Minter, Richardson Challenge Peppers


The Panthers lost the heart and soul of their defense Tuesday when 10-year veteran Mike Minter retired.  But during Tuesday’s press conference, Minter and team owner Jerry Richardson both challenged Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers to assume a leadership role on defense.  Minter told Peppers the defense was his now, while Richardson told the former Tar Heel it was his time to step up.  Peppers has put up monster numbers during his five NFL seasons.  He already ranks as Carolina’s all-time leader with 53-and-a-half sacks, and he and Minter share the team mark with 16 forced fumbles.  But he is also one of the quieter members of the Panthers lockerroom.  Peppers and the Panthers will hold a single practice in Spartanburg at 3:10 this afternoon. 

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