The Green Bay Packers return from a mandated off day yesterday and hit the practice field for the fourth time in training camp this morning.
Newly signed DE/outside linebacker Julius Peppers is trying to put his playing days in Chicago behind him. Talking with reporters on Monday, Peppers tried to avoid comparisons between the Packers and Bears.
The Packers are asking Peppers to play as a pass rushing outside linebacker as opposed to a hand-on-the-ground defensive end in Chicago. They’re also not asking Peppers to shoulder the entire load for the defense, something that he’s had to do in Chicago.
Peppers also gets an opportunity to help the Packers win another Super Bowl, something that has eluded Peppers since he was taken with the second overall pick in 2002 by the Carolina Panthers.
Peppers wanted a chance to play linebacker and the Packers are giving him that chance.
Will Peppers be able to make the transition to linebacker? He’ll have to drop into pass coverage, as well as rush the quarterback from a different position.
One thing Peppers has done during his career is be available. Whether it’s working out or genetics, he’s stayed relatively healthy during his career.
Peppers clearly doesn’t have the high expectations in Green Bay that he had in Chicago. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be expected to carry his weight with the Packers. But with Clay Matthews on the other side, Peppers may find life a little easier because he doesn’t have to be the end all with the Packers like he was in Chicago.