best NFL record with two games to go. But if the Packers get that far, Campbell may not be available to be named a potential Pro Bowl replacement.
Then again, there is the possibility of the all-pro first team. This team will be appointed on January 14,
COLEMAN’S MEMORY OF LAMBEAU
Greg Coleman, a former Viking bettor, recently announced that he will be retiring as a Viking broadcaster after more than 30 seasons on the job, including 21 as a secondary radio announcer. When Coleman, 67, was asked to name some of his best memories as a broadcaster, he recounted a few games.
But a memory Coleman mentioned happened before a game at Lambeau Field.
âVery few people know this, but there was a very dear person who had lost her husband,â Coleman said of a friend. “Her husband was a Green Bay fan and her last wish was that he wanted his ashes to be spread on Lambeau Field.”
So Coleman got into action before the Vikings played Green Bay about 15 years ago.
âAfter the pre-game, when the teams were off the field, I grabbed our (team) photographer and told him what I was doing,â said Coleman. “I stepped on the Green Bay logo and spat out its ashes and a gust of wind came up and blew the ashes out and it grabbed the picture and the woman and the kids said, ‘I see daddy’s face. ” ‘
Coleman will likely make his last appearance at Lambeau Field on Sunday while working for the Vikings, and he then expects to remember that moment.
If the Vikings (7-8) lose Sunday night, they will be eliminated from the playoffs if earlier in the day Philadelphia wins in Washington or if Atlanta wins in Buffalo and New Orleans beats Carolina. Minnesota closes the season Jan. 9 against Chicago. âWe know what’s at stake,â wide receiver Justin Jefferson said. âWe know we need these next two games. The Packers will win the NFL’s No. 1 seed on Sunday night if they beat Minnesota and earlier today, Dallas (11-4) loses to Arizona. â¦ The Vikings will be looking for their third straight win over the Packers, something they haven’t done since 2008-09.