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Monday, April 5, 2010
Black and Blue all over: Peppers' position

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We've spent some time discussing where Chicago will position new defensive end Julius Peppers. Coach Lovie Smith said last month he envisioned Peppers rotating between both sides of the line. The release of veteran right end Alex Brown suggested Peppers might ultimately spend most of his time there.

Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, however, suggests the best option is on the left side:
Bears coach Lovie Smith has talked about moving Peppers around, and that's a fine idea. But the truth is the bulk of his snaps and starts are going to come at one position, and that should be left end. Putting Peppers on the left side would be going against the trend, and that would benefit the Bears. For a while, teams were putting their best rushers on the left side, but all the NFL's best are right ends now. Thus every pass protection scheme in the league is set up to contain the right end against a 4-3 defense. Looking at the Bears' upcoming opponents, it's clear Peppers would have more advantages as a left end.

It's not a bad idea. As Pompei notes, would you rather have Peppers playing against, say, Philadelphia's Pro Bowl left tackle (Jason Peters) or against its right tackle, Winston Justice? It's a point worth noting.

Continuing around the NFC North: