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Old 02-09-2009, 12:03 AM    (permalink
MarioPalmer
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Default Julius Peppers in the 3-4 Scheme??

I was rewatching the Pro-Bowl on my DVR and I was looking on the net and I hear this interview from Peppers on the sideline, so I'm dropping in and out of the conversation and I all of sudden hear him say that he wantsa to play in the 34 scheme.

I then asked myself, what the hell for? He's a prototype 43 DE. He is the one of the best DE's in the 43 along with Mario Williams, Justin Tuck and Jared Allen. What is his angle for wanting to move to a 34? I know he is athletic enough, I know he has the speed and agility to play the run while the runner is in space, but he has been such a great 43 DE, why mess with the formula and go to something completely different?

I know his speed and athleticism would translate well to the 34, but wouldn't it be better for him to stay in the 43 and play to his strengths especially if tis will be his last big contract he'll sign? I mean, he is 28 years old, and this contract would be the contract that would carry him to his mid 30's. So why change position now?

To me, it doesn't make much sense, but maybe a Peppers homer and a 34 homer can enlighten me and persuade me into crossing to the other spectrum of the argument. But until then, I think he is making a huge mistake, he would be a great addition to a team like the Redskins, Texans, Seahawks or Bears. Not the Dolphins, 49ers, Browns or Broncos.

If I'm a 34 teams GM, do I even entertain the idea of him making the switch and paying him big time money? I would think that him wanting to make that transition would actually hurt his value because of his inexperience at the 34 OLB rush linebacker spot.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:39 AM    (permalink
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I agree with you, he's a 4-3 DE
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:45 AM    (permalink
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He wants the sack numbers. And, quite honestly, I do think he could pull it off. It won't be conventional, to say the least, but in a hybrid defense he could really do some damage.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:34 AM    (permalink
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He would be fine in a 3-4 the money is the thing that scares me off.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:40 AM    (permalink
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I don't like this move because he'll need a season or two to adjust, at least and by then he'll be thirty. He could end up putting up monster numbers but it'll take some time and there's big question marks about how soon that'll be.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:39 AM    (permalink
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If you saw his interview in the Pro Bowl you know he only saying that he wants to play in the 34 because he gets more teams interested and makes more money.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:35 AM    (permalink
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If Greg Ellis can do it...Peppers will have no problem doing it. Plus, he's always been a freaky athlete, he shouldnt even run into many problems. Like Greg, just have him cut some weight and he'll be fine. I def. see him doing a fine job...we all know he can drop back into coverage no problem as well...he doesnt like doing it, frequently but, he's done it before. Put em on the Dolphins and you have the scariest outside pass rush in the nfl.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:33 AM    (permalink
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He wants to play for the packers... :/
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:15 AM    (permalink
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He wants to play for the packers... :/
who doesn't? ;)
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:17 AM    (permalink
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I think it could work but it will take at least a year for him to adjust. He has a vast skillset and could end up elevating the terrorist color level thingy to burnt sienna.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:30 AM    (permalink
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I don't think it would take as much as you all are making it out to be to get adjusted. A player of his abilities will have no struggle rushing the passer standing up as opposed to on three points.

It'll take some getting used to going into coverage a lot more often, but i'm sure he can get by on athletic ability alone. I wouldn't have him covering TE's though, because the Witten's and Winslow's of the world would just shred him apart.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:46 AM    (permalink
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My biggest question with him is how quickly he develops necessary LB instincts so taht he isn't a liability against the run. Angles, reading plays, etc. there's a lot of mental things he has to work out and those will hurt his play, especially in the his first year at the new position.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:49 AM    (permalink
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If Greg Ellis can do it...Peppers will have no problem doing it. Plus, he's always been a freaky athlete, he shouldnt even run into many problems. Like Greg, just have him cut some weight and he'll be fine. I def. see him doing a fine job...we all know he can drop back into coverage no problem as well...he doesnt like doing it, frequently but, he's done it before. Put em on the Dolphins and you have the scariest outside pass rush in the nfl.
This.


It's not really that huge of a transition, has everyone already forgot that Kampman is making the same change as well? I'd put my money on the athletic freak, multi-sport player that is Julius Peppers to transition better...Alot of 3-4 defenses put their OLB on the outside with their hand in the dirt ie Dallas, Baltimore, San Diego off the top of my head.


He's played both sides of the line in the 4-3 so he can rush the passer from both sides, that's basically what your asking him to do, yes he will have to drop back in coverage but come on, anytime he drops back into coverage from the line it usually results in an INT...He could probably move to TE if he wanted to, 3-4 OLB won't be a problem, I think he made the comments to basically say I'll play for whoever, so we will see who throws the most money at him.


I heard Carolina will franchise him though, which is still a possibility...If you look back, so many other 4-3 DE's have switched to an OLB in a 3-4 in one years time and had no problems making the switch, and those guys weren't half as talented as Peppers is.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:55 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't trust him in the 3-4. There isn't much precedent for a 6'8 280+ linebacker. I'm not saying he couldn't do it, but there's some things working against him. Peppers is an absolutely freaky athlete who would probably be lethal in a hybrid scheme, but the entire massive 3-4 outside linebacker thing just hasn't been done before. He actually PROJECTS well to it. He's been in coverage a lot for a 4-3 end. Nasty speed and power as well. But I would have to see it before I could believe it. Been saying the same thing about Michael Johnson.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:56 AM    (permalink
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:03 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't trust him in the 3-4. There isn't much precedent for a 6'8 280+ linebacker. I'm not saying he couldn't do it, but there's some things working against him. Peppers is an absolutely freaky athlete who would probably be lethal in a hybrid scheme, but the entire massive 3-4 outside linebacker thing just hasn't been done before. He actually PROJECTS well to it. He's been in coverage a lot for a 4-3 end. Nasty speed and power as well. But I would have to see it before I could believe it. Been saying the same thing about Michael Johnson.
he uses his body well.

that's all that there is too it, for his size, he leverages and adjusts and speeds as necessary... put him in a 3-4 with someone blocking for him? try adjusting to a scheme.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:16 AM    (permalink
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I've been thinking about a Kampman - Peppers trade for awhile now. Makes sense for a lot of parties.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:19 AM    (permalink
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First off, I don't think he wants to play the Ellis role in the 34. He sees James Harrison, Joey Porter, Demarcus Ware and others putting up numbers in that rush linebacker spot and he knows he is more athletic than all of them, thats why he wants to do it. He definately could.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:52 AM    (permalink
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most definitely he could do it, and do it well. In response to him being a liability in coverage, especially against the Winslows/Wittens/Gates of the world I would say, who isn't? I don't think any coordinator in the league feels comfortable locking up one of their guys on one of the three elite tight ends. Then taking into account his basketball background, and his obvious freakish athleticism, I would venture that he'd be one of the best as far as pure ability to cover tight ends. Aside from that, if he is in coverage he'll mainly be asked to cover the flats at most, and with the wingspan that comes with 6'8", he would be able to take away almost all slants to his side of the field.

Now to the rushing part. The part that comes natural. I think he could be everything that Adalius Thomas was in baltimore, Demarcus Ware is in Dallas, and James Harrison/Lamar Woodley are in Pittsburgh.

As Menardo pointed out earlier, it's going to come down to money. Which team is going to be willing to pull the trigger that makes him the highest paid defensive player in the league.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:58 AM    (permalink
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he's too big but he'll manage in that role.

its not a question of whether he can move forward and backward. the question is how fluid is he moving side to side? with his large frame, even with his athleticism I think he'll have a hard time with this transition.

but its worth giving a try. he could potentially change the game at that position the way LT did.

emphasis on potentially. as far as im concerned, Peppers has not lived up to expectations as a pass rusher since he's been in the league.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:20 PM    (permalink
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First off, I don't think he wants to play the Ellis role in the 34. He sees James Harrison, Joey Porter, Demarcus Ware and others putting up numbers in that rush linebacker spot and he knows he is more athletic than all of them, thats why he wants to do it. He definately could.
Greg Ellis had 13 sacks in that role in 2007, Shaun Phillips had 12 in 2006, Lamaar Woodley had 12 this year, it doesn't really matter what side your on to rack up sack totals, if he was hell bent on that he would of been a RE his entire career to rush the QB's blindside and not a LE.


Both OLB's in that scheme primarily rush the passer so the numbers can come from wherever, a good 3-4 coordinator would move him around alot anyway.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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He has always been used in that way by Carolina. They dropped him into coverage more than any other 4-3 team would ever do with a DE. I think he would be exceptional in that role.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:41 PM    (permalink
gramage
 
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While I worry about a 6'7 280lb guys ability to flow through traffic from the linebacker position, Peppers would probably be fine in a 3-4, but I still think his best spot is as a 4-3 end. I'm a little skeptical about how he'll succeed because he has had some off years, and seems to need talent across from him to succeed at the level he's about to get paid at. If he were to go to Denver as a friend of mine thinks I doubt he'd produce very well, because he'd be too easy to target.

My ideal landing place for him is Houston. I know thats a LOT of money to put into the D-line, but Peppers and Williams off the edges with Okoye hopefully continuing to develop in the middle, you could cover up a secondary that has some problems pretty easily.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:34 PM    (permalink
MarioPalmer
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Originally Posted by gramage View Post
While I worry about a 6'7 280lb guys ability to flow through traffic from the linebacker position, Peppers would probably be fine in a 3-4, but I still think his best spot is as a 4-3 end. I'm a little skeptical about how he'll succeed because he has had some off years, and seems to need talent across from him to succeed at the level he's about to get paid at. If he were to go to Denver as a friend of mine thinks I doubt he'd produce very well, because he'd be too easy to target.

My ideal landing place for him is Houston. I know thats a LOT of money to put into the D-line, but Peppers and Williams off the edges with Okoye hopefully continuing to develop in the middle, you could cover up a secondary that has some problems pretty easily.
I agree from a standpoint that I'm the biggest Mario homer to ever live, but it would work considerably well. Because of the lack of solid secondary and poor LB corps you could hide those problems with 2 elite DE's like Mario and Peppers, plus those two would instantly give the Texans the best 43 pass rush in the league. But I don't know how realistic that is to pay 2 guys huge amounts of money that both play the same position.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:38 PM    (permalink
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I agree from a standpoint that I'm the biggest Mario homer to ever live, but it would work considerably well. Because of the lack of solid secondary and poor LB corps you could hide those problems with 2 elite DE's like Mario and Peppers, plus those two would instantly give the Texans the best 43 pass rush in the league. But I don't know how realistic that is to pay 2 guys huge amounts of money that both play the same position.
Osi, Tuck and kiwi > Peppers, mario and weaver
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