2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers happy to have DE Peppers in the fold

    2014-05-01 16:47

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Ted Thompson is happy to have Julius Peppers in the fold.

But the Packers general manager insisted Thursday that landing the eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end from the rival Chicago Bears won't have an effect on what Green Bay does with its nine selections in next week's NFL draft.

In his first public comments since Peppers' surprising signing on March 15, Thompson said he believes the 34-year-old lineman has plenty left in the tank and that he expects him to have an impact on the Packers' up-and-down defense.

''There's no evidence of any decline in his play, in our opinion,'' Thompson said Thursday. ''He still has the same athletic traits that he had coming out (of college). He's had a remarkable history in the NFL in terms of durability. We're looking forward to it. I think he is, too.''

The 6-foot-7, 287-pound Peppers certainly has been durable, playing in 186 of a possible 192 games. He's also been productive, registering the second-most sacks (118.5) in the NFL and forcing the fifth-most fumbles (39) since he entered the league. He leads all NFL defensive linemen with nine interceptions over that span.

But playing 855 snaps for the Bears last season, Peppers managed only 7.5 sacks, the third-lowest total of his 12-year NFL career. The Packers envision him as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense, and their hope is that by playing him fewer snaps, they will not only increase his production but give opposing offenses another pass-rushing threat to worry about opposite four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

Matthews, who missed six games last season with a twice-broken thumb, is expected to be fully healthy for training camp.

''When I view him as a football player, he's an individual you'd like to create targeting problems,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Peppers in March. ''He has the ability to play from the two-point stance, has the ability to play on the move.''

In 10 career games against the Packers with Carolina and Chicago, Peppers has recorded 9.5 sacks, his fourth-highest total against a specific opponent. The Packers finished tied for eighth in the 32-team NFL last season in sacks with 44 despite Matthews' absence.

Their hope is that Peppers, who reported for the first day of the offseason program last week, will have an impact on more than just that one category.

Last season, the Packers finished tied for 24th in scoring defense (26.8 points per game), 25th in yards allowed (372.3), 25th in rushing yards allowed (125.0), 24th in passing yards allowed (247.3) and tied for 20th in takeaways (22).

''It's fun to see Julius. He's a specimen. He looks great,'' Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said last week. ''It'll be fun to get him really into the fold and get him feeling like he's part of the team, encouraging him to be a leader for us. I think he brings a lot to the table -- on the field and in the locker room. I'm just excited about not having to run away from him anymore.''

As hopeful as the Packers are of Peppers' contributions, Thompson insisted that he won't approach the No. 21 overall pick - or any of his other picks - differently with Peppers on board.

''We talked about this before. I might sound like a broken record, but we feel that the draft is a long-term investment,'' said Thompson, whose team's most immediate needs appear to be at safety, linebacker, tight end, offensive line and cornerback. ''We don't get too carried away with what our perceived needs are at the moment. We think that's good business. If you can marry those things up that's fine but if you stretch to try to fill quote unquote need somewhere then you end up messing up a couple of spots, so we try to stick to the best player available.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Philip RiversDec 17 06:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (chest, back) took part in a walkthrough Wednesday, Dec. 17, but didn't take part in practice, but he fully expects to play in [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 05:43p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (knee, back) received good news from his MRI results, but he said it would take a miracle for him to play in Week [ More ]

Robbie GouldDec 17 04:53p

Chicago Bears PK Robbie Gould (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Cam NewtonDec 17 04:13p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Frank GoreDec 17 03:13p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) visited with a doctor at the team's facility Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the NFL's concussion protocol. Gore did not participate [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 17 02:33p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

C.J. SpillerDec 17 02:13p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Blake BortlesDec 17 01:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and is listed as questionable for Week 16.

Julio JonesDec 17 01:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Dec. 17.

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 01:33p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) wasn't expected to do a lot at practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, but he took first-team snaps at running back [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 17 01:23p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) returned to practice Wednesday, Dec. 17, and he worked with the second-team offense in the portion of practice open to the media. QB [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayDec 17 12:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is participating in individual drills during practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

T Y HiltonDec 17 12:23p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating during the media-access portion of practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Rashad JenningsDec 17 11:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) will not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Keenan AllenDec 17 11:03a

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone, ankle) said he is taking his injuries 'week to week.'

Denard RobinsonDec 17 10:13a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson (foot) has a partially torn ligament in his foot, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Recovery time is six to eight weeks, but he [ More ]

Marc TrestmanDec 16 09:33p

The Chicago Bears are expected to fire head coach Marc Trestman, according to a source. The team's ownership met Tuesday, Dec. 16, after the team's Week 15 loss against [ More ]

Julio JonesDec 16 09:33p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is expected to be ready to play in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints. However, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter indicated the possibility [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerDec 16 06:43p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) missed practice for the second straight day Tuesday, Dec. 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 16 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will likely be a game-time decision against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16, according to owner Jerry Jones. Jones said the team is [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 16 05:33p

Denver Broncos TE Virgil Green continued to lead the team's tight ends in snaps with 50 in Week 15 against the San Diego Chargers, even with TE Julius Thomas [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 16 05:23p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is 0-2 with a 35.6 total quarterback rating at Tampa Bay in his career. He threw three interceptions in each of those games.

Blake BortlesDec 16 04:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) was jogging, throwing and moving around well while being limited at practice Thursday, Dec. 16. He showed no signs of being limited by [ More ]

Colt McCoyDec 16 04:23p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was told by doctors that he only needs two to three weeks for the aggravated nerve in his neck [ More ]

Keenan AllenDec 16 04:13p

Updating a previous report, San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) could be placed on Reserve/Injured if the team is eliminated from playoff contention. Allen will not play this [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 16 02:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Colt McCoyDec 16 02:33p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (neck) was placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Dec. 16, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Keenan AllenDec 16 02:33p

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (collarbone) suffered a broken collarbone in Week 15 and is not expected to play this week. Surgery is not planned at this point [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group