Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers kept it low-key Thursday in expressing a desire to be the first recipient of the Deacon Jones Award which beginning this season will be given annually to the NFL's leader in sacks. A Hall of Fame defensive end who coined the term "sack" Jones died in June of natural causes. Jones led the Rams' Fearsome Foursome from 1961-71 before playing for San Diego two seasons and finishing with the Redskins in 1974. "I would love to have it" Peppers said of the award. "I'm not going to sit out here and make any bold predictions or brash statements about what I'm going to do. But yeah I would love to have it." Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and made the league's 75th anniversary all-time team. Peppers could be on the way to a similar path having racked up 111.5 career sacks over 170 games which ranks as 18th since 1982 when sacks became an official statistic. Peppers contributed 11.5 sacks in 2012 and has posted 30.5 sacks in three seasons with the Bears over 48 games. Peppers became the first Bear since 2001 and 2002 last season to register double-digit sacks in back to back seasons. In 2011 Peppers led the team with 11 sacks. "It's so impressive it's hard to describe" Bears coach Marc Trestman said "the way he carries himself around the locker room through the meetings and certainly on the field. Watching him since April just impressive; the consistent high level of effort. He's all over the field. He's first in line. We all want to grow up and be like Julius. Quite frankly that's the kind of a man I think of him as." At 33 years old Peppers doesn't expect to experience a decline in production anytime soon. Since Peppers entered the league in 2002 he ranks No. 2 behind Minnesota’s Jared Allen (117) in sacks. He's tallied 10.5 sacks or more in four of his last five seasons.
Peppers setting sights on first sack award
ESPN | Aug 1