Panthers Peppers Answers his Critics

Panthers DE Julius Peppers gave his first interview and you can find the transcript over at Charlotte.com. Its a very comprehensive interview that seeks to clear up any remaining issues there might be in Peppers return to Carolina. I found the last question to be point on regarding the common thread among his detractors:

Inside the Panthers: Transcript: Julius Peppers interview
Q: Should anyone be concerned about whether you’ll give your full effort? A: No. And, speaking to that, I browse through the TV every now and then and the newspaper, and see things about me taking plays off and all of those kinds of things. Basically, from my viewpoint, I know what I’m supposed to be doing on the field. And I know what kind of effort I’m giving. Anybody who thinks I don’t put forth full effort or I can do more than what I’m doing, all I can say is I’m happy with how I play. I’m going to continue to play how I play. I’m going to continue to play with the same effort, which is full effort. Nobody has to worry about me taking any plays or games off. For the record, I don’t know where that came from. I don’t know who put it out there, but it seems like everybody jumped on the bandwagon and formed an opinion for themselves based on what (someone) else said. But if they look at the tape, they’ll see whether I play hard or not, and I do.

So Peppers says all you have to do is look at the tape and see he doesn't take plays (or games) off. So what do you guys think? Has Pep smoothed things over yet? Do you agree with his 'bandwagon' comment?

More discussion after the jump...

As glad as I am to hear the tone of his comments and all the positive comments from the rest of the team I find this part the most confusing:

   Q: What are your specific goals for the season?
   A: I’m not going to really get into any specific personal goals. The main objective every year is to win the Super Bowl. That’s why we play the game. That’s the No. 1 goal every season. That’s always at the top of my list. I’m mainly a team goal guy. I don’t really have any personal goals. I have a few. I probably don’t want to say them.
   I have two personal goals, but most of things I want to do in my career, I’ve done them, as far as personal accolades and accomplishments, I’ve done almost everything I want to do, so my focus is on team-oriented stuff, winning the Super Bowl, winning the division, helping my defense rank statistically among the top in the league, those types of things.

One of hi sprimary reasons for wanting to leave Carolina was to 'fulfill his potential' which is a very personal goal type of statement. It's not a team-oriented goal like he just sighted as his motivating factor. So which one drives him more, team goals or personal goals? Something isn't jiving here and my hope is its what was said back in January. Thoughts?

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