Peppers calls criticism of his motivation "nitpicking"

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has heard the criticism of his motivation, his drive, his will to be great.

His response?  “Sometimes in your career, people have to nitpick about things
because they have nothing else to say,” Peppers told The Waddle
& Silvy Show
on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.  “They can’t say there’s a lack of
production, or anything else, but a lack of motivation.  That’s the thing
people try to nitpick at.”

So was it nitpicking when Peppers had only 2.5 sacks in 2007?  Was it nitpicking when Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer looked at every defensive snap in the Panthers’ first three games, during which Peppers had only one sack, and concluded that Peppers faced a lone blocker 75 percent of the time and still couldn’t win his matchups

And was it nitpicking when Panthers linebacker Jon Beason said during a radio interview that he plans to ask Peppers to step his game up?  “The pressure is what you want to see — the intensity,” Beason said
about Peppers, and Beason said he planned to tell Peppers, “I need
everything you’ve got.”

Frankly, we recall no “nitpicking” of men like Reggie White, who averaged 13.75 sacks per season over a 14-year

Look at it this way.  If Peppers was as good as he thinks he is, the Panthers would have paid him the same $20 million this year that the Bears will pay instead.  And if the Bears’ front office weren’t desperate to do something/anything to get back to the postseason in order to save everyone’s job, Peppers wouldn’t have gotten $20 million this year from anyone.

52 responses to “Peppers calls criticism of his motivation "nitpicking"

  1. Thank You! I’ve watch the ‘ol puss’n’boots play for his whole career. I’ve never seen such a beast be such a light switch. He is either on or off. No inbetween. And if you go back and look at the sacks he has had, they rarely are at critical times. He gets the sacks in garbage time where we (the panthers) were already winning the game by more than one score. I’d go as far as to say 75% of his sacks have come when it didn’t matter.

  2. right on brother lol. you annoy me at times but this one is EXACTLY on point. if he can put up those numbers, that “production” when everyone knows he’s not even trying, imagine what he could do if he actually TRIED. … but there i go “nitpicking” lol

  3. Well said Florio. Laugh all you want at Vanden Bosch. But 40 million guaranteed. LOL…. You could have gotten Marshall, Vanden Bosch and other much needed position players for the same price..,.. Well done idiots!!
    Cue the Bears fans talking Superbowl aspirations…hahaha

  4. Of course people are going to nitpick, especially when you’re getting paid a $#!+ load of money and you dont produce of what your capable of!
    Maybe these players should stop nitpicking over their contracts while fans stop nitpicking over their play. Apple to oranges I know but still.

  5. well his stats should get better since he now gets to play daytwa twice every year.
    but, sorry it all balances out, no more double tampa every year…
    julianne pfeffers plays when she wants to. like when the oppo sucks. and that is not nitpicking.

  6. Both sides are right
    People nitpicking at him is more than justified
    With that said, he is dead on about the media nitpicking absurd things.
    The media has left credibility at the door and would rather have a story that gets hits even if it isnt correct

  7. Nitpick all you want, I’m glad he’s out of the NFC South. The dude is a monster.

  8. This is ridiculous. Julius Peppers isn’t the second coming of Jesus Christ. You all act like he’s suppose to get a f@$%king sack on every play. The guy has 81 sacks in 8 seasons, that’s averaging 10 sacks per year. So what if he had 2.5 in ’07, he isn’t perfect. Get off his nutsack and focus on how Favre won’t be back to save your Queens.

  9. Reggie White really was something, what a beast he was. Peppers is great but he’s no Reggie.

  10. Of course anyone who knows anything about the DE position knows there’s a lot more to it than sack quantity (heh heh). If you’re going back to 2007, that means nothing today. I’m not saying I know better about his motivation. Only he knows how hard he’s trying. Sometimes players play through small unreported unjuries, too, which may hamper their ability to excell.
    “If Peppers was a good as he thinks he is” or as good as his 2009 performance clearly showed… The Bears weren’t the only team to rank him the #1 DE in Free Agnecy. In fact, most analysts did as well.
    It’s pretty stupid to try to predict whether or not someone is going try this year, so what say you stop until you see #90 on the Bears doggin’ it.

  11. Please do not ever mention Reggie White and Julius Peppers in the same breath again.
    Big money paid to free agents now adays create unmotivated pieces of dung. Good luck with that Bears.

  12. That was when he was in Carolina!!! Hello he’s in Chicago now and you better believe Marinelli is going to change all that and get the best out of all his players.

  13. well said mikey, well said….i made the same type of comment in regard to crabtree. you know florio they bust your chops but to guys like me that are the same age as you and have loved pro football as long, most of the time your dead spot on. florio is the reason i read this blog and i can tell immediately when i am reading a post that its mikey posting because its fun to read. yeah, ok, i am a brown nose but its the truth. i love you man! p.s-greg your good too.

  14. Oh, please. Was it “nitpicking” when Julius Peppers turned in just 2 solo tackles, no sacks and no hurries in Super Bowl 38 against the Patriots when maybe just one sack or one hurry might have made the difference?
    I’ve seen every Panthers game Julius Peppers ever played and I would trade every spectacular play … Every sack, every interception, every fumble for just the simple basic assurance that he’d bust his ass on every play no matter what the outcome.
    Julius, you chose to leave town and you left. I’m sorry you weren’t happy here in Charlotte but we’re moving on too. Goodbye.

  15. Im sick of reading stuff about how desparate the bears are.. who wouldnt want peppers on their team….
    How bout Florio starts writing articles he reported on instead of reporting of schefter all the time i mean anyone can watch espn and read a blog… i mean hes the one that seems desparate.

  16. I couldn’t agree more with Florio’s post on Peppers. He plays when he feels like playing and it is never at a consistent level. For every good game he has, he is absent for 3-4 gms. There was a reason the other 31 teams, including the Panthers who know him best, were not breaking the door down to sign Peppers. Florio also hit the nail on the head with his assessment of where coaches/mgmt are in Chi-town, all scampering to save their jobs and they have been tearing the Bears apart with giving away draft choices (the future) for an over rated cry baby QB who had never accomplished a thing in his collegiate or pro career other than show people he has a strong arm. The Bears will be cleaning house next year at this time but still be eating the large contracts of Cutler and Pepper and with no draft choices. Bears fans may think otherwise but it’s quite obvious to everyone else what is going on in chicago.

  17. I love how a player goes to Da BEARS and all of a sudden they suck. But before they signed they were the cream of the crop.Nothing but haters out there. GO BEARS!

  18. For the record: Peppers has been in Chicago for only a few weeks and he has already mastered a three-syllable word.

  19. Da Bears will Da Stink as Da Usual.
    They lost their draft picks in that “horrible” decision to go after GOOFY Cutler and HAD to make a splash in free agency otherwise Da Fans wouldn’t go to Da Games.
    Peppers didn’t solve the Bears main problem which is that Da Cutler Da Stinks.

  20. Excellent job on this one, Mr. Florio. You’re all over it.
    I don’t know why exactly, but Peppers is reminding me more and more of someone who should have been a Fat Albert cast member. I can see it so clearly; there’s Albert, and Rudy, and the dude with the ski mask, and there on the end, Julius. With them teeth. Just standing there.

  21. the media-heads will love ragging on pep no matter where he is. it won’t change a thing. what players and coaches say won’t change a thing either. having watched him for a long time, i can assure chicago fans that you may, for 2 and 3 and 4 game stretches, forget that pep is even on the roster. the local talk-radio will eat it up too…
    everyone recalls the monday night game versus the vikings last year when pep took over. what about the game when carolina hosed the cardinals a month earlier because pep decided to take it over? sack. pick 6. sack/strip fumble. game over.
    i’d be happy if i were a chicago fan. of course everyone will pick him apart. they seem to shut their mouths and scatter though on the 3 and 4 games a year that his team wins because of him.

  22. Another bonehead panick move by the Bears front office this year. Bears may be looking up the Lions ass this year

  23. There is no doubt Peppers is a shut down DE. When he wants to be. Unfortunately, he doesn’t always want to be. If he didn’t completely disappear for 5-6 games a season, nobody would have anything bad to say about him.
    Until he decides to show up and play 16 games a season, though, I don’t believe he’s worth $20 million a year.

  24. As much as I hate to say it, it’s true. As a Bears fan I think the offseason went about as good as it could have so far. I haven’t and probably won’t ever get my hopes up for the 2010 season though.

  25. Bears front office is playing fantasy football Dan Snyder style. Did address issues, but overspent doing so and left bigger issues alone.
    Chester Taylor isn’t going to run much better than Forte did with the O-line playing horrible. Look for Cutler to tie or break last years ints unless they get some O-line help.

  26. on point Florio. I am so glad the Pats didnt sign him. They have their own bust to deal with in Adalius”Aaron Neville Forehead” Thomas…. What the hell is on that dudes forehead?

  27. did the Panthers offer him a contract for $14 mil a year –after that 2007 season??? did the Panther pay him $20 mil last year — after that 2007 season??
    Move on old man

  28. So let me understand a few things. The Bears make dramitic moves to improve thier club in back to back off seasons and that makes them desperate? They pay what it takes to address an need with an All-Pro by giving big money in an uncapped year, and that is dumb? I remember an article written here the other day about the how the Cowboys did an amazing job of ensuring that the majority of their contracts had provisions that the weight of thier contracts are paid out in 2010 for the same reason. Same thing there buddy-balls.
    There is a strong anti-Bears sedemint on this site which I find strange. You’d think that credibility would be taken into account once the site was bought by NBC. Go figure, this is what happens when a small time blogger sells out and tries to stick to his roots by reporting opinions and baises. This analysis is the difference between the loser who wrote this article and actual professionals that know football.
    Thankfully, smarter humans, like Football Outsiders’ K.C. Joyner, exist. He addresses Peppers 2.5 sack season in an article after the 2007 season.
    You may remember Joyner as the man who compared Cutler to Rex Grossman last offseason. He got drilled in Chicago by media and fans, but 26 interceptions later, I’d say Joyner is vindicated.
    Joyner’s latest study involves Peppers’ effort. His conclusion (via the Trib’s Brad Biggs):
    “What I don’t understand is why Peppers isn’t given a bit more leeway than this. For years, Peppers was one of the hardest working defensive linemen in the league and that didn’t change last season.
    “What did change is that Peppers had an offseason illness that caused him to lose a lot of weight. That very well may have been why he lacked energy but instead of leaning on that explanation, many have jumped to the conclusion that he suddenly turned into another overpaid, lazy athlete. All I can say to this is that most of the time, hard working players don’t suddenly become lazy.”
    Joyner notes that Peppers rebounded to make 9 ½ one-on-one sacks, which he defines as sacks in which a rusher must defeat his blocker and sack the quarterback in less than three seconds. Peppers had seven in less than 2.7 seconds.
    The conclusion by Joyner? The Bears didn’t roll the dice on a player who gives effort when he wants to and takes time off on occasion. Does he have a Jared Allen motor? Maybe not. Who does? Did they pay a bum? No.

  29. sim448 says:
    March 17, 2010 11:14 PM
    on point Florio. I am so glad the Pats didnt sign him. They have their own bust to deal with in Adalius”Aaron Neville Forehead” Thomas…. What the hell is on that dudes forehead?
    sim448 – Read below. Not trying to be a dick, but it might be a good lesson for you to know the facts before you start flappin’ your yap.
    In 1991, Thomas was riding in the passenger’s side of the family Ford Galaxie, with his older brother driving them from their home in Nixburg, Ala., to pick up two younger siblings at daycare. As Thomas dozed in the front seat, an oncoming car hit them head on. The impact threw the 14-year-old into the windshield. When he came to, he was in the fetal position between the seat and the dashboard, a large triangle-shaped piece of glass protruding from between his eyes, his thumb burned from the engine, which had been driven back into the passenger compartment, his foot broken.
    Thomas pulled the piece of glass out himself, which only worsened the bleeding. Doctors needed more than 400 stitches to close up all of the gashes and had to reattach one of his eyelids.

  30. # rchyrch187 says: March 17, 2010 9:49 PM
    “That was when he was in Carolina!!! Hello he’s in Chicago now and you better believe Marinelli is going to change all that and get the best out of all his players.”
    Like that time he got 0-16 out of my Lions? I’m sure he’ll have these guys pounding rocks in no time. And they will have the greatest pad level in the NFL.
    Marinelli BLOWS ASS!

  31. Yeah, people most def just hate the Bears. They needed Cutler for the future, so what if he had a terrible year, any QB would with a crap OL and Hester as your #1 receiver. Really, who cares what the salaries our, do we pay them NO! Everyone just talks crap cause they missed out on him. Yeah he needed 20 mil a year to get signed. He is easily a top 3 DE and got what he deserved. So shut up haters. DA BEARS

  32. Peppers is no Reggie White, hell Peppers is no Jarred Allen. With that being said I wish he wasn’t in the NFC North, the man is a physical freak and a nightmare to stop when he’s playing hard.

  33. The Bears should have spent their money on Bill Cowher, upgrading the offensive line or going after a receiver who can actually run routes and catch a football.

  34. Woe-is-me Bears fans, sack up. You got him because you were the only team willing to overpay. That equals desperation in my book.

  35. JTAM963
    “They needed Cutler for the future, so what if he had a terrible year, any QB would with a crap OL and Hester as your #1 receiver.”
    That’s the point. With the money you just spent on Peppers, one of the best positions you already had, you could have gotten WR help and traded up in the draft for a good young O-lineman. You went with the big money signing, just like Washington last year, and now have no money left or draft picks, to address the WR or O-line positions. You also need CB’s. Terrible signing in my opinion. This is the type of stupidity I watched the Lions do for years when they just kept adding WR’s but had no defense. Utterly retarded!!!

  36. Right on, DTB.
    Bears fans don’t talk Super Bowl each off-season–that particular domain of delusion belongs exclusively to Queens fans, who obsess over the thing they don’t have. For you perennial loudmouths/losers to call ANY other fans out is just laughable.
    I also love how people think they KNOW what a man’s internal motivational level is–you can’t QUANTIFY that stuff, dumbasses.
    Now if you have, say, a guy who plays head games with the media and his teammates to avoid showing up for off-season training camp, a guy who who annually re-un-re-un-re-re-un-unretires, you can fairly question his motivation.
    Or, if you have a guy that blatantly SAYS, “I play when I want to…”, you can question his motivation.
    (By the way, how did things turn out for THAT particular player, once HE switched organizations?)
    Motivation is just not a quantifiable thing, not without ACTUAL evidence.
    But if two-bit rumor-mongerin Bear-basher extraordinaires/ speculation-specialist gossip-columnist HACKS like Florio want to perpetuate the myth, oh well.
    It’ll only motivate Peppers further, the way I see it. But only he knows the truth.
    As to all the other “points”–with no draft pick in rounds 1 or 2, the Bears don’t have to spend that money, which means it was available to make some big moves in FA, which they did.
    The got the consensus #1 free agent out there this year, and yes, at a position of great need.
    Then, they got another top level FA, while always stealing, in essence, a division rival’s offensive playbook.
    Had the Bears done NOTHING in in free agency, I woulda been pissed. Are Lovie and co. on the hot seat? You bet your wet pudendums they are–they’re lucky they’re even here this year (and were Lovie not owed 10 mil, he would’ve been gone, too).
    But does that fact automatically de-legitimize EVERY single move they make as an “act of desperation”? Hardly.
    Look at it this way:
    Peppers is this year’s first round pick.
    Taylor is round 2.
    Both proven, talented guys who address serious needs.
    The Bears still need to fix their o-line–which is their greatest need–and find a true free safety/upgrade the secondary.
    Once they do that, they’ll be in good shape to contend for the division.
    Peppers, meanwhile, will be a force to reckon with. Will he disappear at times?
    Sure? Where did Jared Allen go in the post-season? Did he get his mullet hairs tangled up with Favre’s pubes or something?
    To say that Peppers underperfoms because he doesn’t match Reggie White’s statistical output is just LUDICROUS–it’s a ridiculous standard and a baffling comparison.
    All-time great players are all-time greats BECAUSE of their production and consistency, for that very reason.
    Get a grip, Florio, you sensationalizing muck-rucking pencil-pushing drama queen.
    The rest of you, too.
    Peppers will be a beast, regardless of whatever that little green-eyed monster inside your hollow heads tells you.
    Bear Down.

  37. simple_simon1 says:
    March 17, 2010 9:31 PM
    Well said Florio. Laugh all you want at Vanden Bosch. But 40 million guaranteed. LOL…. You could have gotten Marshall, Vanden Bosch and other much needed position players for the same price..,.. Well done idiots!!
    Cue the Bears fans talking Superbowl aspirations…hahaha
    Is this a Lions fan talking trash? Wow.

  38. I think this is pretty much all that needs to be said about Peppers:
    In 2009, against teams with winning records: 3 1/2 sacks
    In 2009, against the Redskins and Buccaneers: 5 sacks.
    In 2009, in games in which his team could have pulled its record to .500: A total of 2 tackles and 0 sacks.
    There has never been a greater example of a talented player who disappears in games that count.

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