Chicago Sun-Times

Del Rio praises Peppers

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Before becoming the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jack Del Rio was the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.

And in his first and only season there, in 2002, Del Rio worked with Julius Peppers, the second overall pick of the Panthers in the NFL draft.

Peppers wasted no time making an impact, registering 12.5 sacks for the Panthers' defense, which ranked second overall in the NFL.

"He's a tremendous young man," Del Rio said. "I think he's very gifted but it's more than that. I knew him to be a guy who competed every day. He was a proud athlete."

Peppers has been accused of being an underachiever and giving less than full effort on a consistent basis. But Del Rio said the defensive end's athleticism may work against him.

"He did things naturally," Del Rio said. "Sometimes, he did it so effortlessly that you may assume that he wasn't going hard.

"I thought that was a misnomer of him coming out of college (of North Carolina). I didn't see that."

Peppers is an effortless athlete, Del Rio said.

"When you really study him, some guys have to strain to run, and some guys can run. He's that type of athlete," Del Rio said. "I have a lot of respect for him. The Bears got a lot better, right there."

Keep in mind, Del Rio was a very solid player in his NFL career, earning one Pro Bowl selection as a middle linebacker. He was known for his toughness and relentless style.

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11 Comments

If Jack Del Rio says it, you can bank on it. Del Rio has not been as sucessful as a head coach as I expected, but he still commands respect from virtually everyone. He was as good a player as just about anybody has been, and I'm sure wahat he says about Peppers will prove out for us Bear fans.

Maybe that was the case when Del Rio knew him. But that was a long time ago and a lot less money latter. Its not say money will make Peppers a bad player, but a lot of money tends to make any person a lot less hungry. As for him being an underachiever, Peppers has shown to be a streaky type of player, he also does not have good games on artificial turf very often. He tends to struggle on that type of surface. Not sure why, sense speed is his game. But turf is not his thing. I think people expect Peppers to be a Reggie White, which he isn't, really good tackles can shut him down, but he can tear it up against guys like Clifton, McKie, and Backus. The problem is teams can take Peppers out of a game just like the bears took Allen out of that last game with the vikes. Run at him and force him to maintain his gap rather than exploding downhill. To bad for the Bears that they don't have another end who will be able to attack the QB, sense any team can choose to run at Anderson or Peppers with a good chance of having success.

Creighton while making a point that the Bears shut down the best d-end in the NFL, your going backwards and flip flopping your words. You had said that Williams could not block his shaddow. As I recall Williams was blocking Allen the last game against the Vikings. As much as you bash on players you dont even realize that you give them credit all the time.

P.S. Olsen is here to stay. Can anyone say pro-bowl T.E. next year?

holy crap Creighton.....why the (heck) are you even on here? most of the (stuff) you say about ANYONE on the bears is always negative! if you don't like who's on the bears then go join another bandwagon, cause we don't need you on ours!!!! I like getting on here reading about the bears and what people think, but it seems like most people just have negative things to say. why not give this team that we have now a chance and wait until after this season and then (complain) about them if they do bad!!! Creighton, i hope the bears do good this year and you have to eat your words, and can't wait to see what you have to say then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bears? Who cares? They will probably lose next season.

My life? Whatever. Just an endless vortex of pain and sufferring.

The forecast? Cloudy with a definite chance of thunder storms.

I hate myself but I hate you even more. You conformists wouldn't understand. Keep playing in the sunshine.

be fair...Creighton is right more often than wrong, what some call negativity others call reality. The Bears take one step forward and one step back. The potential to be good is there, but this is not a super bowl team, unless some ridiculous strides are taken. Way to many "ifs" on the roster and coaching staff. We'll see, but I am keeping expectations and hype to a minimum. We have had an exciting off season but it does not guarantee success.

The cold hard truth of the matter is that the Bears are the 3rd best team in the division. Nothing done this off season has drastically altered that as of yet. Peppers might be the beast we paid for, he might be another bad move. Who knows, I am reserving judgement for the regular season.

Timmer,
No one can say that because it's not true. He may be likeable but he's average at best. No system is going to teach him how to block better or be more physical. He's here for a reason nobody wants him. Pro bowl tight ends consist of people like Jason Witten and Dallas Clark. We may be al little excited but leave the fairy tale stuff alone.

The biggest advantage the Vikings have had the last couple years over the Packers and the Bears has been their front 4. The addition of Jared Allen made a huge impact on their D. Teams could not run because of their DTs and now the whole line was getting one on one blocking because of Allen. Now, with the addition of Peppers to the Bears, I believe you will see an even bigger immediate impact than Allen's. Peppers and a healthy Tommy Harris give the Bears arguablly the two most gifted players at their positions in the NFL. You will have to block one of them with one player. The fact that a healthy Brian Urlacher will be back also, gives the Bears a chance to have a truly dominant front 7.

Yeah, thier front 4 is the differnce, of course dont forget AP, but when you say front 4 - dont forget they have a pretty decent Oline as well.
But I am not sure about 3rd best team next year, we can be really really good or avg. I am thinking really really good, bc we did add a OC in Martz that will drastically alter the way our Offense plays. We will look completely different running/passing/blocking/Play Calls.
And if you recall when we played the Colts after the SB we rolled bc we used a different D scheme that no one was used to. This year - same story except its our offense with the new Blocking TE and RB Taylor. And....with Peppers we will look different on D as well. So yes I do feel we will be No. 1 or No. 2 - depending on who the Vikes sign at QB. Pack will be No. 3. Not biased justhow I look at it.

Sweet if a Pro Bowl tight ends are like Dallas Clark then the Bears have a pro-bowl tight end in the making! Why you say Party Up!,Cause Dallas Clark takes advantage of miss matches and just catches the ball. Dallas Clark doesnt block really at all, just about what Olsen does. So when making a point in pro bowl tight ends at least dont pick one that Olsen most resembles.

Make no mistakes about it, I am excited. Honestly I think we are going to be a decent offense, maybe real good. The potential is there. My reference to being the 3rd best in the division is because, unless McFarvbb shows up in Minnesota, they and GB are still a better roster.
I do think our WR's can be lethal, and am glad to see Bell back. I have faith in our running game. The OL will be at least average if not capable.

Our DL should have gotten better but we are leaning way to much on a healthy Harris and developed rookies. I hope we sign Pisa...but Roach should be ok. Secondary...I think Bowman will be better, I worry about Peanut and injury, dude's a straight warrior but damn he has taken a beating. Which safety do we draft?

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on March 30, 2010 10:26 AM.

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