« Godfrey's injury another blow to defense | Main | Tuesday's Panthers links »

August 25, 2009

Slow start for Peppers

Not much has been heard from defensive end Julius Peppers in the Panthers' first two preseason exhibitions. He had one assist against the New York Giants and nothing -- not a solo tackle, assist or sack -- against the Dolphins.

What to make of this?

Peppers, like most first teamers, didn't play a lot in either game. But he was in the Dolphins game well into the second quarter.He was well blocked by Miami's Jake Long, too.

And, as usual, we hear how little these games mean.

"All this is is a practice without a time or a score," Peppers said. "It's not like we game-plan for each other or (are) trying to make any statements right now."

But Peppers has more scrutiny than usual this year, thanks to his stated desire in January to play elsewhere the $1-million-plus per game he's earning after he signed his franchise tender.

Give Peppers credit for not creating a distraction by arriving at training camp on time. But with three defensive starters already out -- nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu (torn Achilles) for the season and linebacker Jon Beason (knee) and safety Charles Godfrey (hand) indefinitely-- the spotlight is sure to shine more brightly on Peppers now.

Saturday's exhibition against Baltimore -- the Panthers' third -- will give the starters more playing time.

It will allow Peppers a chance to step up, and maybe even show up on the stat sheet. -- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on August 25, 2009 at 09:30 AM | Permalink


I only watched Pep for two plays against the Dolphins, but on both, he pushed Long straight back into the QB, who got rid of the ball in less than 3 seconds.

That's pretty typical of how things go with Peppers on the team. The opponents get rid of the ball very quickly and complete it against our soft coverage. If we played tight, they'd have to hold the ball longer and we would get more sacks.

That's also probably the reason Pep wanted out of this system.

Posted by: Authority | Aug 25, 2009 9:53:36 AM

The way the Panthers are losing people to injury, I would rather see a healthy Peppers on opening day. Stats in pre-season don't matter that much unless you are trying to make the team or need to make a statement to move up the charts in Playing time. Peppers is a starter, he has nothing to prove, except when official season opens. Pre-Season is much ado about nothing.

Posted by: ncoutlander | Aug 25, 2009 9:56:06 AM

he will be a monster when the games count....its a contract year

Posted by: darius | Aug 25, 2009 10:09:16 AM

Once again, I have to ask: Where is the heart? I realize it's preseason, we're not tipping our hand, we're just looking for the right fits, etc., but the first two preseason games have been an embarrassment to me as a Panthers' fan. I saw the Giants and the Dolphins celebrating great plays and key tackles and stops, but the Panthers' attitude just seems to ho-hum. I'm very proud of Charlotte and Panthers. Should I be this concerned about their lack of enthusiasm? Is there some underlying trouble about which we, the fans, are being kept in the dark, or are our coaches and players just playing it close to the vest until the real deal arrives on September 13?

Posted by: Panthergirl | Aug 25, 2009 10:09:22 AM

Watch a game and take notes on Peppers. Rarely are running plays run to his side, and when they are, he's usually double teamed. On pass plays, the QB will either get rid of the ball in less than 3 seconds, or will roll out to the opposite side, or they will double-team on Pep. Any one player can be neutralized if the opponent game-plans for them. The Panthers don't take advantage of the mismatches that creates on the opposite side, unfortunately.

Posted by: Authority | Aug 25, 2009 10:31:26 AM

Peppers rarely plays hard--seems to feel that his salary is not worth playing hard ALL the time. Could be a great player if he really wanted to. Too bad we had to keep him!

Posted by: Elizabeth | Aug 25, 2009 10:33:32 AM

Elizabeth and Panthergirl I think you need to read what Authority posted.
If the Panthers would swicth Peppers around and take advantage of mismatches then we would get more pressure on the QB.
It is interesting that they were moving Brown from one side to the other, maybe that is a sign that they plan to move him and Peppers around in the pre season?

Posted by: Leonard | Aug 25, 2009 11:59:40 AM

If we can get another veteran DT it will help Peppers. Kemoeatu worked so well for us because he is a massive man who simple needs to line up in a gap and get some forward motion and he demands a double team or for the offense to run the ball away from him.

Posted by: otismlw | Aug 25, 2009 12:29:14 PM

"peppers is usually double teamed"

lol what planet do you live on? no he's not at all not nearly as much as perceived by "homer" fans...who refuse to face reality. I won't even get started because I know I'm dealing with some "Mis-lead" fans so I'll take the higher road. We are all entitled to our opinion but if he doesn't have pro bowl year, the decision to keep him will have been one of the biggest! blows! in terms of a horrible personal decision we've seen under the marty fox era.

Posted by: Cheven | Aug 25, 2009 1:47:41 PM

There's no "pep" in "Peppers" anymore. The thrill is gone baby.

Posted by: Minotaur | Aug 25, 2009 2:17:56 PM

Cheven, your rep as a total idiot precedes you. As I said, a play can be run away from Pep, or the QB can simply get rid of the ball before it's possible for Pep to touch him. With our soft coverage, that is all too easy. To an uneducated idiot, no, Pep isn't always double-teamed, but he is neutralized by the opponent's game plan.

Posted by: Authority | Aug 25, 2009 2:28:23 PM

You act as if this is a surprise!

Posted by: thenxtgreat | Aug 25, 2009 3:55:54 PM

I wonder how many starter quality DTs we could have gotten for what we're paying Julius Peppers?

Posted by: Michael | Aug 25, 2009 4:01:45 PM

Three or four, Michael. And you can bet they'd all play hard every snap, as Sir Smiles-A-Lot is so loath to do.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Aug 25, 2009 4:22:07 PM

Blog troll MP is back. I thought he was on the back of a milk carton.

Posted by: walt | Aug 25, 2009 7:17:45 PM

rember guy the lions won all foyr games last year and the did not win anymore, just the preseason games,SEE THE PRESEASON DO NOT COUNT.

Posted by: jamie | Aug 25, 2009 11:55:20 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.