Peppers says he wants to play both end positions
With the Chicago Bears now in their third week of the voluntary offseason program, either Julius Peppers isn’t ready to say what side he will play or he hasn’t been told yet.
Visiting with the Mully & Hanley Show on WSCR 670-AM this morning, Peppers said he thinks it’s best to play both sides. The free-agent prize for the Bears, who will earn $20 million this season, played left side with the Carolina Panthers until the last two seasons when he switched to the right side. It’s believed he would prefer to play the right side, but coach Lovie Smith has always preferred his premier pass rusher be on the left side to take advantage of the less athletic offensive tackle.
It looked like Peppers would almost certainly play left end until Alex Brown was released. Now, the best guess is he still starts at left end but he should play both sides.
"Right now it doesn't really matter to me," he said. "I've said it and I mean it, it doesn't really matter which side I play. I would prefer to switch sides during the game according to the game plan. When you limit yourself to one side it limits your effectiveness. I try to preach to the young guys just coming into the league, 'Don't limit yourself to one side.' When you get tagged as a right end or a left end, it limits you. You need to be able to play both."
Mark Anderson, who graded out well with the coaches at the end of the season, figures to start at right end. Israel Idonije, moved from tackle to end this season, projects best as a left end. So, Peppers’ chances at right end will likely come with Anderson on the sideline and Idonije lined up on the left side.
However they stack it up, Peppers is excited about the future.
"I think we could be the best unit in the league. Last year wasn't as good because they had injuries," Peppers said. "Anytime you have injuries on a team, that is going to kill you, especially to your best players. I see the potential. They already have guys in place here. I am just another piece to it and hopefully I can bring to the table what I have been bringing my whole career and we can be as dominant as they were in the past."
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