Monday, February 9

Peppers Sends Clear Message to Carolina

In his last time wearing a Carolina Panthers helmet, Julius Peppers had a sack of Peyton Manning and a tipped pass which he intercepted off of Jay Cutler in the NFC's 30-21 win in the Pro Bowl yesterday. For those in Carolina still holding out any slim hope of Peppers staying with the team, Julius made it clear he wants to play somewhere else. He discussed the situation on the sideline, on camera with Tiki Barber during the game. In the interview he shared more of his feelings with Barber than he had with any member of the Charlotte media.
From the Charlotte Observer:

"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."

Collinsworth also went on to say that in a 3-4, Peppers would have more responsbility to stop the run and he did not know if that was the best situaiton for Julius. The Pro Bowl was Peppers's opportunity to gain more interest from other teams and he certainly will have accomplished that with his play and his words about wanting to go elsewhere. The only questions now are who will pay the high pricetag for him and will he play like he did for the Panthers when he gets there?

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