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Robert Kraft wants Tom Brady to retire with Patriots, Julius Peppers a ‘genetic freak’

Posted May 30, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff.

Julius Peppers, Lovie Smith, Tom Brady

Tom Brady will be 37 years old by the start of the 2014 NFL regular season.

He would like to be on the field in 2020, when he turns 43, and then call it a career.

After speculation to the contrary was raised when the New England Patriots made quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo their second-round draft pick, team owner Robert Kraft told NFL Network he would like Brady to make that last call while wearing “that Flying Elvis or Pat Patriot, if we’re doing throwbacks” on his helmet.

“We believe that Tom has a lot of play left,” Kraft said. “The way he takes care of his body, the way he eats, the way he plays, the way he trains, people look up to him. At the same time, that’s a position (where) if you don’t have someone strong at that position, look what happened how Tommy took over in that game after 9/11 when we delayed a week? Mo Lewis, our friend from the Jets, took Drew (Bledsoe) out and if we didn’t have someone like Tommy in our system, it would have been very devastating.

“In any business, you always need disaster insurance (for) the most important thing. And now we have a young man (in Garoppolo) that I hope he’s as good as everyone feels. I also hope he doesn’t get a chance to start for a long, long time.”

Making that possible, Kraft said, was Brady allowing the Patriots to restructure his contract “in a way that was good for us.”

JULIUS PEPPERS IMPRESSING PACKERS TEAMMATES WITH PERFORMANCE IN OTAs

For the past four seasons, members of the Green Bay Packers’ defense admired Julius Peppers’ work on a fairly regular basis while the standout defensive end played for the NFC North-rival Chicago Bears.

Now, with Peppers having joined the Packers in free agency, they have a much closer view. And so far, as a hybrid outside linebacker in the Packers’ base 3-4 defense, he has put on quite a show during OTAs.

“You obviously notice his athletic ability right off the bat,” linebacker A.J. Hawk was quoted as saying in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He’s 34 and runs like he’s 18. If ever there was a genetic freak put on this planet, it is Julius. He’s just a specimen. I have a ton of respect for how he works, too. What a great teammate just from Day One. He’s a quiet guy that already knows what he is doing, so it is fun to be around a guy like him.

“Him being in Chicago all these years, and getting to see him up close and personal two games a year, is always something I’ve been impressed by. Now, to have him on our side, to see how good of a guy he is, how good of a teammate he is, he’s already lived up to – and exceeded – my expectations.”

LOVIE SMITH EXPECTS BUCCANEERS TO PLAY ‘GREAT’ DEFENSE

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has high expectations for his team and, especially, his defense.

The latter seems particularly logical, given that Smith’s coaching background is rooted in defense and that he has been a part of building some strong ones during his time in the NFL.

“We’re going to be a good football team and in order to be a good football team we have to play great, not good, but great defense and I think we will,” Smith told Tampa Bay-Sarasota television station WTSP.

So far, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy likes what he has seen of the defense during OTAs.

“It’s a great defense to play in and once everybody figures it out and have the ins and outs of it, it’s going to be scary,” he said.

MARK SANCHEZ CALLS EAGLES ‘BEST PLACE’ HE COULD HAVE LANDED

Mark Sanchez understands that the Philadelphia Eagles signed him to be a backup to starting quarterback Nick Foles.

That doesn’t bother Sanchez in the least. Looking to make a fresh start after a rocky experience as the quarterback for the New York Jets ultimately ended with shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the 2013 season, Sanchez is simply happy to have a chance to see Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense from the inside.

“I just kept thinking, ‘Eagles; this is the place to be,’” Sanchez was quoted as saying in Newsday. “I really respected what they did last year. … And I think they have a ton of talent, especially at the wideout position, tight end position. They’re just overflowing with guys that can play. So that’s exciting for a quarterback.

“Maybe this whole shoulder thing and relocation has just been a blessing in disguise,” Sanchez said. “Maybe that year off was exactly what I needed. Got a little rest for my legs, for my arm, and I feel great.”

Although it came to an unceremonious end, Sanchez insists he doesn’t regret his time with the Jets.

“I loved everything that happened there (with the Jets),” he said. “Everything. Good, bad, ugly, don’t care. It was an awesome time. But I’m an Eagle now. I love being here. This is the best place I could have landed.”

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