A few weeks ago, I asked the question right here on Lombardiave.com about the issue of the number 90 – who would be wearing it this season given that both B.J. Raji (the current #90) and Julius Peppers (who has worn #90 his entire professional career) were in camp?
Well, the question’s been asked and now finally answered. Peppers has been issued number 56. Raji will stay with #90.
I feel that’s a pretty good situation. First of all, Peppers gets a number that’s highly recognizable, while Raji gets to keep his number. There won’t be any jersey buying by Peppers and we get to go along as we did before – especially those who may have purchased a B.J. Raji jersey in the past.
Here is the tweet sent out today by the Packers:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) April 14, 2014
According to NFL rules, No. 56 may be worn by centers, linebackers and defensive linemen.
Peppers was signed to a free agent contract by the Packers last month, just after he was released by the Chicago Bears. Peppers’ signing was one of the bigger transactions made during the free agency period this offseason as the Packers continue to do everything they can to improve its defensive line.
Peppers brings years of experience in a 4-3 defensive scheme and will now step into a 3-4 this season where he will be utilized as both a defensive end and “elephant” linebacker where he will start from a standing position rather than from a three-point stance.
So, not only will Peppers be playing with a new team and new number, his career continues in a new defensive scheme.