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Mid-Season Report: Julius Peppers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Julius Peppers was the piece of the Bears defense that they didn't even know they were missing. In his first year with Chicago, the former Carolina Panther and Pro Bowler has worked in seamlessly.

    Statistically, the thing that sticks out about Peppers is that he contributes on every aspect of defense. He does the traditional defensive linemen jobs, with 16 tackles and two sacks. With four broken up passes, he also does the job of linebacker, and with an interception and two forced fumbles, he lends the secondary a hand. When Peppers is on, it's like the Bears have another player on the field.

    He was on fire against his former team. In his first game back in North Carolina since leaving, Peppers was all over the field and always seemed to be near the ball. He had four tackles, a sack and a broken up pass.

    But Peppers does have bad games, and one of the worst came against the Seattle Seahawks. He only had two tackles, and was completely neutralized by the Seahawks' rookie left tackle Russell Okung.

    Peppers' big intangible is that he improves the players around him. By occupying the offensive line, he's allowed his teammates to shine. Israel Idonije has notched five sacks, and Peppers can take some credit for the Brian Urlacher renaissance.

    Not every decision Jerry Angelo has made for the Bears has worked out, but so far, signing Peppers has been a good move. He is a key reason why the Bears have the second-best defense in the league.