Thursday, August 5, 2010

Unleashing The Beast

As soon as the Chicago Bears signed Julius Peppers this off season and I knew he was going to be paired with my old D Line coach Rod Marinelli, I started predicting he would have an awesome year. Evidently his work so far has the Bears brass and Peppers himself feeling the same way.

So with those types of odds stacked against Peppers headed into the season, Bears’ general manager Jerry Angelo basically dialed up the pressure earlier this week by saying he doesn’t “see any reason why [Peppers] can’t be the most dominant defensive lineman in the game this year. I’m looking for an MVP year out of Julius.”

Well-aware of the nosedive players at his position tend to take after age 30, Peppers said he wants the same, and even hinted at taking a shot at Strahan’s single-season sack record (22 ½) this season.

“I aim high, have those same expectations [as Angelo],” Peppers said. “Anything less than that is truly going to be a disappointment.”

Asked whether the record was out of reach for him, Peppers said, “I don’t think so. I’m not gonna sit here and say I’m shooting for it. I’m not gonna say that I’m not shooting for it, either. It’s been done before, and can be done again. That’s what records are there for ... to be broken.”

Now you can write this down, take a picture etc but barring injury I fully expect Peppers to be pushing towards 20 sacks this year if not more. No that wasn't a misprint. With Rod helping to coach him and calling the defensive plays the Bears are definitely going to run a defensive line friendly scheme. And with Peppers newly motivated and still a physical freak of nature, quarterbacks had better be afraid.

Very afraid.


  1. wow, Julius Peppers was once "The Enemy" to any Tampa fan. Now he is going to be with "our own" Rod Marinelli, Lovie Smith, and Jerry Angelo.
    No matter, they are still the Chicago Bears.
    Minnesota is the class team in this division with Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre, followed by Green Bay, then Chicago. Peppers went from a contender to a pretender, as he will find out soon. Steve, I usually agree with you on almost everything. Just not this time....
    This is Lovie's last hurrah, and Jerry Angelo's too. Martz will not save them, nor will Peppers.
    Chicago will be a third place team in their division, behind Minnesota or Green Bay.

  2. Steve, I am sure you are aware of this ?

    2010 NFL Predictions - NFC North: Competition has been thick in the NFC's North division over the past few seasons and that does not figure to change this year with the Vikings, Packers, and Bears all potentially in the mix. 2010 NFL Predictions at are favoring Green Bay to come out on top, though, as the Packers are presently listed at +110 moneyline odds to win the division.

    Minnesota Viking (+150): Of course this prediction is made with the assumption that Brett Favre will indeed return for a second2010 NFL Predictions - NFC North season with the Vikings. Favre's return, which seemed to be a foregone conclusion a week ago, now appears to be somewhat in doubt given the slow recovery of his surgically repaired ankle. If he does come back, Favre gives Minnesota the edge, even though he will have trouble matching last season's numbers. The Vikings were a game better than Green Bay a year ago and came within an eyelash of beating the Super Bowl champion Saints in the NFC Championship. With Favre back, what has changed?

    Green Bay Packers (+110): The Packers finished 11-5 last year and nearly won on the road in the playoffs. Almost the entire starting lineup is back, including All Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw for 4434 yards and 30 touchdowns in his second season as the starter. Statistically the defense finished ahead of Minnesota in both yards and points per game allowed and should be solid again heading into a second year under coordinator Dom Capers. Green Bay certainly has a chance to win the division, Favre or no Favre in Minnesota.

    Chicago Bears (+350): Chicago put Lovie Smith on the hot seat by finishing 7-9 for the second time in the last three years. The addition of quarterback Jay Cutler did not pay dividends as the offense ranked 19th in points and 23rd in yards per game. The defense did not perform much better (17th yards per game allowed, 21st points per game allowed) without the services of linebacker Brian Urlacher, who suffered a season ending wrist injury in week one. Chicago could move back into the title picture, though, with the return of Urlacher, the acquistion of Julius Peppers and the addition of offensive wizard Mike Martz to the coaching staff.

    Detroit Lions (+2000): The Lions bested their 2008 win total by two games in Jim Schwartz' first year on the sidelines, unfortunately that amounted to exactly two victories. Despite the fact that Detroit has just nine wins over the past three seasons, things are starting to look a little better in Motown as quarterback Matthew Stafford showed signs of being the real deal as a rookie. Stafford also has one of the league's best receivers to lean on in Calvin Johnson. The defense, which ranked dead last in almost every statistical category a season ago, has a building block piece in rookie lineman Ndamukong Suh. However, the team is still the worst in the division, hands down.

  3. @Apple

    Its ok that we don't agree. Obviously with sports there will always be disagreements. But I will point to you this line of the write up you found.

    "Chicago could move back into the title picture, though, with the return of Urlacher, the acquistion of Julius Peppers and the addition of offensive wizard Mike Martz to the coaching staff."

    A lot of people forget that the Bears were 4-1 and playing dominating defense until Urlacher got hurt. I expect he will be back and better than ever and that he and Peppers and the rest of the defense is going to shock the rest of the NFC north. I know folks are high on the Vikings and they are good but they lost their back up RB, Brett is probably not going to have the same year he had last year, and it remains to be seen how their secondary will hold up this year. The Packers are good but with Al Harris may not be back and Im not sold on their O Line nor running backs.

    To me the big question for Chicago is if Cutler will cut down on his interceptions. If he does that I expect Chicago to contend for the division crown. Either way I expect Peppers to have an MVP like year.

    I guess we shall see who is right once the games start.

  4. I have to admit Steve, if I was an opposing QB in the NFC North, the thought of BOTH Urlacher and Julius would make me nervous. Heck, no 2 people ever agree 100 percent, and you may be right ?

    I agree with you more times then not, especially Tampa getting our Tight Ends to block!
    I can't wait for the season to start!