When defensive coordinator Dom Capers sees outside linebacker Julius Peppers, he sees a 36-year-old pass-rusher who's still playing some of the best football of his career.
Capers praised the way Peppers has finished the past two seasons, the 13th and 14th of his NFL career.
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He's really played his best the last two years at the end of the season. I thought last year in the playoffs, he played outstanding. What, he ended up with 11.5 sacks (counting playoffs), I think. I thought he really rushed and played really well in the game Saturday night. As I look at him, you don't see the signs at the end of the season that the arrow is not pointing up.
He's played his best at the end of the season. I think part of that is we've been able to control his reps and to try to keep him fresh so he'd be at his best when we get to that point in the playoffs.
Peppers had seven sacks in his first season with the Packers, plus 2.5 more in the playoffs. In 2015, he had 10.5 sacks -- his first double-digit-sack season since 2012 and the ninth of his career -- plus one more in the postseason. A keen eye on Peppers' snap count has helped Capers keep Peppers fresh from start to finish.
Now entering the final year of a three-year, $26 million deal, Peppers may try to push out one more season before calling it quits.