Marc Sessler Reported today that Packers GM Ted Thompson is high on Julius Peppers and thinks he will be a force to be reckoned with on the Packers defense this coming season. I agree wholeheartedly. Opposing offenses are now going to have to “pick their poison”. Focus on Clay Matthews…get Julius Peppers running down your quarterback…focus on Peppers and, well…you know the rest.
I think initially teams will focus on Matthews, requiring Peppers to prove himself, and prove himself he will. Julius Peppers, in that scenario, gets 10+ sacks next season. But what if teams shift the focus to Peppers? Then Clay Matthews sets up camp right in the face of the opposing quarterback and he has an awesome year. Reality…well, reality will be somewhere in between, but assisting a sack is still a quarterback sack no matter who gets the check in the box on the stat sheet. Here are some things I like about this combination:
1. Julius Peppers is a worker, not a talker – I think Peppers is a class act and will make a great “Packer Person” (after they wash all that Bears residue off).
2. I agree with Thompson – Peppers is legit…and hungry…and glad to be with the team that took him out of contention time and time again.
3. Peppers does not have to carry the load – And it’s not just Clay Matthews here, Casey Hayward, Nick Perry, and Jerel Worthy are slated to come back and Datone Jones will play a role too. Team sport…always has been always will be.
4. Julius Peppers has always wanted to be moved around and do some different things. He never got that chance…until now. In the Packers elephant package, Peppers will play outside end, OLB, and even inside linebacker at times. Dom Capers will have a great cast of characters to work with, and he WILL use them this year.
So Packernation, get ready! We at GPN have said all along that this coming season’s Packer defense will be NOTHING like what we saw last season. Get ready to RUMBLE! And GO PACK!