Last week, Panthers linebacker Jon Beason said during a radio appearance on WFNZ in Charlotte that he planned to talk to defensive end Julius Peppers, who is playing more like a guy who has just gotten a big-money, long-term contract and less like a guy who is actually still chasing one.
Of course, once Beason made his declaration to . . . the entire Charlotte listening area, there was no reason to talk to Peppers. And so Beason didn’t, and won’t.
“After what happened I realized I was wrong and there are certain things
that you shouldn’t say in the public and there are certain things that
should remain in-house,” Beason said Thursday, again on WFNZ. “That is where I made my
mistake. After I got a lot of negative pub[licity] from it I decided
not to talk to [Peppers]. . . . I shouldn’t have said what I said and I
decided not to talk to Pep afterward.”
Regardless of whether Peppers caught wind of Beason’s remarks — and surely he did — teammates believe it’s unnecessary to talk to Peppers, publicly or privately, about his performance.
“Julius is not a hermit crab. He knows, he reads the papers,” linebacker Na’il Diggs
said, according to Steve Reed of the Gaston Gazette. “I’m sure there are all kinds of pressures from the outside, from
the media, talking about him or whatever. He’s been getting it all
offseason, so I’m sure it’s nothing new to him. He knows exactly what’s
out there. It doesn’t need to be brought to light, underlined or
highlighted. I think Jon, in all fairness, didn’t really try to offend
anybody or call anybody out.”
“It’s one of those things that’s a real sensitive situation and he
could have handled it a lot better,” defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. “I think he knows
Either way, Peppers needs to step it up. And if being called out upsets him, he can dry his eyes with the more than $17 million in small bills that he’s received for a single football season. Though 25 percent of said football season, he has 3.0 sacks.
Peppers got two of them against the Redskins, in the days after being called out.
So, frankly, someone should call him out every week.