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Peprah 'pushing' to prove himself in Packers secondary

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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The way Charlie Peprah looks at it, he’s still the starting safety for the Green Bay Packers. Despite recent acquisitions and talk of potentially moving Charles Woodson to safety, Peprah reaffirmed his position in the Packers’ secondary prior to the start of the Packers Tailgate Tour Tuesday. After starting last season as the primary backup to Nick Collins and Morgan Burnett, Peprah was thrown into the starting lineup after Collins suffered a herniated disc in his neck during a Week 2 game at Carolina. The incident required season-ending single fusion neck surgery and ultimately led to the three-time Pro Bowler's release last month after the Packers didn’t feel comfortable clearing him. Although the opportunity allowed Peprah to set career-highs for tackles (94) and interceptions (five), the veteran safety also contributed to a secondary that allowed the most passing yards to opposing teams in NFL history. With Collins gone, the Packers drafted Maine safety Jerron McMillian in the fourth round of last month’s NFL Draft and signed undrafted free agent Sean Richardson (Vanderbilt) to compete for the job with Peprah, and returning reserves M.D. Jennings and Anthony Levine. It’s not the first time Peprah has been at a crossroads. He was in a similar position less than two years ago when the Packers traded for safety Anthony Smith after Burnett suffered a season-ending knee injury during Week 4 of the 2010 campaign. “That said to me, ‘OK, maybe they don’t have any confidence in me,’ but that’s the league,” said Peprah, who won the job and started opposite Collins during Green Bay’s Super Bowl run. “They’re always looking to replace you, coaches and players alike, staff alike. None of that stuff can really get to you. You just keep believing in yourself, keep pushing, keep working and the rest will take care of itself.” With competition again in front of him, Peprah still views himself as a starter in the secondary. “As far as I’m concerned, I plan on it because that’s the way I view myself and my abilities,” he said. In addition to Peprah, the Packers Tailgate Tour features wide receiver Jordy Nelson, kicker Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Marco Rivera, William Henderson and Larry McCarren. The five-day tour travels around the state with various stops along the way.

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