He's in enemy colors now, but Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman can't help rooting for Julius Peppers. At least most weeks.
Trestman said he's still a big fan of Peppers, who spent the past four seasons with the Bears as a defensive end. The Green Bay Packers outside linebacker is preparing to play his former team for the first time this week.
On film, his former coach said he's been impressed with how Peppers has played in Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers' scheme.
"I think that Dom is doing a good job of moving him around, and he's played well," Trestman said. "I think he's played well, and we expected him to. I think in that system, it's going to be continued growth for him. He's going to continue to get better at it.
"We have a lot of respect for Julius, certainly as a player but just as much as a man. He was just a terrific person to have around here, great for our team and our locker room, and I'm sure Mike feels the same way about having him in Green Bay."
Peppers had his best game of the season last week against the Detroit Lions. On 29 rushing snaps, he registered three quarterback hurries, two quarterback hits and forced Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to fumble on a sack inside the red zone. Peppers' pass rushing grade was plus-5.1, according to Pro Football Focus.
On the year, Peppers is tied for the NFL lead among 3-4 outside linebackers with four quarterback hits. His 11 total pressures is tied for fourth at his position.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said he expects a big test from Peppers this weekend.
"He's a good player," Cutler said. "Obviously, we know what he's about. He was here for a while. He still has got a lot left in the tank, so it's going to be a challenge."
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