Looking around the Carolina Panthers locker room, Julius Peppers just can’t help but smile. In the background, he hears Greg Olsen spitting bars with Ryan Kalil recording, fully engaged in Olsen’s performance. He hears Cam Newton joking and hollering around, messing with anyone playing in Ryan Kalil’s P.I.G. tournament. He hears melodies of fun, joy, and laughter reverberating throughout the walls of Wofford.
Never in his life has he ever been in a locker room as fun or great as the Panthers team he’s with now. At long last, Julius Peppers is finally home, and he’s glad to be back.
Since coming back home last March after seven years on other teams, Julius Peppers just can’t stop talking about the Panthers locker room. According to a source with close connections with his family, Peppers has been praising the Panthers locker room constantly. He talks non-stop about how much fun he’s having and how great the atmosphere is.
It’s experiencing stuff like this that make Julius Peppers regret not coming back in 2014. When he saw how much fun everyone’s having and the culture the Panthers foster, he knew that he made a mistake when he chose to go to Green Bay instead of Carolina.
Even so, Julius Peppers is just happy to be back. One thing that sticks out in particular is how the Panthers treat him. He mentions that the Panthers treat him with the utmost respect and gentleness he deserves, something Peppers never experienced before. He says the Panthers never ask him to do more than he can handle – planning to ease him in comfortably and have him fresh and ready for San Francisco.
However, Julius Peppers did not come back just for a “farewell tour” with his first team. He says that’s not even close to the real reason.
Julius Peppers came back with one goal in mind: getting the Panthers back to the Superbowl.
One thing Julius Peppers understands is that former GM Dave Gettleman also shares the same belief. Dave knows that he isn’t just some old veteran off the street. He realizes Peppers is still a very talented defensive lineman who makes an impact at his old age. Understanding that, Gettleman was more than willing to give Peppers a contract.
For instance, watch the play above. This highlight is likely something Gettleman saw when evaluating Peppers. Watch as Peppers attacks the right tackle, then speeds right past him towards Dak Prescott for the strip sack. Pepper’s explosiveness, power, and speed show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
According to PFF, Julius Peppers had a pass rushing grade of 78.8, ranking 23rd among all edge rushers in the NFL. He had 45 total pressures in 2016 and was a key piece in their pass rush rotation. Julius Peppers certainly doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
When Julius Peppers saw the Carolina Panthers defensive line in action, he saw potential for greatness. Looking around at his new teammates on the field, Julius Peppers can’t help but feel excitement for the upcoming season. With the talent around him, he expects himself to gain 10 sacks and surpass Doleman on the all-time sack list. He also hopes he’ll be around long enough to pass Kevin Greene as well.
But most of all, Peppers expects to see himself play until he’s 39 and retire with two Superbowl rings. He knows he’s still playing at a high level and that he brings a lot as a pass rusher. Peppers also understands that the Panthers have a very talented roster that’s capable of going to multiple Superbowls. He knows that if everyone stays healthy and plays their role, they’ll be finding themselves with multiple rings on their fingers.
Julius Peppers doesn’t need much motivation to give it his all. After all, the Panthers have treated him so well to the point he feels obligated to give it his best shot. The respect, joy, and fun the Panthers have shown him are more than enough reason for Peppers to go for it all.
The Carolina Reaper is back in town. Julius Peppers is ready to suit up once more as #90, one of the greatest Panthers in history.
Special thanks to SIGCHI222 for the information provided above, including some he hasn’t revealed. All thoughts and information come from SIGCHI222’s reliable source, who also broke news one day early of Julius Pepper’s deal.Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.