Bay Packers' Julius Peppers during the second half of an NFL
football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Sept. 14,
2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
Julius Peppers is short and direct when talking in front of the
Not even a
looming trip to Chicago to face his old team Sunday will get the
Green Bay Packers' even-keeled pass rusher to show some emotion.
This is just
business, Peppers said Thursday. He would know after getting cut
by the Bears in the offseason as a salary cap hit.
feelings. It's the business," the 34-year-old Peppers said.
"People might not go from Green Bay to Chicago, or from
Chicago to Green Bay, all the time, but people change teams all
the time. It's nothing really extraordinary about this
It's also not
often that a team gets to add a 6-foot-7 pass rusher who entered
the season with 118 1/2 sacks.
foresee a little extra motivation, but I hopefully don't foresee
him having a bigger game against us," Bears running back Matt
Forte said. "He definitely has found new life over there with
a change of scenery and a new team and a new defense."
It could have
been different had the outcome of the last game between the fierce
NFC North rivals gone the Bears' way.
the 48 with 46 seconds left. Peppers, with Chicago, rushes free
off the right edge.
Kuhn slides over at the last second and chips Peppers just long
enough to allow quarterback Aaron Rodgers to take a step free
left. Rodgers finds receiver Randall Cobb down the field with 38
seconds left for a touchdown.
Packers win 33-28
to take the division title.
would've made the play, I probably wouldn't be here now,"
of like one of those things like, at the time it was the worst
thing that could've happened," he added. "But now it's
like the best thing that could've happened."
right defensive end, Peppers had 175 sacks in his four years in
Chicago. His arrival in Green Bay fit with coach Mike McCarthy's
plan to punch up the pass rush and get more big plays.
The Packers, who
primarily played a 3-4 defense in recent years, have used more
four-linemen looks with Peppers. He has also been asked to cover
more than he has had in the past.
Peppers is growing more and more comfortable. Last week, Peppers
got his first sack with Green Bay, forcing Detroit's Matthew
Stafford to fumble in the process.
doing a good job of resting him and then playing him so he's
staying fresh," Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer
said. "And their defensive line, they're rotating guys
keeping them fresh and that's where you see the difference
he's not playing every down so when he comes in he can give it
On the field is
where Peppers is at his vocal, animated best, Packers defensive
lineman Datone Jones said. Midweek in practice, he's a second
coach on the field.
second-year pro, spoke of how Peppers has taught him ways to shed
blockers. To Jones, Peppers is a role model.
he's studying in meetings, how he's taking notes down and those
are some of the things I do every day," Jones said.
"It's all about the little things, you know you do the little
things, you have a bigger payout."
Jones said he
thought Peppers was "going to be very emotional going back to
If that's the
case, Peppers is doing a good job of not letting on.
nothing but respect for that whole organization, from the
ownership to the coaches to the players," Peppers said.
"This is a business trip. I'm a Green Bay Packer now, so
that's what it is."
with Chicago for the first time to Carolina the team that
drafted him in 2002 was different.
Going back to
Chicago that appears more to be more about business.
"It was the
first time playing against a former team. It's just a little bit
different. Carolina is home. So that was the main thing; it was
home," Peppers said. "Chicago wasn't really home. It was
more of a place ... it wasn't home. So, that's the
(groin) was limited for a second straight day in practice, though
he said afterward that he would be "out there" on
Sunday. Fellow LBs Nick Perry (wrist) and Brad Jones (quad) were