S Jabrill Peppers
December 18, 2020
Q: With no James Bradberry, I don’t think it’s a secret that weakens your secondary. How do you guys cover that? What have you seen from Julian Love that suggests he might be able to pick up some of the cornerback slack in addition to playing safety?
A: It’s the next man up. Whoever’s out there is going to be prepared. We have the utmost faith in Julian. He’s been getting reps at corner for quite a while this year for just in case. That’s what he did in college. He was a Jim Thorpe finalist for a reason. He’s a sure tackler out there, and we know he’s going to compete. It sucks losing James, but next man up.
Q: Last year, Baker Mayfield said in an interview that he couldn’t believe the Giants drafted Daniel Jones, kind of mocked the pick. Do you believe in making guys eat their words, especially when it’s criticism of one of your teammates?
A: We don’t really care about all of that. They still need to come down here, put the pads on and play. I don’t really talk too much, I don’t really get into all of the politics and all that. Just put the ball down and let’s play.
Q: How about for you personally playing against your old team this week?
A: It’s a big game. It’s not a big game because it’s my old team. It’s a big game because of what’s at stake, and it’s the next game. I’m not going to do anything abnormal or anything that I haven’t been doing during the season. I’m just going to come in, prepare like I’ve been preparing all year and try to do my job to the best of my ability.
Q: Do you feel like you’re a different player than the one that the Browns traded to the Giants?
A: Absolutely. I’m being played to my strengths here. I thank the Giants for believing in me and seeing my potential. I’m just doing my due diligence to make them look good.
Q: What has this week been like? Obviously, there’s a lot going on with the COVID and the quarterback injury. What’s this week been like for the Giants?
A: We just adjust. We don’t really care how it has to go. We know what we signed up for before the season. None of the guys in here opted out. However, we have to get it, that’s how we have to get it. There are no excuses. We’re not the only team who had difficult or abnormal weeks and still had to go out there and play. We’re taking the challenge head on. We’re going to prepare the best way we can, and we’re going to put a good product out there Sunday night.
Q: As we sit here with three games left, do you think that these will be the last three games? Or do you expect there to be a 17th game for this team?
A: We take it one week at a time. We take care of one week at a time. Hopefully the chips fall where they may. But it doesn’t do us any good, looking past what we need to look past. We have a tough Browns team coming up. It’s a lot at stake for them, so we know we’re going to get their best shot. It’s a primetime game, AFC North opponent. That’s where our mind is, getting ready for that. Anything else after that, I can’t really speak on.
Q: Do you remember where you were or who told you about the trade? Did the Browns front office tell you? Did you hear it through the media? Do you remember where you were?
A: I was at home; I was on Twitter and I saw it. I was actually excited about the trade. I’m thinking ‘We just got Odell.’ Then I keep looking and I’m like ‘Oh s—t, I’m not here anymore.’ Then (John) Dorsey called me like 15 minutes after that. I had already saw the news. I actually spoke to (Dave) Gettleman before I spoke to Dorsey. It is what it is. That’s the nature of this league. You can’t take it personally. But I’m happy. I’m happy with the outcome. It’s working out for me. I’m back home, I’m comfortable, and I get to play for a historic organization. I’m not tripping off it one bit.
Q: One of my fellow workers covers the Jets, and he asked me to ask this question. He said he has to write a story about their season. When you were 13 weeks through the Browns without a win, are you sitting there going ‘this is hopeless, we’re never going to win a game’?
A: Hell no. You have to try to get one. You can’t start thinking like that because it’s the National Football League. It’s great parody. Anybody can be beaten any given Sunday. It’s just all about execution. When things aren’t going well, you don’t want those negative thoughts. You have to try to at least get one. That was our whole thing. The ball didn’t roll the way we wanted it to that year, but we were definitely trying to get one.
Q: Was it ever depressing though?
A: I wouldn’t say depressing, but it sucks. A lot of the guys in the league, we’re used to winning. It is what it is. When you don’t have a win, it definitely makes you self-reflect. But I wouldn’t say depressed. I’ve known people who have dealt with depression and things like that, so I wouldn’t put it that deep. But it definitely makes you self-reflect.
Q: Just wondering if you’re wearing a mask even right now because of what’s happened this week? I know you’re wearing a mask throughout the building, but even for this interview, just like with the positives and stuff that’s happened, are you being extra cautious right now or what?
A: Yeah, definitely. We’re taking every step. It’s unfortunate, but this virus is unpredictable. We have to do our job and our share to try to limit it as much as possible. Wearing masks while we’re practicing, throughout the building keeping our spatial awareness, and just trying to limit this thing. We don’t know how it’s going to go. But hopefully, if we keep doing our part, it’ll be out of here soon.