Joe Judge Hints at Plans for Jabrill Peppers' Talents
Jabrill Peppers wants to play ball, and it doesn’t matter where he lines up, which head coach Joe Judge likes to hear.
“I'll play whatever the team needs me to play,” Peppers said during a video conference with reporters.
Yes, that would include filling some cornerback duties if asked.
The idea of Peppers playing some snaps at cornerback isn’t entirely new. According to Pro Football Focus’ snap breakdowns, Peppers played 92 snaps in the slot and 16 snaps at wide corner last year.
In addition to his role as a box safety and some snaps as the deep safety, that versatility is expected to continue.
“With his skill set, he's going to factor into a lot of sub packages,” head coach Joe Judge told reporters on a video conference call Wednesday.
“Traditionally you've seen him play a lot in the box in different schemes and roles. He has that body type that so fits that, but he's going to have to be able to play the deep part of the field as well as the box for us.”
Peppers spent part of his off-season training with Brian Walker of the DB Academy. Walker not only worked with Peppers on the fundamentals necessary to excel at safety, but he also cross-trained him in skills related to some of the responsibilities a cornerback might have to do.
That cross-training has continued for Peppers and the rest of the Giants defensive backs in what is a smart strategic approach that helps protect the Giants against injuries at key spots.
“We're all involved in cross-training and can do multiple things,” Peppers said. “So whatever the scheme is, whatever they see fit, you know, that's, that's what it's going to be.”
As the Giants were finally able to get on the field for the first time in recent weeks, Judge and Graham are still trying to figure out based on what they see who represents the best fit for different roles.
“Right now, we work with all of our players in terms of understanding our zone concepts so they understand how we're trying to play with the spacing on the field and reaction time,” Judge said. “And we're trying to train them all the best man techniques within our schemes. So we're again, we're swinging the bat and a lot of things are, we're gonna shake out week by week.”
Judge can’t seem to get enough of Peppers’ enthusiasm and passion for playing ball.
“You hear him before you see him,” Judge said. “The guy brings a lot of energy to the team and in the locker room. You can tell he's a football guy who loves ball and flies around. You can tell the guys who are on the field, whether it's conditioning, whether it's you have a limited version of practice we had this morning, you can tell football guys. He's definitely a ball guy.”
So does that mean some increased work beyond his responsibilities at safety?
Only time will tell, according to Judge, who said, “I'm not trying to be evasive on this—it’s going to be whatever we needed to do right now.”
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