Photo credit: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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The Carolina Panthers have two great pass rushers in Julius Peppers and Mario Addison. Everyone knows Peppers because he has been a household name for 16 NFL seasons. Mario Addison on the other hand has really just started to fine tune his game over the past four years. Together this tandem has been peaking at the perfect time for Carolina and the defense as a whole was largely responsible for this franchise’s 2017 playoff appearance. Of course this is Peppers second stint with the Panthers. The future Hall of Famer played for the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers before returning to his home state of North Carolina. That has been such a key addition for this ball club because everyone knows Peppers is a big play waiting to happen. There’s players in their early twenties who will have less of an impact than Peppers will have in his late thirties (38). With 154 career sacks it’s evident that Julius Peppers is one of the greatest pass rushers whose ever suited up. Bruce Smith has the most sacks in NFL history with 200 and Peppers is starting to get into that same ball park of production. While it’s unlikely he’ll get there because it’s going to be tough for the veteran to churn out five or six more seasons. Still though we have to all appreciate everything the former North Carolina Tar Heel has brought to the table because it’s been a special run. Addison hasn’t been the same caliber of player as Peppers but his 11 sacks in 2017 were a big chunk of output for this defense. When you think about both these guys coming off the edges and Luke Kuechly taking care of everything up the middle it’s apparent just how lethal this group can be. Addison might be one of the biggest factors just because we know Kuechly and Peppers are going to do their job. If the role players like Addison can put together some their best football that’s what it takes in order achieve that next level of success. So those are key points that have to be observed and hopefully neither guy loses a step during this upcoming campaign.
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