I'll just say this: We've never held players back," said Fox.
Whoa, way to set him straight there John. There's one little problem with that statement though, you kind of have held players back before. There's DeAngelo Williams last season, who you held back by keeping DeShaun Foster as the starter when Williams was clearly better. I could also argue you're holding back both CB Richard Marshall and WR Dwayne Jarrett. But I digress. The same point cannot be made of Peppers whom the Panthers have built their defense around for years.
If you want a more appropriate response to Peppers request you'll have to turn elsewhere. I like what former NFL GM Charlie Caserly had to say about it:
I don't think he's a 3-4 player at all," Casserly said. "He's a right end in a 4-3 defense. That's his best position, and that's where they played him at Carolina."
Casserly said he didn't see any reason Peppers' couldn't fully excel playing in the Panthers' 4-3.
"There's nothing they didn't do to help him reach his potential," Casserly said. "They lined him up at defensive end, and that's what he does. Anything he didn't achieve is his own fault."
Thank you Charlie for saying what every Panther fan has been saying since this bullshit story broke. Maybe he wants to argue that without Kris Jenkins next to him he's getting more double teams. The truth is that many teams this season found their starting LT had an easy enough time blocking him straight up. So he wants to be an OLB in a 3-4 defense? Think again.
While Peppers, listed at 6-foot-7, 283 pounds, has the textbook size for a 4-3 end, he's 20 to 40 pounds heavier than the classic 3-4 outside linebacker.
Maybe he wants to prove something in that regard, that he's quick enough and athletic enough to play that position. Come on Pep, the least you can do is be honest about your reasons. Floyd Reese is another former NFL GM perplexed by his request:
I see him best as a space, speed rush kind of guy, and I think that's where they tried to use him," Reese said. "I don't know what kind of a system he would be looking for, but I think most people ... would see him as a rush defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
"They tried to put him in the best spot to succeed. We've seen him be very, very successful in that system. I don't know what he would get someplace else that would make him more successful, other than maybe being on a different team with different defensive lineman around him. But that doesn't really have much to do with the scheme."
Peppers agent tried to play the "he's a student of the game" who is intrigued by the 3-4 defense card. Oh please!!
Maybe all this an excuse just to leave, blaze new trails, who knows? It doesn't appear to be the money. I don't see where he could get anymore notoriety since he's thought of as a God here. I wonder if we will ever get the true reason behind this since I bet it's something very petty.The more this drags out the more I'm inclined to say "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out."