Julius Peppers Offers Lovieball Advice

June 20th, 2014

Peppers LovieAfter Lovie Smith traded a second round pick to the Buccaneers for the late Gaines Adams in 2009, and that experiment failed on the field, Lovie broke the Bears’ bank to bring future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers to Chicago.

Peppers earned his money, notching 30.5 sacks and making three Pro Bowl in three years under Lovie.

So Peppers, now on the Green Bay Packers, knows a thing or two about Lovie’s defense, and he’s been sharing it with new Bucs defensive end Michael Johnson.

In the SportsTalkFlorida.com video below, Bucs beat writer Jenna Laine caught up to Johnson after the final minicamp practice, and Johnson revealed that Peppers has been giving him some tips.

Among them was Peppers counseling Johnson to “pay attention to small details,” and Johnson acknowledges that those details of the defense end “craft” were a huge theme of the spring.

Johnson is one of the unspoken X-factors of the Bucs season, and the new regime. The Bucs granted Johnson, coming off a 3 1/2 sack season, $24 million in guaranteed cash. That’s basically three years of locked in $8 million salaries.

Joe’s hoping Johnson can replicate Peppers’ role and production. The thought of him playing like Adams is too much to stomach. (Enjoy the Johnson interview below.)

28 Responses to “Julius Peppers Offers Lovieball Advice”

  1. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Johnson is the FA signing I’ll be watching the closest… He’s a real boom or bust pickup. My gut tells me boom… And if that’s the case, then this defense can start it’s climb to the top.

  2. Snook Says:

    Those glasses are unbelievable…..

  3. biff barker Says:

    31 other head coaches are saying the same thing.

    31 other DC’s are saying the same thing.

    31 other DL coaches are saying the same thing.

    Either Johnson has it in the gut to play like Pepper or he doesn’t.

  4. Harry Says:

    @Snook Says:
    “…Those glasses are unbelievable…..”

    What you can’t see that goes nicely with those glasses is the very short, plaid school-girl skirt…

  5. Orca Says:

    The fact that you would even bring up Gaines Adams is kinda idiotic… Actually, really idiotic. Johnson is an accomplished player and even if his sack numbers were low last year, his pressures were there and he’s an excellent run defender. He’s disruptive. I don’t see how Adams is relevant.

    Adams is relevant because it illustrates how Lovie hasn’t always had the best eye when investing in athletic, prototype defensive ends. –Joe

  6. SteveK Says:

    Can we have Schiano on board as a pro player talent evaluator?

    He is outstanding in that regard.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Uh, no. Make that hell no! I don’t want Schiano anywhere near Tampa. I wish I could erase his tenure from my memory. I don’t understand why he gets all the credit for a few good players. What about all the players he missed on? Funny how people love to blame Dominik for that, yet somehow give Schiano credit for the others.

  8. Bobby M. Says:

    I saw Jay Gruden and Jon Gruden at Saddlebrook two weeks ago so I asked Jay what can Buc fans expect from M. Johnson….His words “Great team player, very versatile but don’t expect the second coming of Simeon Rice”….In other words, teams rarely let 27 yr old premier pass rushers walk for a mere $8 million per year salary. If Adrian Clayborn had a leaner twin brother, you’d have M. Johnson.

  9. White Tiger Says:

    Count me along with the guy who thinks any discussion comparing Michael Johnson to Gaines Adams as irrelevant – and supremely flawed.

    First, there wasn’t anything wrong with Lovie’s assessment of Gaines Adams – but he also didn’t get a chance to work with him – because he died before he had a chance to ressurect what had once been a promising career. Had Gaines been healthy, who knows what he could have been capable of, and whether Lovie could have helped him?

    Second, any comparison of Michael Johnson to Julius Peppers is also silly – perhaps you could compare Peppers to Simeon Rice, but last I checked – Michael Johnson was NOT a 6′ 7″, 283 lbs bolt of lightning with a HUGE wingspan and played as a power-forward for an NCAA Final Four team (who also has the nickname “The Freak” that described him perfectly)…any comparison of this nature is deliberately setting the bar too high.

    Michael Johnson’s skill-set seem to be ideally suited for the RDE position in our 4-3 under tackle alignment – he already knows how to play the game at this level and should be very good at it. He was the best addition available – short of trading up 6 spots in order to get our hands on another 1st round DE from a South Carolina school…and when you do a more appropriate comparison between the $48 mil we used to sign Johnson, versus what you’d have: A) Given to trade up for JaDaveion Clowney B) added the cost of the 1st overral pick to that – you come away thinking the Lovie and the Bucs actually pulled off a pretty good deal to land a young Michael Johnson that the Bungles probably wouldn’t have let go if their Defensive Coordinator, Mike Zimmer, had not taken a Head Coaching job with the Vikings.

    We expect a lot out of him – but he’s not ever going to be Julius Peppers, and barring a heart attack prior to the season – he’s going to get some very good coaching to maximize his skills to play in a defense he was made for…what could be better?

    Please, we have enough trouble around here with unrealistic expectations – we don’t need to feed the hipsters.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Hawaiian Buc

    Back from Kona….TBBF now stands for Totally Big Buc Fatty……really chowed down….enjoyed it….terrible jet lag now….and you’re right….its dead after 8pm!

  11. Gusjackson Says:

    @bobby m. Because Jay Gruden has a better eye for defensive talent than Lovie Smith…….

  12. Gusjackson Says:

    @white tiger: preach!

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    @TBBF,

    Ha ha, glad you enjoyed yourself! It’s a great place, but definitely not for those who like to party late nights. And yeah, that jet lag is rough. So much worse leaving Hawaii versus getting there. I’m headed to Tampa September 1, so I’ll get to enjoy that jet lag soon enough.

  14. geno714 Says:

    Michael Johnson: 6’7″ – 270lbs, 4.69 40
    Julius Peppers: 6’7″ – 283lbs, 4.68 40

    Certainly comparable physically. Obviously the talent isn’t the same, but the comparison makes sense.

  15. Joe Says:

    What about all the players he missed on? Funny how people love to blame Dominik for that, yet somehow give Schiano credit for the others.

    Doesn’t fit haters narratives.

  16. bucray1 Says:

    gotta give you that one joe . I was ecstatic at the way we fleeced Chicago on that trade. although , I don’t know if it was due more to lovie or the gm of the bears. either way , it looks like he learned his lesson after that debacle.here’s hoping that Johnson turns out more like Peppers than Adams.

  17. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    @ Hawaiian

    Well most people give Schiano credit for being excellent at drafting, so who exactly did he miss on in the draft? 7th round pick Drake Dunsmore? 7th round pick Michael Smith? Who else is either not still a Buc or at least on an NFL team? I’d say compared to Rah’s tenure of being involved in the draft Schiano looks like F’in Nostradamus of NFL drafting

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Why do you assume Schiano drafted those guys? Maybe Dominik got better at drafting with experience? Pretty sure it’s a skill that takes time to develop. But nah, Schiano just came in from Rutgers and drafted everyone all by himself. You just keep telling yourself that. Maybe you can convince others.

  19. Kevin Says:

    I like Johnson’s endorsement of Collins since he seems to be the main FA signing that receives the most skepticism.

  20. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    To Hawaiian you said “what about all the players he” (Shiano) “missed on”. If by your logic I am merely assuming Schiano was responsible for the 2012 – 2013 drafts then perhaps you are likewise assuming Schiano was responsible for whatever “players he missed on” instead of Dominick? That argument works both ways (though Dom had a previous record of poor personnel decisions and Schiano was a good recruiter even in the college ranks). Obviously you consider Schiano’s tenure in Tampa as a nightmare whereas I see him as having done far more long lasting good for the team than what’re negative a single bad season did to the fanbase. We will have to agree to disagree.

  21. Chef Paul Says:

    I have no problem giving Schiano most of the credit for the drafts. Dom was good at getting the coaches the guys they wanted. I also have no problem giving Schiano most of the blame for the misses.

    But at the end of the day, even though he cant game day coach worth a hill of beans, he left this team in better shape than he found it.

    QB, WR’s, RB’s, TE, D-line, and LB’s, were better when he got canned then when he was hired.

    Joe wrote this article last September, and I fully agree with it.

    “Those Pesky Three Hours”

    http://www.joebucsfan.com/?p=95515

  22. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    @Toes on the Line,

    First of all, “Players he missed on” doesn’t have to fall exclusively within the draft. He whiffed on quite a few players, Eric Wright and Carl Nicks being the first two that come to mind. It doesn’t get much worse than that, although obviously Nicks was just a case of extremely bad luck.

    I don’t believe Dominik was a great GM by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn’t call him the worst ever either, as he did make some good moves. However, his overall record combined with drafting poorly early on, drafting Freeman, and most importantly hiring Schiano, made his firing absolutely justified. However, Schiano was, in my opinion, terrible for us in virtually every single way possible. I don’t believe he is responsible for the good players we drafted any more than anyone else in the scouting department. Probably much less,considering he is a lower level college coach who never quite realized he was coaching grown arse men. For the record, I don’t blame him for the whiffs any more than I credit him for his good moves.It is much more likely that Dominik learned from his terrible early drafts, and learned the kind of players and men he wanted. But this complete nonsense that Schiano is some expert talent evaluator is beyond laughable. Anyone who truly believes that should have their head examined. We drafted a couple good players in his regime, but not enough to win more than 4 games last year. Even the Jaguars have a couple good players, so let’s not get all hot and bothered with our last couple drafts. Remind me again, how many picks from the last 2 years are Pro Bowlers? How many are in the top 100? Not too damn many is the answer. The bar has been set so low by the Raheem era that drafting anyone that has even an above average season is spectacular to some people. Wake me up when Barron, Jonathan Banks, and Mike Glennon become superstars. Until then, let’s not build a statue for the drafting prowess of Greg Schiano. Fair enough?

  23. scubog Says:

    I loved Simeon Rice and don’t understand why he was never recognized as much as he deserved for his role in that championship season. Someone asked Michael Johnson about Jay Gruden. His response, “Don’t expect the second coming of “Chucky.”

  24. Brandon Says:

    White Tiger-

    Second, any comparison of Michael Johnson to Julius Peppers is also silly – perhaps you could compare Peppers to Simeon Rice, but last I checked – Michael Johnson was NOT a 6′ 7″, 283 lbs bolt of lightning with a HUGE wingspan and played as a power-forward for an NCAA Final Four team (who also has the nickname “The Freak” that described him perfectly)…any comparison of this nature is deliberately setting the bar too high.
    ——————————————————-

    Really? It’s silly to compare Johnson to Peppers? Johnson was considered the freak of the 2009 combine, measuring it at 6’7 and 266 lbs and with sub 4.7 speed in the 40, vertical jumping 38.5″ and putting up the bar 28 times on 225. No, he wasn’t a starting forward in the Final Four, which is hardly relevant to playing DE in the NFL. His game is based more on speed and explosion than strength and power like Peppers, but to suggest it to be silly to be able to compare the two is beyond silly. As for the comparison of Johnson to Simeon Rice…. DUHHHH! Johnson is a bigger stronger clone of Simeon Rice. That’s why Lovie pursued him first and foremost when free agency opened. Johnson is a FREAK, you obviously know nothing about him.

  25. Brandon Says:

    Hawaiian Buc Says:
    June 21st, 2014 at 12:59 am
    @Toes on the Line,

    First of all, “Players he missed on” doesn’t have to fall exclusively within the draft. He whiffed on quite a few players, Eric Wright and Carl Nicks being the first two that come to mind. It doesn’t get much worse than that, although obviously Nicks was just a case of extremely bad luck.
    ————————–

    It wasn’t bad luck making a freaking offensive guard the most highly paid player on the team is utter stupidity. He also whiffed on giving up a 1st and 3rd to make a 29 year old CB coming off a huge ACL injury the new highest paid player on the team at $1 million per game.

  26. BoJim Says:

    When Freeman had his 10-6 season breaking a ton of team records, didn’t we ALL love him? Don’t lie..

  27. PRBucFan Says:

    lol I’m sorry but her mannerisms are quite annoying ahahahaha I can’t stand watching her when she’s speaking. It’s like bad acting, that’s the closest I can compare it to.

    She’s great when she’s behind the camera asking the players questions, but in front of the camera is a totally different story lol.

  28. PRBucFan Says:

    Schiano as you used to complain about all the time Hawaiian “controlled and micromanaged” every aspect of this team down to the players that were drafted.

    Let’s not change the tune when it’s convenient buddy. ;)

 
 

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