Safety Jabrill Peppers
September 8, 2021
Q: How do you prepare for the Broncos, do you watch the (Broncos Quarterback Teddy) Bridgewater tape from Carolina, the Broncos tape from last year? How did you try to figure out what they’re going to try to do?
A: Little bit of both. Looked at where (Broncos Offensive Coordinator Pat) Shurmur’s been, and other coaches from that tree. But definitely watched Teddy B at Carolina, the games he played at Denver, a couple preseason games. We’ve still got more tape to watch.
Q: Last year, they did a lot out of the shotgun with (Broncos Quarterback) Drew Lock as quarterback. Do you think there’s more under center, traditional run game stuff with Teddy there or still a lot of shotgun?
A: I think it’ll be a mixture of both. They have two willing backs, so I think they’ll try to get those guys the ball, get the run game going early. It’s up to us to stop the run. The run opens up everything else for them – their boots, nakeds, things of that nature – so I think we’ll see it all. First game, we’ll see.
Q: What have you seen in the times that (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) has been out there? I know he had some setbacks physically, but what have you seen out of him in his first training camp?
A: Gifted athlete, (has) exceptional ball skills, (a) quick twitch, great burst. I haven’t seen him open up full speed yet, but from the times that I did see him running in little, short spaces he looks pretty fast. We’ve got a lot of really fast guys here now, but that’s been my consensus of him. Whenever he’s ready to get back out there, I’ll be excited to see him out there playing.
Q: As somebody who’s been in the league a few years, can you tell with a young guy how ready he is for his first NFL experience?
A: You kind of can, yes. But you’ll know once you put him out there in a game setting with all the extra stresses that the game brings, that’s how you really get your tell-tale. You can kind of tell if a guy is ready in practice and training camp, but the game is the ultimate tell.
Q: If I can ask about another guy who’s obviously coming back from injury, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley). There’s been a lot of attention about whether how ready he is, if he’s the same guy he was last year before he got hurt. What do you see in camp? He’s been working on the sideline.
A: He’s been working. He’s been working his tail off. That’s one of the hardest working guys on the team. He’s been working, he’s going to keep working and whenever he’s ready he’ll be out there making plays. But for now, we just want him to get healthy. We’re going to keep trying to get him as ready as possible on the defensive side of the ball. We can’t wait to get him back, absolutely.
Q: Would it be a surprise for you if he’s out there on Sunday?
A: We don’t know yet. That’s up to him and his body, between him and the training staff, so we’ll see.
Q: I know (Head) Coach (Joe) Judge has been talking about you guys giving him a little bit of contact. How much contact has he given you?
A: Hey, that’s Saquon. He’s going to run hard, but it’s up to us to make sure that when he’s ready to go back out there, he’s ready to go back out there. We’ve got to bang him up a little bit, go after the ball just to get some contact on his body.
Q: You got the first shot last week, right?
A: I tried to, tried to.
Q: How’d it go?
A: Pretty well. He’s not 100-percent, so I don’t really take too much in it. We’ll see how he’s feeling now later in the year.
Q: You talked last year about how, as much as your defensive responsibilities and how you take them seriously, as a punt returner you just couldn’t wait to finally bring one back. Do you go into this week or this season feeling like I can still bring it back there?
A: Absolutely. You’ve always got to feel like that back there, but you can’t rush it, can’t chase the plays. I’ve got to do a better job of making better decisions back there, but I’m going to also be patient, wait for my pitch to hit and hopefully when they give me one I can take back, I do my due diligence.
Q: You were a good defense last year, top-ten in some metrics. In your mind, what does this defense need to do to take it to the next level?
A: It’s a new year, so we’ve got to keep building our cohesion, building camaraderie on that side of the ball, we’ve got to gel a little bit more. We’ve got some different schemes going in, so just about all getting on the same accord, playing fast, running to the ball. The sky’s the limit for us. We’re not thinking about last year, it’s a whole new year for us. We know the type of defense we can be, it’s just all about running out there and putting in the necessary work.
Q: What do you think about the possibility of being used more as a pass rusher?
A: Whatever they need me to do. I’m just trying to impact the game any way I can.
Q: We saw some of this last year, but how excited are you that they’re putting the ball in your hands? Kick return, punt return, we all know you can do it.
A: I’m very excited. Very, very excited.
Q: Is that something you lobbied for more?
A: I’m always going to lobby for that, but we have a lot of willing and capable guys who have returned in this league and been pretty damn good in this league. (Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey) T-Mac’s got a lot of choices back there that he can go to, but obviously I’m going to do my job and make sure that whenever I’m out there I’m impacting the game in a positive way.
Q: Have you thought about the idea that you could very well be the first Giant to touch the ball on Sunday and therefore set the tone for the season and the game?
A: I haven’t really thought about it like that. Whether it’s kickoff or kickoff return, we’ve got to start fast. That’s how I look at it.