Free agent additions Peppers, Guion deliver again

Mike Woods
Post-Crescent Media
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Green Bay Packers linebacker Julius Peppers runs for a touchdown after intercepting a pass from Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez during their game at Lambeau Field in November 2014.

You know Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson treats free agency like he does public Wi-Fi: with caution.

While it's rare for him to dip his toe into the free-agent waters, two of this year's offseason acquisitions are making a vital impact on the unit that was in need of the most help.

Linebacker Julius Peppers and nose tackle Letroy Guion continued to make their presence felt Sunday in the Packers' 53-20 demolition of Philadelphia at Lambeau Field.

Guion came up with four tackles and a sack of Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez, while Peppers had just one assisted tackle but delivered big with a 52-yard pick-six.

Peppers' touchdown enabled him to join Houston's J.J. Watt and Tampa Bay's Danny Lansanah as the only defensive players with multiple defensive touchdowns this season, made him the only Packers linebacker to ever have two interceptions for touchdowns in a season, and became the first player in NFL history with more than 100 sacks and four interception returns for touchdowns.

At age 34 and in his 13th season, initial concerns of his tank perhaps running low have evaporated. Through 10 games, he has 30 tackles, five sacks, six passes defensed and a pair of pick-sixes that have totaled 101 yards.

"Mindset and attitude, that's the main thing," Peppers said of his and his teammates' play. "That's what defense is. We're getting better in that area, and it's showing.

"It just felt good to make a huge play in the game and keep the momentum going."

Guion has been a crucial addition, especially in light of the season-ending injury to starter B.J. Raji. His 19 tackles are just two shy of his second-highest career total and his sack Sunday gave him 21/2, the most he's had in a season.

"I see the right guard leaning and I knew what it was, I had been watching on film all week," Guion said. "When leaning like that, the middle of the field is wide open. The center was jumping on Mike Daniels' side, and I knew I had him. I kind of crossed and came through the middle and it was wide open, he was sitting right there waiting for me. Like a layup in basketball.''

Guion said the recipe for his success has been straightforward.

"Going to work every day, working hard, leaving it all in this building here and then taking it out on the field and applying it to the field, and applying it to my game," he said. "That's my biggest part of getting better."

Both players are comfortable in their new surroundings, which likely has contributed to their solid play.

"I'm not sure," Peppers said. "I'm very comfortable. I'm very comfortable in this locker room, on the team, on the field. I guess you could say that. But it's a credit to my teammates for making me feel that way."

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