'Introverted' De'Vondre Campbell Adapting to Virtual Offseason
The virtual offseason underway across the NFL is being handled differently by every player.
Some use the new circumstances and thrive. Others let their newfound freedom impede their discipline and regiments. Many have said that they prefer the in-person version (outside of the increased family time, which has been a major perk).
Add new Arizona Cardinals linebacker De'Vondre Campbell to the hands-on group. A lot of NFL athletes are visual learners and grasp concepts by performing them. You can only get so much out of a virtual walkthrough.
As someone who is a self-expressed introvert as it is, Campbell is forced to step out of his comfort zone to try and connect with his new teammates. The bonding process is extremely important. Chemistry is a key component for successful teams. Right now, it is difficult.
"For me, it's a little bit tough because as much as I'm talking right now, this is about the most you'll ever get me to talk," Campbell told reporters in a videoconference on Thursday. "I'm very introverted, so I don't talk a lot. I kind of try to stay to myself, but with us being in these virtual meetings, this is all we have at the moment. So, I try to make the most of it and make sure that I'm doing my part and just being interactive and answering questions and being involved in everything. But it's definitely different, being somewhere (Atlanta Falcons) for four years and then uprooting and having to leave.
"It's cool, I enjoy everybody in the room. I enjoy my position coach, but I can't wait for us to get in person. I'm a very in-person type of person. I'm better when I see you face to face. So, we just have to make the most of what we can at this point."
While in Atlanta, Campbell developed a reputation as a confident athlete who was a vocal leader and one who did so by example. It is much different than his attitude outside of football.
That inward balancing act is one he said his coaches in Atlanta described well.
"I don't talk much, but when I do it's pretty important," Campbell recalled his Falcons' staff saying. "I'm a very thoughtful person. I don't just say stuff to say it. If I speak up, it's been something that I've seen several times and I've thought about it and I went through it over and over. And then I finally said something. I'm the type of person that thinks twice as much as I speak."
Campbell will certainly be put to the test in this new reality. Yet, so will the rest of the league. And although he might be the quiet type, he does want this to be known:
"When I do speak it's pretty important information that's coming out."