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Packers plan to use Julius Peppers as a linebacker, mostly

Julius Peppers AP

From the moment the Packers went against stereotype and signed former Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, the question became how they’d use him.

That has been answered, for now.

According to Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Peppers would work with the linebackers in practice, but would have multiple roles in the Packers defense.

While Peppers is athletically versatile enough (and good enough against the run) to play as a base end in a 3-4, that would also be a bit of a waste of his gifts.

By limiting his snaps (McCarthy said he’d play fewer than the 800 he played for the Bears last year) and using him as a hybrid “elephant” rusher opposite Clay Matthews, it gives them the possibility for a more dynamic rush.

McCarthy was also able to joke and say “We’re just crushing it in free agency this year,” but the out-of-character addition, along with moving B.J. Raji back to nose tackle, should help solidify the Packers defense.

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79 Responses to “Packers plan to use Julius Peppers as a linebacker, mostly”
  1. scoops1 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:46 PM

    is it too late to get Kevin green to come back and work with him???

  2. tokyosandblaster says: Mar 25, 2014 3:48 PM

    Along with the compensatory picks, the Packers have a good chance to vastly improve their defense.

    I mean…Peppers alone is more talented than the entire Vikings defense combined.

    >

  3. nflfollower says: Mar 25, 2014 3:48 PM

    Worst move of free agency

  4. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:48 PM

    Crushing it in free agency???

    McCarthy is hilarious. Still, they should be much improved based just upon health. Peppers gives them a dimension opposite of Clay that they haven’t had since Clay has been in Green Bay.

    And once again the oddsmakers have the Packers as a contender.

  5. grimreaper12 says: Mar 25, 2014 3:48 PM

    Rodgers will lose another home playoff game.
    Packers are one and done.

  6. thepftpoet says: Mar 25, 2014 3:49 PM

    Don’t except another one and done in the playoffs for the Packers again.

    You can except them to not even make the playoffs.

    The lack of talent sorrounding this team is below average at best.

    Besides Aaron Rodgers, this team has no solid players anywhere else.

    This team is the jaguars masked by a good QB.

    7-9 next year.

  7. thepftpoet says: Mar 25, 2014 3:51 PM

    NFC North standings 2014-2015 season:

    Vikings: 12-4
    Bears: 9-7
    Packers: 7-9
    Lions: 6-10

  8. deltaoracle says: Mar 25, 2014 3:51 PM

    Packers appear to actually be serious about using a “hybrid” defense this year, which is a good thing.
    They should play Perry on the early downs and use Peppers in passing situations. Having Peppers, Matthews, and Mike Daniels to rush the passer will make me feel better about getting pressure on the opposing QB than I’ve felt in quite awhile.

  9. uwsptke says: Mar 25, 2014 3:52 PM

    I love that this signing is also working in the Packers’ favor for next year’s draft. Peppers won’t count as a free agency addition since he was cut by the Bears. So far the losses of James Jones & Deitrich-Smith are the only factors in the equation, so they should see a couple more mid-round picks since they signed for decent money elsewhere.

  10. dangitgary says: Mar 25, 2014 3:53 PM

    So let me see, the Packers pay more money for a player who’s best days are behind him when there was the perfect player available in Michael Johnson. Who would rather have a 34 year old Peppers over a 27 year old Johnson? This will help their defense for maybe a year or two if they are lucky but what about the future? I just don’t understand the logic…

  11. weepingjebus says: Mar 25, 2014 3:54 PM

    He would also be very effective in a door-to-door 2 man rush that convinces old people to buy $500 “stock” certificates.

  12. thepftpoet says: Mar 25, 2014 3:54 PM

    The reason Green Bay never participates in free agency is because Ted Thompson doesn’t know how to evaluate talent.

    If he would have never drafted Aaron Rodgers (which was a lucky desperation pick that turned out good) he would have been fired years ago for incompetence.

  13. favrewillplay4ever says: Mar 25, 2014 3:55 PM

    With 2 games against the terrible Vikings next year, that alone should bring Green Bay’s defense at least into the top ten!

  14. thepftpoet says: Mar 25, 2014 3:55 PM

    Why would you change a 36 year old washed up defensive end into a linebacker?

    Does anyone really think Dom Capers knows what he’s doing in the first place?

    Terrible pick up.

  15. tutamus says: Mar 25, 2014 3:56 PM

    I remember a great talent evaluator in Minnesota that felt like Christian Ponder was worth a higher pick than Rodgers.

  16. wipackman1265 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:00 PM

    Minnesota. Kings of the offseason ( in their minds ). SUCK in every other season…picking in top 10. AGAIN …. Love it that their idiots get computers in prison …thanks Al Franken and Jesse Ventura

  17. chad504boy says: Mar 25, 2014 4:01 PM

    Kids, this is why you don’t want to be a running back.

  18. thepftpoet says: Mar 25, 2014 4:01 PM

    Let’s evaluate the past two years of first round picks:

    Packers:

    Nick Perry- Bust
    Datone Jones – Bust

    Now the Vikings:
    Matt Kalil – Pro Bowl his first season
    Harrison Smith – one of the top rated safeties by PFF – a great young player.
    Cordarelle Patterson – pro bowl his rookie year, set record for 2nd in kick return yards of all time, scored 8 TDs the last 8 games.
    Xavier Rhodes- a promising corner, highly ranked in PFF especially his last 8 games.
    Sharrif Floyd – was a backup last year to K. will and will take this season for a full evaluation.

    So again tell me, how is Ted Thompson a better GM than Rick Spielman?

  19. tokyosandblaster says: Mar 25, 2014 4:04 PM

    It’s crazy to think about it, but Ted Thompson has more Super Bowl victories in his short stint with the Packers than the Vikings have had in their entire history.

    I mean, you’d almost feel bad for them, if they weren’t all serial killers and child molesters.

  20. purplepanteez says: Mar 25, 2014 4:04 PM

    Here’s a fun fact about my Minnesota Vikings…

    They passed on Aaron Rodgers twice (2x, dos, 1+1) before the Packers took him.

    Not having a competent quarterback makes my hair itch.

    Good thing I’m used to seeing my team lose. A lot.

    Bring on another year of low expectations…

  21. ariani1985 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:10 PM

    Can he use his cain or walker on the field of play?

    notice that ted is signing nothing but turds?
    #clownmusic

  22. deltaoracle says: Mar 25, 2014 4:14 PM

    Thompson is rated a better GM than Spielman because the team he built has won a Super Bowl.
    Just like the Packers are a better franchise than the Vikings because they have won 13 World Championships – seven in the period that the Vikings have been around – compared to their… how many is it up to now? Oh yeah – ZERO!

  23. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:16 PM

    When comparing both the Packers and Vikings rosters over the past 4 years, one will find the following undeniable truths:

    1) The Packers have won the division 3 times, and the Superbowl in the lone year they didn’t win the division.
    2) The Vikings have finished dead last in the division in 3 of the 4 years.
    3) The Packers have won the season series from the hapless and tasteless Vikings each year for 4 consecutive seasons.

    Therefore:

    Speilman appears headed towards being fired for incompetence – just like he was in Miami.

    Ted appears headed towards Canton.

    And the horror continues for Viking fans.

  24. ariani1985 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:16 PM

    Don’t forget ted has 20 million invested in the corners! Lol
    little Samantha sheilds puts up a good fight!
    With fabio penciled in for a good solid 9 games you should easily finish in the top 25!

  25. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 25, 2014 4:17 PM

    Peppers as a LB, wow~! Now that’s funny!!

    Good Luck Pep, always loved ya, even if you’re in GB!

  26. fishguy1812 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:18 PM

    Why is TT better than Spielman?

    Uh, The Pack are perennial winners.

    The Vikings are losers.

    Tough question.

  27. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 4:21 PM

    I bet my Grandpa could start on their D. Sheesh.

  28. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 4:24 PM

    Oh, and Ted Thompson didn’t build the Packers. John Schneider did. Look at the facts:

    Schneider left to join the Seahawks in 2010. Packers won the Superbowl in 2011 with the team Schneider built (including drafting Rodgers). He then went to Seattle and built a Superbowl winning team.

    Those of you that think Ted is building you a Superbowl contender without Schneider actually pulling the strings are in rubeland.

  29. leatherface2012 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:28 PM

    With 2 games against the terrible Vikings next year, that alone should bring Green Bay’s defense at least into the top ten!

    NEW COACH WAY BETTER OFFENSE COORDINATOR. NO WAY THEY DONT FINISH 10-6

  30. f1lthymcnasty1 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:28 PM

    I heard they’re moving BJ Raji to cornerback as well.

  31. golforepar says: Mar 25, 2014 4:30 PM

    Linebacker, in this case means Peppers will move around and rush the passer from any and all angles. I love the last place Vikings fans comments! Good luck in your High School stadium!! What a joke.

  32. grubbyolebowski says: Mar 25, 2014 4:31 PM

    You Vikes fans are a funny bunch. The stats do not lie.
    Get back to us when you win something..

    Signed,
    Packers fans everywhere

  33. deflateddome says: Mar 25, 2014 4:35 PM

    So, a declining 34 year old who has planter faciatous, and who has never played linebacker, will be a linebacker with the Packers…With Perry, Raji and Worthy? Even Jones with his 22 snaps experience looks to figure in this nightmare…Quick isolate a tight end on Peppers..lol

    This sharp decline from 31 to 32 in defense will be fun to watch.

    Poor Aaron has to be getting tired of carrying this whole team on his back

  34. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 4:38 PM

    I have facts. You owe your most recent Superbowl to John Schneider not Teddy.

  35. leatherface2012 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:41 PM

    You Vikes fans are a funny bunch. The stats do not lie.
    Get back to us when you win something..

    why were rodgers numbers so far off from previous years? to many ped’s?

  36. Shinnbone says: Mar 25, 2014 4:43 PM

    Add in a Calvin Pryor at safety and oh my goodness, Vince will be coming home again!

  37. Shinnbone says: Mar 25, 2014 4:44 PM

    Peppers and Matthews combined 20-30 sacks book it!

  38. freethrowtommy says: Mar 25, 2014 4:44 PM

    Vikings homers are out in full force today. When Spielman gets a ring, you can start putting him in the conversation as “better than Ted”. That and you know, completely forgetting about drafting Christian Ponder. Until then, you should probably keep that to yourself because it is making you look foolish.

  39. leatherface2012 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:45 PM

    packers will employ a 1-10 defense. with the ten standin 40 to 50 yards deep, u know so nothing gets past them. that will look good when the other team is at their 10 yd line and the 10 of them are 30 rows up in the stands

  40. leatherface2012 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:46 PM

    Peppers and Matthews combined 20-30 sacks book it!

    hard to do when they play a combined 9 games

  41. chmura97 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:46 PM

    Now that Ryan Braun brought the ped police to Wisconsin the packer hopes are done its a dose of reality when your signing washed up jokes, when you can’t sell playoff tickets you have no money to sign the good ones!!!

  42. tokyofilthblaster says: Mar 25, 2014 4:49 PM

    I just want to pay homage to the all time greats.

  43. deflateddome says: Mar 25, 2014 4:50 PM

    Chumura…do you consider Peppers a washed up joke? I sure do

  44. golforepar says: Mar 25, 2014 4:57 PM

    You have to give GM Spielman credit. He is in charge of a team that has a passion for doing everything possible to earn another top 10 draft pick. I can’t wait for he and Matt Millen to write a book on how to ruin a team.

  45. deflateddome says: Mar 25, 2014 5:08 PM

    I can’t wait to see a Vernon Davis type lined up against Peppers at LB…Oh Oh…pass play…I wonder if Peppers would be in the same zipcode?

  46. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 5:11 PM

    At least Spielman has to own what he does. If he fails he gets fired. Ted won’t because he rests on other’s laurels. Mainly Schneider’s. The real brains behind the Packers recent success is now the GM in Seattle.

  47. stellarperformance says: Mar 25, 2014 5:26 PM

    The reason Green Bay rarely participates in free agency is because Ted Thompson knows how to evaluate talent.

    When he had the foresight to draft Aaron Rodgers (which was a chance he took when twenty-five teams before him would not,) he should have been given a raise years ago for unsurpassed competence.

  48. deflateddome says: Mar 25, 2014 5:31 PM

    Yeah…1 player picked with success 10 years ago. Did Schneider make that recommendation too?

  49. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 5:32 PM

    Hasn’t anyone been listening!?! Ted didn’t draft Aaron Rodgers, Schneider did. Schneider also drafted Russel Wilson, but I bet all’y’all will give credit to Ted for that too.

  50. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 25, 2014 5:38 PM

    The Ted Thompson GM tree is alive and well in Seattle. And in Kansas City. And in Oakland. People enjoy working with Ted because sometimes he bestows them with greatness.

    One time Speildope was fired for incompetence in Miami. And he’s given birth to last place teams in 3 of the past 4 years. Spieldope and MN is like a match made in Loserville.

  51. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 5:47 PM

    Yeah, Kansas City and Oakland have won a lot lately. The only man that counts is Schneider silly. He built the Superbowl teams in Seattle and Green Bay.

  52. deflateddome says: Mar 25, 2014 5:50 PM

    What happened to Reggie McKenzie? Did TT bestow him with greatness?? Sounds like Reggie listened to TT and not John. He will be out in Oakland in 2 years…

  53. jjh1982 says: Mar 25, 2014 6:03 PM

    Wow there’s nothing to do in Minnesota again

  54. longtimefanhtr says: Mar 25, 2014 6:05 PM

    It could be painful seeing him trying to play linebacker on those 34 year old legs. Best option for the Packers is to let him rush the passer on passing downs.

  55. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 25, 2014 6:05 PM

    When McKenzie gets fired in Oakland, the Vikings will finally get their replacement for the incompetent Rick Spieldope. They will move directly from Miami’s trash to Oakland’s trash. Because that’s how they roll.

    Meanwhile, the Packers will quietly keep annually contending for a NFL record 14th World Championship, and grooming Ted’s successor.

    And Packer fans will continue to graciously bask in their team’s relevance, setting the gold standard of behavioral examples for degenerate Viking fans.

  56. beerbratscheese says: Mar 25, 2014 6:20 PM

    Those that are saying Schneider was the real source behind the Packers’ success, get a clue. Schneider is very good at what he does, don’t get me wrong, but Thompson was also the person that put the Seahawks in the Super Bowl back in 2005.

    He may have been in Green Bay that year, but he did much of the scouting and ran the draft board for them for several years before that. So he was responsible for putting the the vast majority of talent on that team too.

    One could easily argue he’s built two teams into Super Bowl contenders.

  57. beerbratscheese says: Mar 25, 2014 6:24 PM

    Meanwhile, the Packers will quietly keep annually contending for a NFL record 14th World Championship, and grooming Ted’s successor.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It may take the Vikings a couple years to fire Spielman, so the Packers may be looking for their 15th World Championship by then.

  58. jimicos says: Mar 25, 2014 6:34 PM

    Oh, and the Vikings’ 31st ranking on defense was by yards. If you want to rank them by points allowed it’s worse.

  59. jimicos says: Mar 25, 2014 6:34 PM

    Some of the facts here are a bit off.

    It was the Vikings, not the Packers who fielded the 31st ranked defensive unit in the NFL last season. But I guess they’ve patched all their holes by giving big money to a guy with one start to his name.

    Also, I keep reading about Datone Jones and his 22 snaps. I’ll again point out that getting 3.5 sacks with only 22 snaps sounds pretty good to me.

    Things are looking up in Minnieland. Ponder will be much better this year. And Peterson only gets better with time, doncha know?

  60. lnfinite says: Mar 25, 2014 6:37 PM

    Peppers will not survive training camp!!

  61. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 6:58 PM

    Packers won’t win another Superbowl without Schneider at the helm.

  62. axespray says: Mar 25, 2014 7:01 PM

    John Schneider also drafted AJ Hawk and Justin Harrell and Abdul Hodge….or are we just giving him credit for Ted’s success now?

  63. backdapack4evr says: Mar 25, 2014 7:15 PM

    If being a clown is something you’d love, become a Viking!! You can be king dud!!
    Lol

  64. deflateddome says: Mar 25, 2014 7:25 PM

    John Schneider also drafted AJ Hawk and Justin Harrell and Abdul Hodge….or are we just giving him credit for Ted’s success now?

    Nope. Ted still has busts in Raji, Perry, Sherrod, Burnett, Bulaga, and 22 snap Datone Jones..plus every player from round 4 on since 2010…

    The funniest thing…AJ hawk is resigned to a huge salary by Heady Teddy…So Teddy gets plenty of credit for this never improving squad with only one player on the club…

  65. dethsupport says: Mar 25, 2014 7:26 PM

    No, Schneider gets all the credit for the 2010-2011 Superbowl including ALL the players he signed or drafted.

  66. shoddymnbridgerepair says: Mar 25, 2014 7:45 PM

    Who gets credit for competent bridge maintenance?

  67. koreystringerswidow says: Mar 25, 2014 7:47 PM

    John Schneider never accidentally killed any of his players in training camp. But neither has Ted Thompson.

  68. gbmickey says: Mar 25, 2014 8:29 PM

    What a sad existence for Viking posters when they have more of the posts on a Packer article to give themselves some sense of relevancy. Too bad your team isn’t any good or it would be recognized by its own accomplishments. Instead we have to hear all the bluster and self bravado in the offseason that you will win another self proclaimed offseason championship. Yet when the reality of the season comes it all dissipates and they go into hiding or change their usernames rather than suffer the embarrassment of being the doormats of the division.

  69. dragonfly99 says: Mar 25, 2014 9:08 PM

    Oddly it seems like there are more Vikings fans posting on Packer articles than Packer fans. That seems like some sort of bizarre obsession or hopeless desperation.

  70. purplezimmerpride says: Mar 25, 2014 9:55 PM

    The Packers D keeps improving and my Vikings NFC North Worst D keeps sliding backwards. At this rate there is little hope in avoiding our 5th straight NFC North worst finish

  71. Frazier28/7 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:44 AM

    bwahahahahaha!!!!! is bj raji going to be their starting center too? packers are nothing without rodgers… pathetic>packers.

    at least the vikings don’t have to feel relevant by clamoring to ‘nfl championships’ that never happened! Ha! Pack! Ha!

    bart starr was actually their head coach at one point, no wonder they play clown music during practice.

  72. pushn50 says: Mar 26, 2014 2:49 AM

    Only in Minnesota can you feel relevant by degrading teams 3 times as good as the hopeless, clueless Vikings organization! #losers

  73. kamala1962 says: Mar 26, 2014 7:54 AM

    Good luck. Over paid DE last year. Played maybe 4 games out of 16. He’s done.

  74. gtodriver says: Mar 26, 2014 8:16 AM

    wipackman1265 says:

    Minnesota. Kings of the offseason ( in their minds ). SUCK in every other season…picking in top 10. AGAIN ….
    _______________________________

    Funny….

    For those that can read and comprehend (which leaves out many of the green and gold faithful) – it’s common knowledge that the Vikings are the uncontested leader of the NFC North/Central.

    FACT – since the inception of division play the Vikings have 18 of the divisional titles. The Packers have 13, the Bears 10 and the Lions 3.

    When the Vikings didn’t win the division – they still made the playoffs in 9 other seasons. The Packers when the failed to win the division have only made it 7 times, the Bears 4 and the Lions 7.

    If you want to see some real playoff suckage – look for the team that went 25 full regulation seasons without scoring a single TD in the playoffs.

    That team would be your Green Bay Packers… In 17 of those 25 seasons – the Pack couldn’t even manage a winning record.

  75. stellarperformance says: Mar 26, 2014 10:10 AM

    Hey…dethsupport….you are WRONG! Haven’t you been listening? Ted Thompson drafted Rodgers. Sorry to burst your balloon.

  76. disgustinguished says: Mar 26, 2014 10:19 AM

    Super Bowls: Some have ‘em. You don’t. “BWAHAHAHWHBLAHBLAHDOUCHE”

  77. fubar000 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:06 PM

    thepftpoet says:

    NFC North standings 2014-2015 season:

    Vikings: 12-4
    Bears: 9-7
    Packers: 7-9
    Lions: 6-10
    ——————–

    With those QBs at the helm and having just lost your entire defense with Jared Allen gone, you stand NOT A CHANCE of winning the division! That was pretty funny though, this made my day!

  78. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 26, 2014 1:46 PM

    Since their plan is to have Peppers play LB on their D, the packers better start showing him how to avoid the ballcarrier, especially running QB’s, at all cost. Also, he better get used to being on the field a lot this season, and Pep, stay clear of the Braun/Rodg posse.

  79. zinjaboy says: Mar 29, 2014 9:51 AM

    ah yes, the whisper campaign. stay classy!

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