During eight NFL seasons, former Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers didn’t have much to say.
He’s talking a blue streak now, jack.
After whining recently regarding perceived “nitpicking” by critics, Peppers tells Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune that he prefers his new professional home because folks there are more likely to mind their own business.
“Truth be told, that’s really one of the small reasons that I wanted to
get out; because everybody knows your business in Charlotte,” Peppers said. “I wanted to try something different because out here in Chicago, [Michael] Jordan
was here. [Scottie] Pippen was here. They’ve got [Brian] Urlacher. They’ve got hockey.
They’ve got the baseball. In Charlotte, it was all about the Panthers. . . .
“I live on a small town on the lake, and I mean people would get on
their jet skis and just post up in front of my crib, trying to see who
was there in my house.”
So Peppers thinks he’ll be able to live in anonymity in the Windy City. (Where have we heard that one before?)
Peppers also talks at length regarding his relationship with agent Carl Carey, who helped Peppers when he was accused of plagiarism at North Carolina. Peppers eventually was exonerated, and a strong bond was launched between the two men. As a result, Carey is one of only a few people whom Peppers trusts.
“I don’t have a lot of close friends,” Peppers said. “Outside of my mom and [high school defensive coordinator Brian] Foster,
it’s just Carl and I.”
Peppers and Carey are so close that, after Peppers was found to be in violation of the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy due to a supplement given to him by a teammate, Carey left his job at the University of Houston and became Peppers’ full-time advisor.
Peppers also addressed the controversy that emerged last year when Panthers linebacker Jon Beason said on a radio station that he planned to talk to Peppers about giving more effort.
“Beason . . . he knew he was wrong for that,” Peppers said. “I didn’t even have to respond to that because as soon as he
left the radio station, he came over and apologized.
“People that really know me know how I work. You never heard one of my
coaches or [other] teammates say anything about my work ethic. And that
Beason thing kind of got taken out of context.”
Of course it did. It had to have gotten taken out of context because Peppers is the greatest defensive end — no, the greatest player at any position — in the history of football. And anyone who might wonder whether he is getting the most out of his God-given potential is either nitpicking, or his comments are being taken out of context.
And please, Chicagoans, we implore you. Do not ever try to see who might be at Peppers’ house.