Cleveland Browns: Jabrill Peppers looks for more in second year
By Randy Gurzi
Cleveland Browns safety Jabrill Peppers knows he wasn’t good enough last season, but believes he can fix the issues and be better in year two
The second of three first round picks in 2017 for the Cleveland Browns, safety Jabrill Peppers registered 57 tackles and one interception. He also was on the wrong end of a lot of jokes.
Those insults were centered around how far back he played in the defense which limited his ability to make big plays, and Peppers knows what people were saying. He also knows it can be better.
According to Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com, Peppers has said that he has higher hopes for his second season in the NFL. He also says any shortcomings were his own fault.
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"“[I was] just being hesitant and not trusting myself, second guesses, things like that, taking bad angles, just things you’ve got to adjust to, nothing too out of the ordinary,” Peppers said via Ulrich of Ohio.com. “[They’re] just things I’ve got to go back and correct, and I will correct.”"
It’s admirable that Peppers is taking ownership for any issues in his play as a rookie. It’s also good to hear him say that he will correct them and be a better player.
However, the problems weren’t all on Peppers. He won’t say it, but we can.
Peppers was a linebacker for much of his time with the Michigan Wolverines, but also played a little safety. Coming into the NFL there were still questions about where he would play.
His size said safety, but he was leading linebacker drills at the NFL Scouting Combine. In the end, his size dictated a move to safety and he should have been a hybrid player that could be closer to the line of scrimmage.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams knows this, and the front office did what they could to make sure that would be the case in 2018.
Cleveland picked up Green Bay cornerback Damarious Randall, and will move him to free safety — the spot he played while at Arizona State University. That allows Peppers to move to strong safety and play closer to the line, which will have a great impact on his overall play.
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Sure, Peppers is right that a season under his belt will improve his play. But so too will being put in a better position to use his skills.