S Jabrill Peppers
July 28, 2021
Q: Going into your second season in [Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator] Patrick Graham’s defense, do you feel more comfortable?
A: Absolutely. Within the second year of any scheme, you definitely get more familiarized with it and you can play that much faster. You understand the guys next to you jobs that much more to play to your leverage and know when you can take chances and when you can’t.
Q: For you personally, you’re on the last year of your deal. How do you approach that coming into this year?
A: I’m not even thinking about that. I’ve got another opportunity to be out here with my guys and get better. Man, it’s the first day of training camp other than conditioning and that’s where my focus is.
Q: Jabrill, how are you guys – you have some new faces in the defensive secondary with [Cornerback] Adoree’ [Jackson] and [Cornerback] Aaron [Robinson] and all those guys, how’s that chemistry coming together with everybody and the communication and all that?
A: Well obviously, we have to keep building, but you know we’re all football guys. Just the verbiage is different, so you know it hasn’t been that hard, but we know we still have a long way to go.
Q: When you come here and it’s your second time in training camp, are you faster? Do things just happen faster? Do you feel like you’re faster because you know what’s going on?
A: When you have a great understanding of what it is they’re asking me to do, you play faster, you know what I mean?
Q: Do you feel like on day one you kind of feel that? Can you think back to last year day one and how you feel compared to that?
A: Absolutely, last year was a lot more thinking for me trying to understand where he wants me to be, the spots. This year, same scheme. I’m more familiarized with it. We had a great install, great teachers, so you just go out there and play.
Q: When you look around, you know everything, but Adoree’s new?
A: Me and Adoree’ go back since high school, so.
Q: So, when you look at that, do you think, ‘we can do so much more?’ Because you know him, you know what they can do.
A: I mean, you know, it’s only the first day. You know we still have a long way to go. Great start, but we still have a long way to go.
Q: When you talk about your career, is this the first time that you came back from a season where things seemed to be in place around you defensively? Like you didn’t have a change in coordinator, and you didn’t have a change in position coach and that type of thing?
A: One of the very few seasons that we’ve kept the same system, same coaches. We had the addition of [Senior Defensive Assistant] Jeremy Pruitt, but that was a great addition. Great football guy, great teacher. He definitely helps me have things slow down out there.
Q: What does that do for your game instead of constantly learning new things and trying to figure out where you fit?
A: Obviously, you can build on that. You can play that much faster. Not too much thinking out there. It’s just spots now. I’m definitely familiarized with the defense to where I know what each guy out there is doing and I can use that to my advantage.
Q: Jabrill, I know you said it’s only day one, but what do you sense about just the improvement with the defense? Like you said the consistency, can you sense it when you guys are out there together already?
A: Obviously, you know we’re a competitive bunch. It’s the first day, it felt good to get out there, run around, compete with the offense a little bit, but you know we still have a long way to go. This was definitely a great start.
Q: Is it too early for the defense to have an identity?
A: That’s what training camp is for is find yourself, find your identity and build off that and turn it up into the season.
Q: What can Adoree’ do for this team in your mind?
A: He’s an athletic guy. He has great technique. As long as he keeps improving like we all need to during into training camp, good things can happen.
Q: Jabrill, what are the defining traits of Joe Judge and his training camp?
A: It’s just challenging. It’s training camp, you know, we’re training for the season. We’re not just out there going through the motions. You’re going to run. We’re going to compete and we’re going to condition after practice no matter how you feel. Building that mental toughness, so that it gives you that confidence during the season to go out there and play fast, hard-nosed football.
Q: Do you see the tone in the meetings, like that first meeting, when everyone comes in and I know you can’t divulge exactly what was said, but what kind of tone does he set?
A: I mean, he sets the tone through minicamp, OTAs. You already know how you got to come in here, the standard has been set. You know what’s expected of you and you’re expected to do it at a high level.
Q: Jabrill, at training camp as usual, how much will special teams be a priority for you?
A: Obviously, we love special teams. I love special teams. It’s one of the three phases. Games are won and lost on special teams, so we have to treat it as such. It’s a big emphasis here. The best guys are going to play special teams. We know that, the teams that we’re going to play know that. Just got to keep building off of it.
Q: As the guy who has to line up against receivers like Kadarius [Toney], Kenny [Golladay], John Ross [III], do you kind of get a sense what these guys can bring to the offense?
A: All athletic guys, run fast and catch the ball.
Q: Did you see Ross on kickoffs?
A: I did. I was back there with him. He was there and then he wasn’t.
Q: Jabrill, do you guys as a defense set a goal for yourself, like you want to be a top-10, a top-five, the number one defense? Do you set any kind of goal and what do you consider to be realistic?
A: Our goal is to come out here and get better each and every day. You can’t look too far ahead, you can’t look in the past. We’re out here getting better, getting in condition, going through our football motions and training so we can be at our top level when the season comes.
Q: You mentioned the conditioning and that’s obviously something Joe is admittedly big on, do you see other veterans come in here that are like ‘aw man, what is this?’ Do you get that at all? Do guys complain at all?
A: Not really. I think they know when they come here, you’re going to run. I think that anyone that stems from that tree knows you’re going to run, be in condition. I think the guys want that. When you’re in condition, you play that much faster, it’s injury-proof. For me personally, it gives me a mental edge. When it comes to the third, fourth quarters, I’m not tired and you see the other guys bending over and you know the first thing that goes when you’re tired is your mind, so building that mental so you can stay in the game and play that full 60 minutes.
Q: Is it a lot more than you did in Cleveland, the conditioning part?
A: Oh, yeah.
Q: Was it a shock to you when you first came here or you kind of expected it?
A: It wasn’t a shock because he explained to us and let us know what the standard is and how we go about business and what’s expected of us and as professionals we got to move how professionals move.
Q: Did you actually feel more fresh late in the games last year compared to your first two years?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely. 100 percent.
Q: And you attribute that to the offseason workouts?
A: Conditioning. Absolutely. 100 percent.
Q: Did you miss in-person interviews with us?
A: Yeah, I missed you guys.