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September 26, 2007

Gruden, Barber speak about Peppers, Smith

Couple of great quotes off our conference calls today with the Bucs.

First, coach Jon Gruden was asked his opinion on fans in Carolina criticizing defensive end Julius Peppers:

"If they’re criticizing Julius Peppers, I don’t know what’s going on with society. He’s still a really great player. He’s playing all over the place. He’s a roamer walking around in the nickel. He’s on the left side. He’s on the right side. He’s covering tight ends and backs. What is there to criticize? He doesn’t have a sack, but I’ve seen him go a couple weeks in the past without a sack. I’ve also seen him get two or three or four in a half. We better account for him. He’s great."

Then, cornerback Ronde Barber let out a laugh when asked about the way Atlanta’s DeAngelo Hall imploded against Steve Smith last week:

"Well, I’ve played against Steve a lot and I know one thing; making him mad is not the right thing to do. I have a lot of respect for that guy. The way he approaches the game and the way he approaches himself. I like his demeanor. When he is playing angry, he is very hard to deal with. So you won’t see me or any of my DBs approaching him in that manner."


Posted by Observer Sports on September 26, 2007 at 11:59 PM | Permalink


I agree with Grudens comments but last game I did see Peppers dancing around, Even the comentators said seened like he was not giving 100 effort.
In some plays he would intially try to push the tackle back but would give up and not finish.
There's something fishy goin' on with peppers this year. (Contract extention maybe).
Nobody has mentioned very poor play of special teams. Any thoughts on that?

Posted by: Cats' Fan | Sep 27, 2007 12:11:44 AM

I agree with Grudens comments but last game I did see Peppers dancing around, Even the comentators said seemed like he was not giving 100% effort.
In some plays he would intially try to push the tackle back but would give up and not finish.
There's something fishy goin' on with peppers this year. (Contract extention maybe).
Nobody has mentioned very poor play of special teams. Any thoughts on that?

Posted by: Cats' Fan | Sep 27, 2007 12:12:58 AM

I like the Ronde Barber comment about Steve Smith. So what is he going to do on Sunday, "Hey Mr. Smith, how are you? May I get you a bottle of water Mr. Smith? That was a very fine block Mr. Smith. Nice juke to catch that 50-yarder, Mr. Smith." Truly, I bet the best way to get Smitty distracted would be to tell him a bunch of jokes and get him laughing. Not that on gameday he is susceptible...

Posted by: Ben | Sep 27, 2007 6:55:32 AM

Do you expect Gruden to say yeah Peppers is really struggling this season? NO he did the right thing as a coach

Posted by: Devin | Sep 27, 2007 7:02:12 AM

So lets see, the 'journalist' who've never played the game come out and criticize Peppers.

The actual players who play against these guys come out and say Peps is still great and its stupid to criticize him.

Hmmm....I guess when you read all about how Peps is a disapointment, you've go to consider the source.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Sep 27, 2007 8:24:03 AM

It doesn't always seem like Peppers gives 100%, but I think Mattdaddy is right on this one. I also think Peppers would get 20 sacks this year if he spent less time in pass coverage. Think about the great DEs of the past. I know this is a different era, but could you imagine Reggie White covering Warrick Dunn or Jerious Norwood coming out the backfield? We ask a lot of him, but when the LBs are more solid and earning their pay every week, Peppers can spend more time on the line, or in the backfield. The LBs, though, are trying to mask the weak safeties, and all that shows in Peppers sack totals.

Posted by: charlsong1 | Sep 27, 2007 8:46:10 AM

john beason made the comment he believes peppers has got the deon sanders syndrome like when sanders was at the top of his game opponents made a game plan around him wouldnt kick the ball to him or even throw near his corner back zone therfore deon said it depressed him cause of the lack of action. peppers doesnt get the ball run toward him, hes always double teamed. maybe beason is right but its just a opinion maybe we should put peppers in as full back on short yardage gain he has the size and speed i believe though peppers will come out of this slump when he finds his fire again

Posted by: rutherford county res | Sep 27, 2007 9:55:11 AM

hell show now that everybody in Charlotte hates him. hell show up to be traded and well get some 400lb, twinky eatin, law breakin, lazy a$$ed idiot to take his place and all of you idiots who complain about the team, fans, ticket sales and each other ....... can complain some more!!! See how the circle of negativity works?

Posted by: Michael Vick | Sep 27, 2007 10:19:16 AM

As far as Peppers goes maybe everyone should calm down and think for a minute. If Pep is not getting any sacks because of double teams and people running AWAY from him then he is doing his job extremely well. He is so good people have to plan away from this guy to have some kind of success. It is like Steve Smith. Last game only 10 yards will everyone say the dude cant catch and has no heart? If the rest of the defense would get on the ball and be a force that people have to plan against them as well Pep will get his sacks because people wont be able to just double team him. I mean come on think about it people are putting extra on Pep because they dont have to worry about the rest of the squad that much. So to all the Pep haters dont hate on him be happy he is that good that they have to double team him. Now if we can just get another guy that will show up on defense it will even out. Like if we get another reciever that shows up Smitty will just get more catches and larger numbers. Same scenario.

Posted by: Capn Blakk | Sep 27, 2007 10:51:14 AM

Gruden saw what we saw, Julius is not playing very hard, guess what when its time to pass rush Julius freagin do it.

Posted by: BigKahuna | Sep 27, 2007 11:38:43 AM

To say Peppers could play with more intensity isn't necessarily hating on him...if its criticism, its contsructive criticism. we still love him around here, but he could pick it up a bit.

Posted by: Matt | Sep 27, 2007 11:50:09 AM

I agree with you Matt he may can pick it up perhaps but we really dont know I mean really do many of us know how hard it is to move two 300 pound beasts on every down. LOL. He may be trying real hard but he is moving 600+ pounds on every down. But give it time once everyone gels it will turn out right.

Posted by: Capn Blakk | Sep 27, 2007 12:36:03 PM

What ever happened to the Panther putting Peppers in the offense when we get down close. I miss that and even though he never caught any TD, he still draws a lot of attention down there.

Posted by: SlimJim | Sep 27, 2007 12:53:49 PM

Capn Blakk is right. Peppers is doing what he's being asked to do and that's divert the play to the other side and add an extra man to coverage since our pass defense sucks to begin with. Unfortunately, the other side isn't doing their job nor is the secondary. True, his pass rush is not working, but that will come. He'll finish with 10+ sacks.

I like Mike Rucker, but come on...the guy has obviously been affected majorly by the injury he had. If anything he should be coming off the bench until he is 100% which by his own admission he is not. Again, the Panthers put all of their stock in an injured player. I simply cannot understand why that is. Kemoeatu, man I don't even want to get started with that guy...what a bust. We need McClover back ASAP not only for his talent but his enthusiasm. Hell, start Kindal Moorehead or Lewis over Kemo either one of them plays better and harder than Kemo on any given sunday.

Maybe if they put a roasted whole pig with an apple in it's mouth with pineapples surrounding it and a hula party behind the QB Kemo will try to actually get a sack or two.

Posted by: Matt | Sep 27, 2007 1:40:14 PM

I would argue that Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Michael Strahan, et all were double teamed quite often and had plays run away from them, yet still managed to make plays, get sacks, and apply pressure.

If Peppers wants to be considered a great player and get paid like one, then he has to produce, regardless of double teams.

Plain and simple.

Posted by: panther fan | Sep 27, 2007 2:46:08 PM

I have to agree that Mike Rucker coming off his Knee injury looks washed up,I mean i love this guy,But its about putting the best players in the game to give the team the best chance to win,if u watch Ruck,he cant even push the tackle 2 inches into the backfield,nor can he shed his blocks anymore,Kemo was definatly a bust,Lewis would definatly be a better pass rusher than Kemo! The guy we were trying to trade away has stepped up and is so far the best defensive lineman on our team,he has also become more vocal,This team needs leaders,The superbowl team had great leaders in Brentson Buckner and Ricky Proehl and the Mike Minters, they seem to be lacking in character and leadership other than maybe Smitty.

Posted by: Nathan Smith | Sep 27, 2007 2:50:07 PM

I had also wanted to mention that over the summer,i called for Trgovac's head on here and was ripped by many of u on here for it. This guy continues to Play a bend but dont break lay back in a zone every passing down type defense with all of its speed and talent.I understand that maybe we are not trying to put these safties out on an island in coverage,But hell why not try to blitz more and be more aggresive,its worth trying cause this defense is giving up plays in this vanilla zone we're playing anyway.Maybe if we brought a few more blitzes off Pepps side,teams couldnt double him so much! it would free someone up.Teams can afford to double Pepp cause they sure dont have to double Kemo or even now Rucker. This team ive said in the past and i think most would agree with me has too much speed and talent on defense that isnt utilized right.Stop letting the offense dictate the flow of the game and be more aggresive with the talent and speed u have to work with! Its common sense Trgo! The defense is struggling with what your doing now,so why not try.What do u have to lose,because if this keeps up ur gonna be cleaning your office out!

Posted by: Nathan Smith | Sep 27, 2007 3:41:46 PM

From a Bucs Fan:

OK, Peppers is still awsome, perhaps the best DE in the game.

Smith is slick, but the only way Rhonde Barber is going to make him mad, is intercepting right in front of him.

Despite what you might read on the Bucsblog, Gruden is not dumb.

Who, in any seriousness, could knock Juliua Peppers? Maybe Warren Sapp, in his prime.

But this year, Gruden has all his armament in a row. Finally, a QB that fits his image. A backfield that is not based on just one RB. A maturing OL, based on high draft picks. A mean secondary. Linebackers that have no par.

Bucs: 24

Kittycats: 10, and I am stretching it.

Posted by: Duffiedawg | Sep 27, 2007 7:08:26 PM

I keep reading where Peppers is 'doubled teamed' on every play, has to move '600 pounds', etc... . I would ask you to watch the Atlanta game if you still have it). The network chose to isolate Peppers on replay quite often, what you see over and over is the right tackle SINGLE blocking Peppers. I was at the game and spent considerable time focusing on Peppers. The network isolations were very indicative of his game overall. There was little double team blocking on Peppers. He is not playing with the same overpowering style as in former years. There may be something wrong with him relating to the 'illness' in later part of the preseason. But this continued talk of the double teams is simply incorrect. It is not happening.

Posted by: Beaster | Sep 27, 2007 7:10:22 PM

Beaster THANK YOU, have you people even taken you eyes off the ball to watch the D this year? Record the game, watch it again and again until you can take your focus away from the ball. Yes he is covering for poor saftey and LB play AND yes is being moved everywhere AND yes Gruden isnt gonna say he sucks...BUT Pep is in single coverage and only using one move, if that doesnt work hes done.

Posted by: catdawgman | Sep 27, 2007 10:54:22 PM

We will call him DullPepper. He is just riding out his fat contract. What a waste. He needs to show more heart. The whole team is a letdown. They barely won against Atlanta. Get with the program.

Posted by: Carolina Fan | Sep 28, 2007 6:27:16 AM

Hi, was at the georgia dome in the endzone seats. Saw peps pass rush first hand and um... Didn't appear he had the moves to break himself free, and he was one on one ALL GAME. I'm not saying trade him or anything i love peps and what he can do for us. Just stop making up excuses for him. He's in a slump plain and simple, everyone has them. Look a freeny last yr.

Posted by: umafewcomments | Sep 28, 2007 10:29:31 AM

Do you think that Peppers, being a seemingly shy, friendly person, is holding back a bit due to residual guilt over Chris Simms?

Posted by: gopatterns | Sep 30, 2007 9:52:35 AM

So Ben,

The imagined conversation: :Hey Mr. Smith, would you like a drink of water?"



Bucs have this one, going away.

Posted by: Duffiedawg | Sep 30, 2007 5:47:28 PM

Never ceases to amaze me
A teams in a winning mode ohhhh yea,
their super.
Let em suck a few games and see where
the fan support is and the real fans
I sat and watched the train wreck of
1 and 15 season.
Any player on that team has the right
to speak his peace.
We will see whose still a Panther at
the end of the season.

Posted by: D Shoemake | Oct 1, 2007 2:52:19 PM

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