Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
Posted: 2:42 p.m.
By John Mullin
Great piece by Comcast SportsNet colleague Tom Curran out east on CSNNE.com about the possibility of Julius Peppers being in the "other" uniform this Sunday.
Peppers opened the door to talk of him in New England a year before he became a free agent when he talked about interest in a 3-4 defensive scheme in April 2009, Tom chronicles. "I thought about a number of teams including New England," Peppers said Wednesday. "In free agency you look at all your options. You want to play for one of the better franchises and I definitely had interest in playing for those guys."
The Patriots did sign a Bears pass-rushing force once when the Bears did not want to pay linebacker Rosevelt Colvin what New England was willing to after Colvin, who beat out Brian Urlacher for the SAM linebacker spot in Brian's rookie season. But the Patriots also lavished money on rush-linebacker Adalius Thomas in free agency subsequent to that and Thomas was a huge-money bust, doing a "New England faceplant in his three well-compensated seasons," Tom says.
How well Peppers in fact might have fit in a 3-4 scheme is open to question, if only because 3-4's typically do not get high sack totals from their ends. Peppers, however, likely would have been far more of a devastating factor in New England's 3-4 at 283 pounds than Thomas was at 270.
"You can put him pretty much anywhere, except corner, maybe," Bill Belichick said. "But anywhere else. He can definitely play on his feet and play linebacker. I mean, he'd be wasted there but you could put him there... You could put him at tight end. Probably make a left tackle out of him. I wouldn't want to tackle him if he was carrying the ball."
New England Robbie?
Where Peppers might have been a Patriot, Bears kicker Robbie Gould actually was one
Gould, pretty clearly the greatest kicker in franchise history, went to New England as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in April 2005. The problem is that the Patriots had Adam Vinatieri, a Super Bowl winning kicker, and Gould was there to give Vinatieri a break, not a job.
Gould handled all kickoffs and one extra point in the first preseason game, kickoffs in game two, and second-half kickoffs in game three. He was slated to handle all kicking in game four but an injury elsewhere on the roster forced the Patriots to add a position player and cut Gould.
Bitterness over the cut? Not even a little bit.
"New England is a great place, like here, and they were always straightforward with me," Gould said. "And Bill Belichick, I love the guy. He's probably the greatest coach of all time."
New England coach Bill Belichick has been called many things but he may be in line for some sort of new nickname besides "Hoodie" (after his trademark hooded sweatshirt).
Linebacker Lance Briggs called on a movie reference to describe the persona Belichick and his defensive posses have.
"I like to think of them like 'Top Gun,'" Briggs said, using the blockbuster Tom Cruise film for a Belichick likeness, in particular the hyper-cool fighter pilot nicknamed "Iceman" and played by Val Kilmer.
"Remember Iceman. It's like he didn't make mistakes. He was just patient. He waits for you. As soon as you slip up a little bit -- bam -- he's got you."
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.