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February 08, 2009

Panthers have impact in Pro Bowl

Here's how the four Panthers' representatives did in Sunday's Pro Bowl. They helped the NFC beat the AFC 30-21 at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium.

Julius Peppers: If he was auditioning for a job with a team other than the Panthers, it was a success. He sacked Peyton Manning in the first quarter, then picked off a Jay Cutler pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 12 yards. Peppers also had three tackles.

Steve Smith: Although Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald (who else?) got most of the attention because of his two touchdown catches, Smith led the NFC with six catches for 89 yards. He turned a short pass from Drew Brees into a 20-yard gain in the second quarter and also caught a 23-yarder from Brees in the second quarter.

Jon Beason: Had four tackles and an assist.

Jordan Gross: Started on the offensive line.

-- Peppers, who has expressed a desire to play elsewhere next season, was interviewed briefly on the sidelines during the second quarter by former Giants running back Tiki Barber.

Peppers was asked why he wanted to leave the Panthers, and, specifically, why he wanted to play in a 3-4 defensive scheme (the Panthers play a 4-3 scheme). Peppers said he wanted to play in a scheme that would best take advantage of his ability.

When asked by Barber what it would take for the Panthers to keep him in Carolina, Peppers hesitated, then smiled and said he just wanted to enjoy the Pro Bowl.

Announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth joked that Peppers ran a “line stunt” in an effort to avoid Barber’s question. -- David Scott and Pat Sutherland

Posted by Observer Sports on February 8, 2009 at 09:27 PM | Permalink

Comments

Peppers has some intelligence issues. I hope that his agent and handlers are not taking advantage of him financially because per that interview with Tiki, he does not seem too bright.

I'm not a fan that wants to see him go but hopefully we can get something in return. He is a talent but his head is not always there. This interview, albeit brief, help me answer a lot of questions on Peppers. I don't think he is making any decisions for himself...his agent and others are probably doing the thinking for him

Good luck Pepp, hope you find what you are looking for

Section 516

Posted by: 89 Forty Niner | Feb 8, 2009 9:55:22 PM

Well it was kind of sad watching Peppers in his last game as a member of the Panthers. The little bit of hope I had in him changing his mind was shot when he gave that interview. Gross holds all the cards now. Hopefully he will agree to terms quickly and allow the Panthers to tag Peppers in order to get something in return. The next ten days are going to be the nerve ranking.

Posted by: J Thomas | Feb 8, 2009 9:59:54 PM

Meant to say the next ten days are going to be nerve racking. Geez nerves already on edge.

Posted by: J Thomas | Feb 8, 2009 10:01:07 PM

It seems like before alot of player issues can be resolved, management needs to finish the hiring process of the defensive coaching staff. There has been no reports of where this team is heading. Whats a fan to do, we back this team with our dollars and our pride. But, we get basketball crap on the panther page. What gives????????

Posted by: scott | Feb 8, 2009 11:12:27 PM

All four of the Panthers had a really great game. I noticed that Steve Smith never had a deep ball thrown down the field to him. What's up with that? Doesn't anyone know that he is THE Steve Smith? You know, not that guy in New York. Wrong shade of blue.

Posted by: Revshawn | Feb 8, 2009 11:37:28 PM

89 Forty Niner - I have been saying that all along, Peppers, Agent and close circle are the ones telling him, how good he is, and what he could do, if he was some place else.. Peppers is not going to survive in another city, they will eat him up, the Media in Charlotte cut Peppers alot of slack.. But he will get grilled in another city, when he starts taking plays off, etc..

Posted by: Catsnmbr1fan | Feb 8, 2009 11:57:02 PM

Smitty looked good catching passes other than hail-marys. Considering his QB, I'm surprised he doesn't want out of Carolina. As for Peppers, good riddance. You have never played up to your abilities and never will because you don't have the fire to be great.

Posted by: gradyhog | Feb 9, 2009 12:10:34 AM

Smitty looked good catching passes other than hail-marys. Considering his QB, I'm surprised he doesn't want out of Carolina. As for Peppers, good riddance. You have never played up to your abilities and never will because you don't have the fire to be great.

Posted by: gradyhog | Feb 9, 2009 12:10:35 AM

How any of you can bash Pep for "taking off plays" or saying his handlers are taking advantage of him truly shows you lack the intel to pose a proper argument! You show me the stats of any other defensive player today that has a sack, tackle, etc on every play and I will explain why you are an idiot. This is a team game, and you should be thankful Pep does not miss games. He may not give an AllStar performance every play or game for that matter, but show me someone in any profession (especially sports) that is 90-100% money and u might be talking about Tiger (and even then...) Ever think that Pep being a quiet guy perhaps not come across a bright guy because he has a hard time telling lies on interviews? Most quiet personalities smile more when they are uncomfortable being dishonest. This is Peps career, and seeing how short NFL careers are he has every right to not want to discuss his contract during the ProBowl...what he did say is exactly what he and his agent have been saying for a month. Ray Lewis didn't say a word. So most of you should be proud of what he has done for the team and his stats from todays game. Take a look a McNabb and u might see another reason why Pep might want to leave Carolina! Ahole fans would be my guess and a non-agressive defensive coaching staff. If he leaves most of u will blame it on him (for making a better financial career move) or on the coaches. The guy is a straight arrow on and off the field and a massive talent...so get over yourselves being bumbling backwoods (insert explicative here)!!!

Posted by: LoyalFan! | Feb 9, 2009 12:48:42 AM

Yeah, only an idiot would criticize Pepper's intelligence based on that interview. It was a combination of him not being comfortable talking on camera and not wanting to say the wrong thing.

Posted by: Panther Fan | Feb 9, 2009 12:57:11 AM

LoyalFan. If Peppers was such a great player, than why does he want to leave the team that drafted him? I find it ironic that though your very name suggests that you are a loyal fan to the Panthers, the very man you are defending can't find it in his heart to be loyal to his own team.

Posted by: Revshawn | Feb 9, 2009 3:09:47 AM

I saw the interview and did not take away that his responses were unintelligent, they were very basic. My take, his answers lead me to believe that there is a small chance, abeit very small chance, he would stay in Carolina. Why do I say this? If Carolina does not have a chance, why not say so, unless they do and this is a $$ issue. There is nothing to lose if he says they don't have a chance. Then teams can start the bidding.
I believe he does not want to be the leader of the defense and he does not like the Fox sytle of defense. He wants to be an edge rusher, not a pass defender. I agree that the edge rusher is to his talents. Either way the NFL is a business, I've heard that a thousand times, this is a business transaction. So Panther fans, don't be disgrutled at Pep for trying to better himself or get more $$. Don't be mad at the Panthers if they don't sign him. Time will heal all.
God Bless the Panthers and Pep!

Posted by: Carolina Connection | Feb 9, 2009 7:11:53 AM

Loyalfan,
To know that Peppers takes off plays and games and the 2007 season all you need to do is watch him closely every down. I have done this at games with binoculars for years. Peppers is not consistently double teamed because its not always necessary. There are games when he has been stood up repeatedly by a TE.
Yes, he is a great talent. But talent is only part of playing the game. Ask any coach whether he would take talent with mediocre effort over a high motor and real desire and they will take the heart and desire every time. Steve Smith is a perfect example of a guy who excels because he wills himself to win.
You are loyal to a guy who is walking out on his teammates, his fans and his home state. Why should we be happy about? Why are you happy about it?
Peppers has been coddled by the Panthers staff and the local press. When he gets his big contract in another city he won't be the home town boy but only an over paid football commodity. The pressure to perform up to his contract will be tremendous and his new "fans" won't put up with his walking through plays and then laughing it up with the other team. I am a loyal Panthers fan not a loyal Peppers fan.

Posted by: Jim | Feb 9, 2009 7:31:19 AM

I find it so ironic that ppl keep saying why would Pep leave, this, that or the other?
If you had the chance to do something else with your career, would you?
If you got promoted would you call Julius and ask if it was ok to take the postion?
If he has 2 sacks, or a career high, hes damned if he does and hes damned if he doesnt with some of you.
I wonder has he called your job to see if you show up and perform, every single, second of the day?
This is "his" choice for " his" career?
No one said as Panthers fans we have to like or dislike it, but why all the hate, when obviously in your profession, if given the chance you would take it to.
I know Julius and hes never liked being in front of the cameras, hes always been this way even throughtout school, hes never wanted to say the wrong thing, or disrespect anyone, so quit hating and get over it.!!!!

I wish you the best Pep, from one SNSH Firebird to another!!!!

Posted by: Jennifer | Feb 9, 2009 8:10:20 AM

I don't get you people. You say that PEP isn't that great of a player. Then, why do you sound so irrate that he wants to leave? The fact is, that PEP is one of the best def. players in the NFL. I am sure that this is not easy for him, to leave what he has always known. But, I commend the man for not wanting to be just ONE of the best. He wants and thinks he has the ability to be the best of all times, but feels that it want happen under our def. system.
I am not a fair weather fan. I don't want to see him go. It will be hard to fill his shoes. But, I understand. We will miss you J.PEP! Good luck, wherever you may land, but, I will be a PANTHER fan with or without you!

Posted by: sawdusttv | Feb 9, 2009 8:45:14 AM

Pep needs to go to finishing school.

Posted by: keg | Feb 9, 2009 9:37:28 AM

So I read Revs post and can't seem to figure out the logic behind it (Rev please explain). So if he is a great player...what does that have to do with being a Panthers draft pick and wanting to leave the team? What u should be asking is why does another good player want to leave the Panthers???

And good Jim...if u have to use binoculars to watch Pep play (in order to critique) then perhaps u should 1) get better seats or DVR the game, and two start understanding that if Pep gets a sack or a tackle every play then perhaps he may just be from another world? Not sure if u recently noticed the alltime sack leader (200) get inducted...hmmm how many seasons did he play? Better yet what type of strategy did the coaches use with that talent? JP has 70 sacks in 7 seasons with one down year on a team that runs a pass protect passive defense. Add ur marbles up and u guys might start understanding why he wants to leave...and remember what he says...people should listen when the quiet guy in the room talks :)

Posted by: LoyalFan | Feb 9, 2009 10:00:25 AM

So I read Revs post and can't seem to figure out the logic behind it (Rev please explain). So if he is a great player...what does that have to do with being a Panthers draft pick and wanting to leave the team? What u should be asking is why does another good player want to leave the Panthers???

And good Jim...if u have to use binoculars to watch Pep play (in order to critique) then perhaps u should 1) get better seats or DVR the game, and two start understanding that if Pep gets a sack or a tackle every play then perhaps he may just be from another world? Not sure if u recently noticed the alltime sack leader (200) get inducted...hmmm how many seasons did he play? Better yet what type of strategy did the coaches use with that talent? JP has 70 sacks in 7 seasons with one down year on a team that runs a pass protect passive defense. Add ur marbles up and u guys might start understanding why he wants to leave...and remember what he says...people should listen when the quiet guy in the room talks :)

Posted by: LoyalFan | Feb 9, 2009 10:06:14 AM

Since Anquan Boldin wants out of Arizona, dump Peppers and use that money to sign Boldin. That would be the best 3 combo of receivers in the league with the duo of smash and dash. What an offense that would be...Get it done Richardson!!!

Posted by: JM | Feb 9, 2009 10:10:48 AM

Whoa, Whoa, don't call me an idiot when I call it like I see it. The guy stutters over his words, give some lame response, I wanna go, you know, to a team, that needs......me....will use me???? He nevers does interviews and he is what a seven, eight year pro?

I like Peppers as a player but he has been hidden from the public eye for a reason. Name me one guy in the NFL making top 5 position money that doesn't promote himself or is at least willing to do an interview...and don't give me someone that plays for an also ran in a small market.

Like I said, I don't want to lose Peppers but there is a reason he doesn't talk to the press beyond just being shy. This is not a young kid anymore, he is 29 years old isn't he??? I hope none of Pepp's handlers are taking advantage of him financially.

I've said it once and I will say it again, Good luck Pepp, I hope you find what you are looking for and I don't begrudge you for wanting to leave. The grass sometimes is greener somewhere else.

Go Panthers

Posted by: 89 Forty Niner | Feb 9, 2009 10:13:47 AM

Wait...so there is a reason Pep does bad in front of press other than being shy and not a polished speaker? Well that surely must reflect on his talent level right? I read these posts more for humor than to try and correct the intel/lack of intel of the player haters on this blog. How many diehard smitty fans were calling his loyalty out when he wrecked ken lucas and missed two games (and u want to talk about loyalty and performance!). Then others want to bash the intelligence level of pep because he does not speak eloquently and is shy in front of the camera...and u don't even know the guy. His agent is a close friend so u can stop the talk of taking advantage of him. The guy wants to leave after honoring his contract (and u want Q? Wtf?) And has never done anything like some of the other clowns in the league. If he does leave there will be a hole in the defense (the other players will admit this) that will be very hard to fill. Even in the probowl u could see the impact and respect he got, even if he didn't have a sack,ff,int,tackle or assist on every play (idiots calling him out for stats!). Why not pull stats of DE's for the past 7 seasons and see what u come up with and remember the panthers coaching styles to the other DE comparisons. I'm just glad the guy isn't shooting himself in the leg, creating TO style soap operas, playing scarface in backalleys, or punching teammates in the face, etc. Hopefully JR puts the cash down, if not someone else will and he will get a chance to show the panther player haters why his talent is special (give him Tom Brady speaking talent and he could probably get another $1 mil from how some of u talk as if that matters).

Posted by: LoyalFan | Feb 9, 2009 10:36:58 AM

If the news urrounding the Panthers can't get any worse Steve Reed is reporting that Ethan Lock (Jordon Gross's agent) made a statement this morning that there has been no movement in contract talks between the Panthers and Gross. Here is a link.

http://carolinagrowl.com/SteveReed/archive/2009/02/08/gross-talks-about-his-future-at-the-pro-bowl.aspx

Hurney you better get your hind parts moving cause the deadline to franchise in only ten days away!!!!!

Posted by: J Thomas | Feb 9, 2009 11:29:40 AM

Did any of you guys go to college away from home just so you could get away and experience something new? This guy grew up here, played college ball here, then signed a contract in which he has honored here. Maybe he's just ready to get out of NC. He's been here his whole life. He's gave us some great seasons, no drama (TO, Chad Johnson, Boldin)give the guy some credit and put yourself in his shoes. Thanks for the great years Pep! Hope you continue to have success in everything you do!

Posted by: Real Fan | Feb 9, 2009 11:45:45 AM

Let's be honest here. Julius Peppers wants to go to a 3-4 team to be an outside linebacker. Having to explain that alone is irritating. You guys read the news. I shouldn't have to even mention that argument.

Anyway, if he does switch he'll encounter an epic fail. Julius Peppers is a textbook DE through and through. He's the right size at 6-7, and he has the speed/weight balance to be the best defensive end in the country.

If switching to a 3-4 to be a linebacker is a decision he's making for the good of his career, then I don't know what drugs he's on.

And to even mention asking why Peppers would like to leave the Panthers is beyond crazy. Hell, they offered him a contract to make him the best paid defensive end in the league for gods sake! How is that mistreating him? And for him to come out and call out John Fox for not allowing him to reach his potential? He's one of the best defensive ends out there! What kind of statistics is he reading? Total bull crap.

Julius Peppers is making a huge mistake in his career by wanting to leave the Panthers for a 3-4 team at that. He's not going to be traded to another great team. Once he signs that tender, we could trade him to the Lions for all we care. As long as we got those draft picks, we'll use them for someone who will actually play the game for all three downs.

I hope for Peppers sake that the Steelers or the Eagles pick him up. This so called 'career move' just doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: Revshawn | Feb 9, 2009 2:31:35 PM

if you watched the play were pep got the pick, you see him getting blocked and quitting on the play waiting for someone else to do his job(ware to the rescue).he just so happen to be in the right place at the right time.good while it lasted now its time for a split.and all you people saying you know him and went to high school with him.ask him what job ask him to go hard on 1 day, and pays him 13 mill a year to do it.you people piss me off for saying he deserves to take plays off...you are not fans

Posted by: darius | Feb 9, 2009 7:47:28 PM

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