Drafted in the fifth round out of Iowa by Green Bay in 2002, birthday boy Aaron Kampman became a starter in his second season and was an instant fan favorite for his persistent motor and effective play. Defensive coach, Bob Sanders praised him in the Journal Sentinel for “developing his pass rushing skills. Enthusiastic guys like that are fun to be around and fun to coach.”
At 6’4” 265 pounds, Kampman had good enough size to be solid against the run, and he actually bulked up to about 285 later in his career. As a pass rusher, he led the Packers in sacks three consecutive seasons, starting with a career high of 15.5 sacks in 2006 and following that with 12 and 9.5 in the next two seasons. Kampman was a technician who studied his position and worked hard to get the most out of his abilities. Position coach Carl Hairston told the Journal Sentinel, “People say he’s not fast, but he does a great job working the leverage. He’s got a great punch, when he punches a guy, he stands straight up, so he gets up under pretty good.”
In 2009, Coach Mike McCarthy brought in Dom Capers to run the defense and the team went to a 3-4 alignment with Kampman converted to left outside linebacker. Kampman never complained publicly about the switch, but it was obvious that he was uncomfortable there and did not have the quickness and speed to drop into pass coverage. He would have been better as a 3-4 defensive end, even with its changed responsibilities, than linebacker. A knee injury ended his season in December, and Aaron signed with Jacksonville as a free agent in 2010. He lasted just two injury-plagued years in Florida before retiring in 2012.
(adapted from Green Bay Gold)
Custom card in 1962 Topps style.