Although he's no spring chicken when it comes to being in the NFL and even entering his second season with the Patriots, Jabrill Peppers looks on the brink of a big season in 2023.
Other than his teammates hyping him up throughout the summer, no one seemed more excited about the progress he's made than Bill Belichick. The head coach raved about Peppers at the start of training camp, complimenting him on nearly everything he possibly could, making it difficult not to be excited about what the safety will bring to the field this year.
"Yeah. Oh my god, yeah. He's a much different player now than he was last year at this time or even in training camp. A full year after the injury, a lot of confidence in the communication, the system, his assignments. He's playing fast, aggressive, helping out his teammates. Last year he was trying to learn things, now he's helping out his teammates, anticipating, making calls or adjustments that maybe help him or possibly help his teammate be in a better position to defend a certain play or type of play. Yeah, he's been great. He's way ahead of where he was last year."
If Belichick is correct in saying that Peppers is looking even better than he did last year, then the sky is the limit for what he can do, especially as he's in the mix to help fill the void of Devin McCourty.
His presence on defense became more valuable as the season went on, as some of his tackles put ends to plays from sheer force, but his role on the special teams may be what sets him apart from others. That versatility will go a long way this year, with the unit working on dramatically improving upon their accuracy and dominance on the field like they once were.