Julius Peppers vs. Reggie White
Let’s be honest. Julius Peppers isn’t Reggie White. Nobody is. That being said, there are a lot of similarities between the two players, starting with their position and the fact that they both signed with the Green Bay Packers in their 30s.
White’s first season in Green Bay was 1993. He was 32. Peppers will be 34 during his inaugural season as a Packer.
Peppers has 12 NFL seasons under his belt, eight Pro Bowls, three first-team All Pro selections and 119 sacks.
After his first 12 NFL seasons, White had 11 Pro Bowls, seven first-team All Pro selections and 165.5 sacks.
So yeah, Reggie White > Julius Peppers. No one will debate that. What we’re interested in is what White did beyond his 12th season. While he may not be in the same league as the Hall of Famer, Peppers is the closest thing to White that Green Bay has seen since.
Athletically, Peppers is a freak of nature. And in all likelihood, he’s a Hall of Famer himself.
So are we going to get some White-like production from Peppers in his remaining years? Probably a decent portion of it, at least.
Here are White’s numbers after his 12th season.
Pro Bowls: 2
All Pro: 1
Here are White’s numbers after he turned 33, which is what Peppers is now.
Pro Bowls: 4
All Pro: 2
As you can see, that’s around 10 sacks a season.
White was playing with guys like Sean Jones and Santana Dotson and then Vonnie Holiday when he put up those numbers. Good players, but not exactly elite.
Peppers, on the other hand, will be playing with Clay Matthews. You know, at least until his hamstring explodes. The point is, Peppers will face fewer double teams than White did, increasing his opportunities.
That makes it logical to us to assume Peppers could have an impact at the end of his career much like Reggie White did. Or at least it makes it fun to think about.