Calais Campbell: 'Licking my chops' to face Garoppolo


With the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals denying Tom Brady's petition to rehear his suspension case, the New England Patriots are a step closer to starting Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback to open the season.

The Pats kick off the season Sept. 11 on Sunday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. Defensive end Calais Campbell told CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday he's looking forward to getting after an inexperienced Garoppolo.

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"Licking my chops," Campbell told CBS Sports Radio's Tiki and Tierney. "You get a rookie quarterback, pretty much. You know it's always exciting when you get a guy like that for his first game because he's going to be nervous. He's probably going to be sitting there holding the ball a little longer or trying to get rid of it quick, throwing bad balls. As a vet, we definitely pride ourselves on welcoming (inexperienced quarterbacks) the right way."

While Jimmy G would be making the first start of his pro career, he's had two full seasons to absorb the Pats' system. New England also spent this summer getting the 24-year-old quarterback more first-team reps in practice, which is sure to continue during training camp and preseason.

Facing a very good Cardinals D is a daunting task in and of itself. Arizona boasts one of the best corners in the NFL in Patrick Peterson, the best defensive chess piece in Tyrann Mathieu (if healthy) and a revamped pass rush with former Patriot Chandler Jones. Toss in the fact that it's opening night, on the road, in prime time and there are plenty of reasons the Pats' quarterback could struggle in Week 1.

Yet, it's still the Patriots and Bill Belichick. If any NFL franchise can withstand missing its Hall of Fame quarterback for four games, it's New England.