Defensive end Julius Peppers returned to the Panthers as a free agent this offseason and that’s not the only trip down memory lane he will be taking in 2017.
Peppers’ position coach will be Eric Washington, who joined the Panthers in 2011 after wrapping up a run as the Bears’ defensive line coach. His final year in that job was Peppers’ first with the Bears and Washington told the team’s website that Peppers doesn’t look like he’s lost much over the intervening seasons.
“Julius looks like he did seven years ago when I had the first opportunity to coach him,” Washington said. “He still looks like he’s a dynamic player. The combination of his size and the ability to move – I don’t see a lot that’s changed with him. He’s aged extremely well.”
Peppers had 7.5 sacks for the Packers last season while playing a little more than 56 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and there haven’t been any signs that his days as a productive player are coming to an end after 15 seasons in the NFL. If that remains the case over the course of the coming season, his return to Carolina may be an extended one.