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Julius Peppers Will Wear No. 56 in Green Bay

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Julius Peppers Will Wear No. 56 in Green Bay

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy previously said new free agent signee Julius Peppers would be practicing with the team's linebackers, and now the former Chicago Bears defensive end is receiving a traditional linebacker jersey number.

Peppers wore No. 90 in the past, a number worn by defensive lineman B.J. Raji in Green Bay.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Birney the baker's picture

I don't like this move at all. I don't know what else to say. Just a bad bad feeling about this number for a DE. It's like putting 56 on Aaron Kampman.

Tom Birney

Stroh's picture

Only thing I care about is how well he plays the game, not what number he wears!

Birney the baker's picture

Why are you stalking me? You are under order to stay away from commenting about anything I say so do it!!

Tom Birney

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I suggest you seek therapy.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tom B. It shouldn't matter what number a player wears, but I do agree with you, only because I never played College or Pro Ball. I played high school ball, & I remember the linemen not liking the lower numbers. They all wanted bigger numbers. The feeling was, they felt they projected a Bigger image with a bigger number. I'd be interested in knowing how College & Pro players feel about that? That was an issue for the linemen back in high school. I wonder if you lose that thinking in College?? or Pro??

Birney the baker's picture

I'm telling you LVT, this is a bad bad bad decision on the Packers part to f with karma and positive vibes. A progressive thinking team like Seattle would not do this. Seattle uses all sorts of methods for success including Yoga. I am telling you this is a mistake!! Numbers are VERY important to players. Many are superstitious.

Tom Birney

HankScorpio's picture

The guy that was arguably the greatest pass rusher in NFL history wore #56. LT may be a train wreck of a human being but the dude was wrecking havoc all over the field.

Birney the baker's picture

Yes, but Julius Peppers is a defensive linemen not a linebacker. There's such things as karma in life. Some people believe in it and others don't. I am one that believes in that sort of thing. It's a mindset as well. What I don't understand is why can't Raji just give his number to Peppers. Peppers has earned that number, Raji has not so far. Give Peppers 90 and give Raji no. 91 and tell him it used to belong to Justin Harrel. That should motivate him.

Tom Birney

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tom B. I have to say, as Crazy as it might sound to others, I think Peppers should be wearing a 90's number. I remember the offensive & defensive linemen felt the Bigger numbers were intimidating. I hope they are not trying to make Peppers into a linebacker, unless he replaces Hawk. Then I'm fine with it.

4thand1's picture

This is much to do about nothing. Tom B , sorry to inform you, there's no such thing as karma. Nick Lindstrom wanted #9 when he signed with the Red Wings, guess what? They said sorry kid, look in the rafters. He turned out to be one of the greatest players ever.

Birney the baker's picture

LVT, you're damn right they should have given him a 90's number!! It's unbelievable. Something so simple and they botched this up big time. This is a respect factor. Peppers is like Reggie White coming here in 1992. You cater to the guy as much as possible. He's a legend and a hall of famer. You give him his number and have the lesser guy (Raji) give it up to his majesty.

I can't believe Raji, who was the ultimate team player by purposely signing for less in order to allow the Packers to sign Peppers and now he is not willing to give up his number? It makes no sense unless Raji is superstitious and is refusing to do so. Can't the Packers do like Obama does and just use excecutive order and mandate Raji to give it up or else pay a fine?

Based on the jersey number you are right LVT. This definitely means the Packers are going to be using Peppers as a linebacker which I don't think he likes at this point in his career. I hate when they do these type of things!!

Tom Birney

ben's picture

Early on, I took some flack on this very blog for saying that Peppers would play OLB for the Packers. I never meant it he'd play there exclusively, just that he would play 3-4 OLB. I said that knowing that Peppers has always expressed interest in playing a more diverse scheme. (3-4OLB) That being said, I do think all the talk of him playing OLB and even the #56 is a little bit playing to the signing, & now motivation of Julius Peppers.

They may have given him the number of a LB, and Peppers will play some OLB, But I'll bet anybody any money he ends up playing more DE than OLB. (unless of course Matthews, Perry, and Neal sustain much injury)

Ideally, Neal should have put that 8 lbs back on and stayed inside, and the Pack should have signed the younger much more productive Jared Allen who would have been a much better fit outside than Peppers.

I'm not saying Peppers isn't a GREAT signing. I'm just saying Jared Allen PROBABLY would have been Greater. (mainly cause I like Neal MUCH more as a DE than OLB, Perry & Allen as 3-4 OLBs, & Matthews's fear factor over the middle for would be receivers, dominance in run-support, shut-down coverage ability, QB spy capability, strength in blitzing the"A"Gap, option in bluffing the "A"Gap in your face pass-rush, and leadership in "QBing" the defense next to Hawk. Which I believe would greatly benefit the recently improved AJ Hawk in a lot of ways.)

ben's picture

It was a shame how Nick Barnett was treated his final year in greenbay. He played his ass off and led the packer's D for 7 years. He played and was injured the year the packers ultimately won the superbowl. For the Packers to exclude him from that team photo wasn't a slap in the face but a punch in the face and wrong. Some criticism for Barnett may have been justified.(most not.) He kicked a lot of ass for the Packers and was their on the field defensive leader for years. He brought an energy, aggression, and consistent playmaking that every defense needs.

At the time of his release I may have been the only one who wanted to keep him. He went on to rack up 242 tackles, 5 sacks,13 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, & 3 ints the next 2 years with the bills. (compared to Hawk's 204 tackles, 4.5 sacks, just 8 tackles for loss, 0 forced fumbles, & 0 ints.)

For the record, I was right, most everybody else including TT was wrong.

(if at all healthy) Nick is still worth bringing back as an ILB. Nick Barnett plays linebacker the way it's suppose to be played. He deserves an apology and chance to compete from Ted Thompson.

#56

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

BEN, You weren't the only one who wanted to keep Nick Barnett. I'd bring him back in a Heartbeat. LVT

Mojo's picture

FWIW Ben I appreciated Barnett's play at times too. I believe it was the 2005 season when we were getting our asses kicked, I noticed Barnett hustling from sideline to sideline to make plays. It didn't seem like anyone else cared. But Barnett was at least playing with enthusiasm. I think it was the samurai sword thing that turned a lot of fans off. It didn't bother me, at least it seemed someone was awake on that team.

As far as Peppers and the number 56. I hope this doesn't mean they expect him to cover receivers. Having Neal try to do this is bad enough, but to expect a 34 d-lineman to have to cover some of the speed guys coming out of the backfield - um no.

Stroh's picture

Chris Doleman played DE in the NFL and wore #56 too IIRC. Seemed he ended up in Canton!

Peppers already knows how to play the DL and probably every technique known to DL, that's why they'll have him in the LB room more instead of the DL. And the elephant position he'll play sometimes will be under the direction of Winston Moss instead of Trgo...

Stroh's picture

I would say Barnett was a good player, but would stop short of saying great. The whole team photo thing wasn't to spite Barnett in any way. All the injured (Injured Reserve) players were omitted from the team photo. They did rectify the mistake after he first, followed by Finley, made their displeasure known.

The other issue was that when Bishop replaced him, Bishop played the position better than Barnett did, and he was younger and cheaper. Now you could make a point for keeping Barnett over Hawk, but that season was Hawks best ever too. And the 2 ILB positions are different in meaningful ways and its debatable whether Barnett could have played the LILB (stong ILB) position better than Hawk. Perhaps he could have, but either way Bishop was better than Barnett at the Right (weak) ILB spot.

Birney the baker's picture

Excellent points Ben. Barnett was a great player for us when he was healthy.

So Ben, what do you think happens if TT does bring back Nick. Peppers now has his number. Do they give Barnett 90? You see how screwed up this is?

Tom Birney

ben's picture

I don't think there is a chance in hell TT brings back Nick Barnett.

He could, & I wish he would,
for 1 because the Packers owe him that chance,
for 2 because the Packers could give him that chance with no long-term risk and at minimal cost,
for 3 because Nick brings a mentality of aggression, skills in coverage & run-support, and leadership by example the packers currently lack at the ILB position.

But again, I don't see it happening. In a very real way, I don't think TT is man enough.

disclaimer: TT is a good to very good GM and as far as I know a fine human being.

ben's picture

In the non-existent chance Nick Barnett does return to the team, i can see Peppers being able to pull off the # 99

4thand1's picture

Social media got Barnett in the doghouse.

ben's picture

for expressing his frustration in being excluded from the team super-bowl photo?

He was a member of that team. He played for that very team that very year. He was the backbone of the Packer's defense at that time for almost a decade

Nick Barnett deserved better from the Packers and TT couldn't have handled it worse. Nick Barnett ended up showing incredible restraint and class with the words he chose when leaving Green Bay.

The only shameful moment I can think of as a Packer fan.

ben's picture

after more thought: I was also ashamed of the Green Bay Packers when Charles Martin body-slammed Jim McMahon (after the play) ruining the rest of the guy's career.

4thand1's picture

Holy crap, you're going back almost 30 years. How about Dan Devine selling the Packers down the river for years, trading for a washed up John Hadl? Letting Ted Hendricks go? You guess it, I'm old. Lindy picking Tony Manroid? Forget the past and don't dwell on it. The future looks bright.

ben's picture

The past is the past, but Barnett is still in the present and at worst should be retired as a Packer anyway.

And when your right your right, the Packers are looking good and making a run at it with Rodgers and the addition of Peppers. I was telling everybody last year the Brewers are the best worst team in baseball. They are for real. Badgers basketball is the best I've ever seen, by a considerable margin. Badgers football will be featuring an Adrian Peterson/Barry Sanders/Walter Payton like talent at running back next year. Hell, I'm even excited with what the Bucks have been doing.

I'd trade the entire 2014 Packer draft for the 2015 #1 pick right now.
Melvin Gordon is especially special.

4thand1's picture

But in the real world...........................Ted wouldn't.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

4thand1, That's called a Mike Ditka. I can still laugh when I think about it. "ALL IN" LVT

Birney the baker's picture

Ben, you sound like the world's biggest Barnett fan. Did you by chance ever get to visit his bar he owned in Green Bay? I can't remember the name but I think it was Club 56 or something 56. Anyway, I always wanted to go there if I ever got to Green Bay just because I heard so many great stories about it and how much fun everyone had. Lots of Packers players would go there too from what I understand so that had to be huge in Green Bay. Just don't understand why he closed it down. Doesn't Fuzzy Thurston still own a bar in Green Bay? Now that would be cool sitting down with him for a cold one.

Tom Birney

Jordan's picture

Leadership? Barnett and leadership shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Nick Barnett was all about Nick Barnett. He was a "me" guy. Packers couldn't wait to get rid of him. And I couldn't wait for the Packers to get rid of him.

Nick Barnett did a fine job of hyping himself. He convinced a lot of fans that he was a great player. But when you really looked at Barnett on film, he had a lot of holes in his game. He was a great blitzer though. Most of career tackles came after a 5-9 yard gain.

Barnett turned in to total cancer and fortunately the packers were able to cut him out....at the price of some dead money.

I still remember his samurai sword being met with boos at the end. Lol

The packers owe Nick Barnett nothing.

Stroh's picture

I couldn't agree more. After Barnett was injured the players on the field were much more assignment sure than they were previously w/ Barnett calling plays. They viewed Hawk as the much better on field leader than Barnett.

The fact He got outplayed by Bishop when he was replaced only meant they had to get rid of Barnett. People complain about Hawk making tackles 5+ yds downfield, but Barnett would do the same and then do the whole samurai thing after making the tackle 5+ yds downfield.

He wasn't a very good leader either on field or lockerroom.

Packers owe him nothing! He should eventually get in the Packer HOF that much he deserves IMO for playing pretty well for long enough.

ben's picture

Let's not rewrite history here.

1st of all Nick Barnett had zero holes in his game. You say yourself "he was a great blitzer." He was also excellent against the run and made a living in the opponent's backfields. Barnett had 55 TFL in 153 games while Bishop&Hawk have 43 TFL in 199 games. Barnett a former safety was also special in coverage, he had 12 picks and 43 passes defend while Bishop&Hawk had 10 INTs & 42 passes defended but with 46 more games played. (that's less production in coverage even with an extra 3 full season of football)
The only time Nick Barnett pulled out the Samari Warrior is behind the line of scrimmage. Which was all the fucking time. Why you feel the need to say he was doing it 5 yards field, is a hell of a queston. Just because you can say it for Hawk, doesn't mean you can say it for just anybody. Nick Barnett never got outplayed by anybody. He had a simple thumb injury and the Packers moved on. The following 2 years Barnett had as much production as Bishop and Hawk put together.
Nick Barnett--: 242 tkls, 5 sacks, 13 TFL, 4 FF, & 3 INTS
Bishop&Hawk: 319 tkls, 9 sacks, 13 TFL, 2 FF, & 0 INTS

Stroh's picture

I never said he was a great blitzer, don't put words in my mouth! (BTW its a crime to deliberately misquote someone). He was a good or slightly better player, nothing more. His samurai thing was VASTLY overused. He did it every time he made a tackle of any kind. It was novel and unique at first but way overused and grew old and tired rather quickly.

How he performed on another team, in another scheme after he was rightfully released is immaterial (apples to oranges). What matters is how he performed in GB (Apples to Apples). The Packers knew Barnett was still a decent player, but he was outplayed by Bishop who was also younger and cheaper.

Barnett '09 and '10 Years in GB, 20 starts, 129 tackles (6.5 per game), 4 sacks, 8 PD, ZERO INT's and ZERO FF! No Turnover plays.

Bishop '10 12 starts, 103 total tackles (8.6 per game), 3 sacks, 8 passes defensed, 1 INT, I TD and 2 FF.

Bishop has the same or better numbers in 12 starts as opposed to 20 starts for Barnett!

In those 20 starts in GB Barnett (same scheme and role as Bishop) was OUTPLAYED in 12 starts!

Out played in every way by Bishop! Those are the facts. They don't lie.

ben's picture

Jordon said "he was a great blitzer." You said, "you couldn't agree more." I'm replying to you both.

Saying Barnett's samari warrior was overused is like saying he made too many plays.

Nick Barnett was clearly a better all around LB than Hawk or Bishop. He has more tackles/game than both. He has more tackles for loss/game than both. He has more sacks/game than both. He has more passes defended/game than both. He has more INTs/game than both.

tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, passes defended, interceptions - am I missing anything? It's a freaking shutout.

Both the Bills and Packer run a 3-4, comparing production from the same position in a similar system is in no way a stretch. And like I said, it wasn't even close the 2 years following Nick Barnett's release. Over that time, He had more production than Hawk and Bishop COMBINED.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Obviously, you've lost your mind.

Stroh's picture

Don't worry Ben. Barnett will get recognized for him time in GB. He played well enough and for long enough that he should get inducted into the Packer HOF.

Barnett also had the off field incident in Appleton that was a stain the Packers didn't care for, so it wasn't just the team photo issue. Either way Bishop proved to be a better player and was younger and much cheaper. It was the right thing to release him and they did it at a time that he had to chance to go to another team w/ a full training camp to be able to win a starting job on another team.

I don't think the Packers did a disservice to him at all. They moved on w/ the younger, cheaper and better Bishop. Happens all the time in the NFL.

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