Monday, February 16, 2009

Peppers' most interesting quote

Of the 22-minute teleconference Julius Peppers held with several reporters Saturday, I thought his most interesting quote was this one.

Said Peppers, in response to a question about what he would tell the many fans who bought No.90 jerseys and have cheered him for years:

"If you were being held back at your job and you fulfilled your contract and all the obligations you had, and played or worked seven years on a contract and it was time for that contact to expire, and you wanted to do something different and you were told, ‘I know you did all of that and you've fulfilled what you're supposed to do, but you've still got to stay,' I don't think people would be willing to live under those same standards they want to place on me,” said Peppers. “I just don't.”

“So what I say is (to) put yourself in my shoes and look at my situation instead of being emotional about it.”

I wasn't on the teleconference, but I thought this quote was the most insightful one Peppers offered in trying to explain why he wants to bolt Carolina. Look closely at 3 parts of the quote.

1) "If you were being held back at your job...." So, obviously, Peppers believes he has been held back here -- although he refuses to go into specifics. No love lost, though, I don't think from reading this, between Peppers and coach John Fox.

2) 'You've fulfilled what you're supposed to do, but you've still got to stay.' Here's where Peppers was appealing to the common man. Who hasn't had a job they have wanted to leave -- ASAP? Of course, if someone is going to pay you millions to stay -- perhaps even over $16 million for just one more year -- you might have a change of heart. Peppers wisely left out the money part.

3) "Put yourself in my shoes and look at my situation instead of being emotional about it." One thing you can say about Peppers -- he's very rarely emotional. Hardly ever. It's the sort of attitude that can be a blessing or a curse in life and in sports. He never punches teammates, but he also rarely inspires anyone to follow him anywhere.

I'm glad Peppers talked about all this Saturday himself -- he needed to do that. I didn't learn a lot about him from his quotes, however, except this -- he's gone. He hasn't made this decision in a hurry, and he's not going to stray from it.

If the Panthers franchise him, I would bet you anything Peppers won't show up for minicamps, for training camp, for workouts at the stadium... nothing. He's determined to leave. And he doesn't want to be "emotional" about it -- although he's not going to stop thousands of other people from being that way, no matter how hard he tries.


Ben said...

He plays like he's in the NBA. Some really bright flashes, followed by alot of hoing and humming up and down the court

Jason said...

I think I've got this figured out:

What Pep means by being held back is that he's not allowed to pursue a play across the field. We've seen him make tackles on the opposite side of the field or 40 yards downfield with his speed in the past. The coaches apparently want him to stay 'home' and not pursue. This would explain his desire to play OLB in a 3-4 scheme, where he would have the freedom to roam and follow plays.

Matthew said...


When he leaves the 16 million on the table, he's not going somewhere else and playing for free. Most likely he's going to end up getting 30 to 40 million guaranteed. So that argument doesn't hold water.

Would you sign a contract for one year with a place that you didn't like (and have a chance to get injured and never be able to do it again) or pick another place that would give you more long term security and probably more money overall?

Evan said...

Get emotional about it!! I named my dog Peppers for crying out loud!! She is a 5 yr old black lab and she even has a jersey too!! Having been a PSL holder since day 1 (oct 1993) I have seen some great moments in Panthers history, but the bulk of them have happened since the arrival of J Pep. 3 blocked kicks to beat Tampa in 2003, Michal Vick fumbles and Pep taking it to the house on ESPN. I hate to see him leave. He even attended the same high school as my mom and her brothers in Wilson/Bailey. He is Carolina's native son!! Lets make sure we keep Gross, franchise Pep and trade for some picks, maybe look at Haynesworth and try to move on.

Vikram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vikram said...

All I can say is that my respect for Julius peppers has increased 10-fold after this press conference. He is a strong, silent man of class and poise and when he says something he means it. Keep up the good work wherever you go Pep. We will surely miss you but at least we will know what the problem is with this listless team that refuses to come out of its shell at least defensively.

To all other fellow Carolina fans, stop behaving like silly girls when dumped and wish our soldier of 7 years well.

Tony said...

Hope you read this:
We will miss you but wish you the best. I hope you excel in the next chapter of your life (and we hope it is not in the NFC South!), but can one day return to finish your carreer as a Panther.
Thanks for 7 great years!
What we liked about you the most is the simple but focused approach you have, and that you read your Bible.
God Bless,
Tony and Kyla

Anonymous said...

No if I was in your shoes I would not leave Peppers. However, you will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Like EVAN said, I have been a PSL owner since Day #1. I have been a Pep fan since we drafted him. I do not blame Pep one bit for wanting to leave and go to a team who will use him to the most of his ability. Pep is a rare player in the NFL. It is clear that while he was here in Carolina his special skill set was rarely maximized. I blame all parties involved for the situation getting this far.

Pep played out his contract. If he really feels like he does not want to hurt our team like he said, he and his agent will work out a deal with a team quickly once he gets the franchise tag put on him.

Go Panthers.....

uneeda said...

Best Wishes Mr. Pepper. No matter where you go, I am sure you will be a GREAT benefit to the team. I have your jersey and I will continue wearing your jersey. I will always be a fan of yours but not the team you join. I am a Panther fan for life no matter how bad jake is (who is the one who needs to leave).

Love ya Julius!

James said...

There is no doubt in my mind that Peppers was held back here. It is evident that during games, John Fox told him to take plays off, and certainly games off. John Fox told him to fake his illness last year. John Fox told him to not take on a larger leadership role on the team. John Fox told him to disappear in big moments in big games (honestly, when has Peppers ever made a game changing play when his team needed him too?) John Fox's future was on the line this season, and he wanted to be fired, that's why he held Peppers, aka Pampers, back.

Blue Ridge Trailways said...

James, you are hereby banned from ever posting again. "John Fox told him to take big games off?" What are you smoking sir? How does that even make sense? All your other comments were equally stupid.
As for everyone else wishing Pep the best, loving him on his way out the door... PLEASE STOP!! This man was giving Godlike status in Charlotte and North Carolina. He was offered more money than any defensive player EVER. It has become very clear to me and anyone with common sense as to why he is leaving.
He is scared to death of being a leader, being in the spotlight and being a "God." He played his best with Mike Rucker (a true leader), someone who actually spoke to fans and teammates and kept the spotlight off Pep. That is my theory.
It has nothing to do with our "scheme" holding him back. He has had a very successful career under John Fox. The big surprise for Pep is when he goes somewhere to escape the spotlight and loving adoration of his homestate, he will find that being the highest paid defensive player in the league brings with it a huge set of expectations. He will not find the shelter he seeks anywhere. Man, I'm burned out... and still pissed. Goodbye Julius, I shall miss you like an really hot ex-wife.