Packers need to contain Julius Peppers
Sept 26, 2010 ~ by Tom Silverstein
~Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers is as familiar to Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher as arthritis is to retired linemen.
Peppers has been more of a pain to the veteran Green Bay Packers tackles in their latter years, but for the most part they have been able to protect their well-being, holding him to three sacks and a forced fumble in five meetings with his former team, the Carolina Panthers.
Prior results aren’t always an indicator of future earnings, but in this case, the Packers can go into their Monday night showdown with the 2-0 Bears with some confidence Peppers won’t rampage through their backfield like Godzilla through telephone wire.
Assuming Clifton’s balky knee allows him to play – and there were signs Friday that it would after he practiced in pads – the Packers need not fear Peppers. They simply need to respect him the way they have since they first faced him in 2002.
“He’s a big guy,” offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. “Obviously, (Philadelphia’s) Trent Cole is a different type of leverage rusher, huge motor. Peppers has some of the qualities a lot of coaches (like): great length, the initial burst is outstanding and he’s got size.
“He’s hard to move in the run game, too. He’s a big body and he’s got some excellent skills.”
On the other hand, Tauscher, who has spent more time blocking Peppers than any other Packers lineman, has not allowed a sack against him in the four games against Carolina he was the starting right tackle, one of which he played with a hamstring pull and another with a bad ankle sprain.
“I think he has played (solidly),” Philbin said. “Overall, I think he’s been very competitive against him, held his own. We’re going to need more of the same this week, no question.”
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