Around the NFL  


Packers to be smarter with usage of Julius Peppers


In order to maximize their remaining time with Julius Peppers, the Green Bay Packers will start to wise up when it comes to snap counts and situational usage.

"It's a tough call," Peppers said, via The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "As a player, I don't want to come off the field. But obviously, when I'm out there and if I'm playing less and I could save a little energy certain times of the game, maybe I could be more productive and more efficient in those situations.

"We just have to figure it out. We'll figure something out and hopefully it will work."

Peppers should have no shame. At 35, he has been a star for 13 seasons now, and was undoubtedly the most important player on the Packers' defense in 2014.

Among Peppers' stats: seven sacks, two interceptions (both returned for touchdowns), four forced fumbles (three recovered) and 11 batted passes; an insane amount of production for a player many assumed was over the hill.

But harnessing his energy, especially late in games, is not a horrible idea. Look at what the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons did with a late-career John Abraham between 2010 and 2013 by using him situationally. The former first-round pick was rejuvenated, totaling 44 sacks in four seasons, alongside 15 forced fumbles.

It might be scary to think, but perhaps the best is yet to come for Peppers as a Packer.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Steve Smith's retirement news and predicts the training camp QB battles.