Julius Peppers has spent the majority of his 12 years in the NFL as a defensive end in a 4-3, but says the opportunity to mix things up in Dom Caper's 3-4 defense was too attractive an offer to pass up.
“A chance to be able to stand up, move around, drop, rush, you know play in different positions was one of the things that made me want to come here in the first place,” Peppers said.
Mike McCarthy classifies Peppers role in Green Bay as the new "elephant position", we've even seen him drop back into coverage and cover the tight end, something Peppers said he 'didn't do very much at all in Chicago, but feels comfortable doing.
“I think the scheme is set up to create some confusion and get the perfect mismatches on the edge, so to be able to stand up and disguise and bluff a little bit I think it's going to help. It's a new challenge and I'm looking forward to not only prove to myself that I can do it, but proving to a lot of people that don't think I can do it.”
There was talk that the 34-year-old, 8-time pro bowler didn't have anything left in the tank... But Peppers is confident he can still be a big-time playmaker.
“You look at my last year, was it one of my better years? Probably not statistically, but if you compare it to a lot of the guys that played last year it was, it was… it was better than a lot of guys. So I don't really think I need to revitalize anything, it's just basically improve upon what I did last year,” Peppers explained.
Peppers recorded just 7 of 118.5 career sacks in 2013 – but that was good enough to rank second in Green Bay last season. (Clay Matthews recorded 7.5 sacks in 2013) Entering his 13th year in the league, Peppers signed a 3-year contract with the Packers with the main goal of adding super bowl title to his resume. Peppers and the Carolina panthers fell short in Super Bowl XXXVIII and he's never made it back to the title game.
“That's what everybody tells you, once you get there you gotta win it because you never know when you're going to get back so hopefully this is the season,” Peppers said.