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Peppers will have extra motivation vs. former team

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Oct. 06, 2010 @ 6:03 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Each Wednesday through the season we'll identify one player, coach or area of the team that is most under the microscope. This week, DE Julius Peppers is the choice.

Julius Peppers has been the only consistent source of pressure quarterbacks playing against the Bears have faced all season.

He's looked motivated in each of the first four games. That's not an issue. But the sour feeling he has from the way things ended with his old team isn't good news for a winless Panthers team that has struggled to protect its quarterback.

It's not going to be just another Sunday for Peppers when the Bears travel to Charlotte. He'll be facing the team he spent the first eight years of his career playing for, in the state where he grew up and attended college.

Peppers made it clear in a conference call with the Charlotte media that he's specifically unhappy his former team didn't call him to tell him they weren't going to re-sign him in the offseason.

"I don't have a problem with them saying, 'OK, the lockout is coming up. The future of the league is uncertain, and we're going to go in a different direction. We're going to do away with anybody who was making any significant amount of money, and we're going to keep young guys.' That's a business decision. I can understand that and respect that," Peppers said, per a Charlotte Observer report.

"The problem that I had was that they tried to turn the tables to make it look like I wanted out, no matter what. And really, I didn't have the option to stay because it was never offered to stay. So that's the thing when I say it ended a little sour, I felt like it could have been a little more respectful.

"At least a phone call to say, 'Hey, it's been good. We're going a different direction. We're going to let you go.' They couldn't even give me that. So that's why I say it was a little sour."

That hint of bitterness could translate into a vengeful performance from Peppers on Sunday.

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