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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Peppers: LE or RE in Chicago?

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Adewale Ogunleye, who would lose his job if Chicago signs free-agent defensive end Julius Peppers, made an interesting point Wednesday about the possible union.

Elite pass-rushers normally play right end, where they approach a quarterback from his blind side. That would be the sensible position for Peppers in Chicago, but as Ogunleye told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, right end is already occupied by Alex Brown. Moving Brown to the left side would force him to be more of a run-stopper.
“... It would kind of mess up the dynamics of what they have already,'' Ogunleye said. "Unless Alex would be ready to move over to the left side -- which I'm sure he would do because he's a team player -- but the left side is no joke. I think they would probably want to get a guy who rushes more primarily on that left side and who plays the run better than most.''

I’m pretty sure Peppers would make an impact on the left side as well, where he spent a good portion of his career in Carolina. Most teams’ top pass protectors play left tackle, so Peppers would conceivably face a less capable pass blocker (the right tackle) if he plays left end.

All of this, of course, is just funny talk until we actually get to the start of free agency. But as we discussed earlier Wednesday, the Bears’ lack of high draft picks this year leaves them with little choice but to pursue options in free agency as a primary avenue for improvement.