But Campbell recently wondered to himself, “Why not remain a beast, but shed a few pounds?”
That decision — which resulted in the loss of about 40 pounds from his 6-foot-5-inch frame — made Campbell a more attractive free agent offensive lineman; and the Redskins announced Monday they had signed the former Green Bay Packers tackle.
Campbell said he weighed 357 pounds in May when he was released by the Packers, where he was an on-and-off practice-squad player last season.
Since that time, Campbell said he has been devoted to a new diet and exercise routine that resulted in him weighing at 318 pounds today.
“I’m a player that is really athletic, and I can move,” Campbell said today after the Redskins’ morning walk-through practice in Ashburn, Va. “I can move pretty good at 350 [pounds], but I can move a lot better at 315.”
Campbell said he began utilizing the “Body By Vi” weight loss method that, in a few words, replaces meals with weight-loss shakes.
He hails from Eastern Illinois University, where another current member of the Redskins spent his college days: head coach Mike Shanahan.
Campbell said he first met Shanahan two seasons ago after the Packers won the Super Bowl and had “a little bonding” moment.
“And then when I came down here (Saturday), he just came in smiling from ear to ear, just happy to see another Panther,” Campbell said of Shanahan. “He was just able to give me a chance to welcome me to the team.”
Shanahan, according to Campbell, is simply known as an icon at Eastern Illinois.
“He’s huge,” Campbell said. “He’s huge, he’s huge. … He’s a great guy, a great person, a great coach. I love the opportunity to be able to play for him.”
Campbell said he turned down a contract offer from the Carolina Panthers last week and was elated when Shanahan and the Redskins came calling.
“[Because of] certain circumstances I just decided to wait it out, talking to my agent and everything like that,” Campbell said. “Just being that Coach Shanahan was here, I know type of program that they have here. It was just something I decided to do.”
Campbell will also get a chance to have a quick homecoming of sorts when the Redskins play their second preseason game Saturday at the Chicago Bears.
Campbell is a Chicago native and graduated from Marshall High School in the city, where he was a four-year letterman both on the offensive and defensive lines in football. But he was also a well-rounded student-athlete and also lettered in wrestling and volleyball.
Campbell said he’s excited to get back to the Windy City with his new team.
“It’s awesome,” Campbell said. “It’s always good to be able to go back home, be around my home fans, be around my home family and everybody. It’ll just be a warm feeling.”
Tags: Chris Campbell, Eastern Illinois, mike shanahan, washington redskins
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