Panthers coach: Julius Peppers 'aged extremely well'


The Panthers gambled on Julius Peppers' continued age-defying ability when they signed him to a one-year deal in March.

After a few workouts, they believe the 37-year-old looks just as good as the last time he was in Carolina -- back in 2009.

"Julius looks like he did seven years ago when I had the first opportunity to coach him," defensive line coach Eric Washington told the team's official site. "He still looks like he's a dynamic player. The combination of his size and the ability to move -- I don't see a lot that's changed with him. He's aged extremely well."

Peppers has said that he doesn't consider this season a farewell tour. After posting 18 sacks over his last two seasons in Green Bay, it's easy to see why. Like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and James Harrison, Peppers has somehow discovered the key code for the fountain of youth and doesn't seem to be expecting the Derek Jeter stadium-by-stadium goodbye.

The Panthers also seem interested in leaning heavily on Peppers. This year's draft went by without much attention paid to the two defensive end anchor spots, currently held down by Peppers and 30-year-old Charles Johnson. Perhaps the hope is that 2017 third-round pick Daeshon Hall picks up some good habits.

Harrison's recent success makes whatever Peppers is about to accomplish slightly less surprising -- but not less incredible. A first-ballot Hall of Famer, Peppers has relied on incredible preparation and technique throughout his career. Maybe that was most recognizable to Washington after all these years.