The 10 Most Important Packers of 2014

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Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90). Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

8) Julius Peppers

The hope this season is that Peppers will be effective enough off the edge to take some pressure off Clay Matthews this season.

If Peppers can consistently win one-on-ones, he’ll force offenses to shift their protection his way, which will open things up for Matthews, Mike Daniels, and the other Packers pass rushers.

It still remains to be seen how well Peppers can drop back in coverage or seal the edge against the run from a two-point stance. However, if the 34-year-old freak athlete proves his transition to outside linebacker is a success this season, this team may have something they haven’t had since Matthews’ time in Green Bay–two effective edge rushers pressuring the quarterback.

Peppers’ ability to also play end and rush on the inside makes him vital to Capers’ plans to make Green Bay’s defense more versatile and dynamic.