Now that Peppers has signed his franchise tender, further questions or criticism no longer hold any water. Some media analysts have posited that Pep may not be received well in the locker room. Really? He is a superstar. Period. End of story. Last year Steve Smith decked a fellow teammate. Fans and sports analysts can pick apart personalities, question people’s judgement, and theorize all they want, but none of that matters when a game-changer gets back on the field. When a player is catching touchdown passes, or sacking the opposing team’s quarterback, teammates and coaches appreciate that—and a strong organization can absorb the small problems. Ask Jon Beason if he’s worried about Peppers in the Carolina locker room…He might laugh at that notion.
Just as Carolina affirmed itself as an organization last year during Smith’s incident, they provided another textbook example of how things should be done this year with the Peppers situation.
And if you think I’m just a fan looking for reasons to praise Carolina because I like Carolina, then take a moment to juxtapose Carolina’s 2009 off-season alongside Denver’s off-season. Contrasting Denver to Carolina is truly a “Tale of Two Cities” kind of football story. Go ask a Denver Broncos fan how secure and certain he or she feels about the team. Ask a Broncos fan to give you a number on a scale from 1-10 on how they would rate the Denver front office as far as being composed and steadfast when the going gets tough. Denver’s front office behaved as emotionally and erratically as any crazed fan would this off-season. Be glad that Carolina remained a football team.
While most of us saw this coming, especially once the draft came and went, I am happy that it is (almost) official Peppers will be taking the field with Carolina in the fall. Probably though, on a bigger scale, I am thoroughly impressed with Carolina as an organization for how they handled the situation. Carolina fans have good reason to have a lot of faith and confidence in their team…Their team has a lot of faith and a lot of confidence in their team.