Julius Peppers vs. Demarcus Ware



Julius Peppers and Demarcus Ware are this generations Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor,they are both future Hall of Famers and are currently the NFL's most dominant defensive players, capable of completely ruining an opponents game plan single- handedly . Since joining the NFL in 2002, Julius Peppers has the most 3 or more sack games in the NFL with eight, Demarcus Ware is second with seven 3 or more sack games, Julius Peppers has the 6th most sacks of any active player in the NFL and is 36th on the all time sacks list. Demarcus Ware has the 8th most sacks of any active player in the NFL and is 40th on the all time sacks list, both Peppers and Ware have a legitimate shot at reaching the top 5 on the all time sacks list before they retire. 




   I have watched both these players play a numerous amount of games and am in awe at some of the things they seem to be able to do and make look easy, Julius Peppers nick name is Freak of Nature which it seems at times he is. How a man 6' 7" 300 lbs. can move at the speed that Peppers moves is beyond me. How a man 6' 4" 265 lbs. can move and bend his body the way that Ware does is beyond me. Both Julius Peppers and Demarcus Ware can do things athletically that the average human can only dream about doing. I am excited to see both Peppers and Ware play against Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles in consecutive weeks, they may be the only edge rushers in the entire NFL that can match up with Michael Vick athletically. Julius Peppers has the most sacks against Michael Vick of any player in the NFL with 6 respectively and seems to always be harassing the superstar QB. Demarcus Ware's only interception of his career came against Michael Vick when Vick played for the Atlanta Falcons, Ware returned it for a 41 yard touchdown. 


   Multiple coaches and players around the NFL think very highly of Julius Peppers and Demarcus Ware, the players of the NFL voted for the top 100 players in the league after this past season and Julius Peppers was voted as the 10th best player and Demarcus Ware voted as the 12th best player respectively. I would have ranked them both in the top 5 personally. Here are some quotes by current and former NFL players and coaches about Julius Peppers and Demarcus Ware.

Quotes on Peppers:

Joe Theismann:

After watching Peppers notch three sacks, bat down a pass and recover a fumble in a 24-10 win against Tampa Bay, ESPNMonday Night Football analyst Joe Theismann put Peppers in rarefied air, comparing him to Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor.


"This is the best way to put in perspective the way we viewed Lawrence, and I think this is the way people should view Julius," Theismann says. "When coaches draw up defenses, they use letters to denote defensive players: 'C' for corner, 'S' for safety, so on. In Washington, we would use letters until it came to Lawrence. For him, we used No. 56, and it was always bigger than everything else. That visually put everything into context, saying, 'This guy is better than anybody else on that board.' " 
Rex Ryan: 
Of course, I also realize that this guy is the best there is. 
"He’s another guy, you can’t throw over him," Ryan said. "That’s what’s so underrated about him. You can try to throw intermediate passes over him ... Well, maybe you can or maybe you can’t. The guy’s wingspan is incredible. His height, wingspan. It’s just incredible how many plays he makes. He’ll bat it down and then he’ll catch it. There’s very few Julius Peppers’ walking the face of this earth." 
Brian Urlacher
"I'll say this about Peppers, he's the best football player I've ever seen. He's 300 pounds. He does things DBs are doing. I don't know how we got him, but I'm glad we did." 
Lovie Smith: 
"No doubt, he makes the defense better. We've had great football players here, but this is a special player we're talking about," Smith said.

Bill Belichick: 
"You could put him anywhere on the field," Belichick said. "He can play on the front line, he could play linebacker. He could play strong safety. He could play anywhere on the defensive line. He's tall. Richard Seymour was tall and he played there. Put him out at tight end, make a left tackle out of him. I wouldn't want to tackle him if he was carrying the ball. He's a great player." 
Tom Brady
"He's one of the best in the league. He's big, strong, fast, athletic. He's got seven sacks, wreaking havoc," Brady said. 


Quotes on Ware:

Rob Ryan:

"I mean, I saw Superman I and II but never saw the third one," Ryan said. "I know Lawrence Taylor is obviously a fantastic player, but the best player I’ve ever seen on defense is DeMarcus Ware without a doubt."

Bill Belichick:


"I mean, he's the best player we've faced this year. He does all of the things you want him to do. He's strong against the run. He can rush the passer. He's great in pursuit. He's got power. He's got speed. He's got good technique. He's good in pass coverage. He gets a lot of depth. I mean, he's an asset to your pass coverage, if you want to drop him. I'd say all those same things about Lawrence Taylor. Lawrence had a tremendous career. Ware has had a great --what is it? -- six years or whatever it's been. He's been great in that time and looks like he’s still going strong."
Tom Brady: "He [Ware] can get after a quarterback as good as anyone we play," Brady said. "He’s powerful, he’s fast off the edge, he’s got a bunch of different moves. It’s not like you just set on the speed-rush and he’ll speed-rush you and then he’ll power you right into the quarterback. The first play of the season he sacked [Mark] Sanchez when they were playing the Jets and kind of had an up-and-under move. If he gets going early he’s going to be a problem all day, so we’ve got to make sure we really account for him on every play."


High praise for highly talented players. 


   Julius Peppers and Demarcus Ware are also very versatile players, they can rush the passer, stuff the run, drop back into coverage, bat down passes, and in Peppers case, block field goals, Peppers has 11 career blocked kicks which is officially second most all time to Shaun Rogers who has 17. ( Alan Page supposedly had 28 blocked kicks in his career but blocked kicks weren't recorded when he played.) I believe that Demarcus Ware could be a star 4-3 defensive end in the NFL if asked to play that position, I also believe that Julius Peppers could be a star 4-3 under tackle, 3-4 defensive end, or 3-4 outside linebacker if he played any of those positions, he starred at UNC as a basketball player and football player so I know he is athletic enough. I also believe that Peppers would rack up more sacks if he played in an aggressive 3-4 scheme as a jack linebacker like Demarcus Ware has played  over the duration of his career, 3-4 outside linebackers line up wider and move around more than 4-3 defensive ends do making it harder to double team and chip 3-4 outside linebackers. 3-4 outside linebackers also seem to get more favorable matchups against tight ends and running backs and more free rushes at the quarterback than 4-3 defensive ends do. As Mario Williams put it.....

"Playing defensive end, I have a few more responsibilities," Williams told the Chronicle. "Being an outside linebacker, I'm always on the edge. When the ball's snapped, it's full go after the quarterback."

And Wade Phillips puts it like this.....

"He's got the talent," Phillips said of Williams. "With him standing up, he lines up a little wider, and he's coming every time on a different angle. This gives him the chance to be the premier rusher, just like DeMarcus."

It would be fun to see what Peppers could do playing as a 3-4 outside linebacker in an aggressive, confusing scheme such as the one Demarcus Ware plays in.


   All in all both of these players are great and I feel privileged to have seen them both play, I never got the chance to watch Reggie White or Lawrence Taylor play, but I think I can settle for watching the next best thing. So my question to you guys is this, who do you think is the more dominant defensive player between Julius Peppers and Demarcus Ware?


Tale of the tape:

Julius Peppers: currently playing in his 10th season

93 sacks, 33 forced fumbles, 9 fumble recoveries, 8 interceptions, 53 passes defensed, 11 blocked field goals, 368 solo tackles, 85 assisted tackles, 453 total tackles, 2 interceptions for a touchdown, 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown.

* 2002 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

* 2004 NFC Defensive Player of the Year

* 2004 NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year

* NFL 2000's All Decade Team

* 6 Time Pro Bowler

* 3 Time First Team All Pro

* 2 Time Second Team All Pro

* 3 Time NFC Defensive Player of the Month

* 4 Time NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Ultimate Julius Peppers Highlights (Panthers & Bears) (via TheVikingsworldNFL)




Demarcus Ware: currently playing in his 7th season

88 sacks, 26 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 21 passes defensed, 0 blocked field goals, 353 solo tackles, 89 assisted tackles, 442 total tackles, 1 interception for a touchdown, 2 fumble recoveries for a touchdown.

* 2008 NFC Defensive Player of the Year

* 2008 NFL Alumni Pass Rusher of the Year

*  2008 NFL Butkus Award Winner

* 2 Time NFL Sack Champion

* NFL 2000's All Decade Team

* 5 Time Pro Bowler

* 3 Time First Team All Pro

* 2 Time Second Team All Pro

* 4 Time NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Ultimate DeMarcus Ware Highlights (via TheVikingsworldNFL)

2009 Pro Bowl, Demarcus Ware applies the pressure and Julius Peppers gets the pick.

<em>This FanPost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.</em>

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