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Julius Peppers Notes 'Lack of Effort' by Saints on Marshawn Lynch Run

Jan 12, 2011 – 11:24 AM
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Michael David Smith

Michael David Smith %BloggerTitle%

I thought Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run against the Saints on Sunday was one of the greatest individual efforts in NFL history.

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers wasn't quite as impressed.

It's not that Peppers didn't think Lynch, the Seahawks running back who will be playing at Chicago on Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs, had a great highlight-reel run. But from Peppers' perspective, as a defensive player, he thought the run was at least as much about the Saints' inability to tackle as about Lynch's performance.

"It was a great run ... the effort that he displayed was amazing," Peppers told the Chicago Tribune. "So, it's also a lack of effort on the other side by a couple of guys. I don't think we will have that problem this week."

Peppers' point is a point that Bears coach Lovie Smith always stresses with his players: Playing defense in the NFL is as much about hustling to the ball and making tackles as anything else. Smith scrutinizes game tape every week and looks for what he calls "loafs" -- plays on which one of his players isn't hustling from the snap to the whistle. If you play for Smith, you better not get caught loafing. Suffice to say, there were some Saints players loafing on Lynch's run.

Still, no one should take anything away from that Lynch touchdown, which will be the stuff of NFL Films highlights for years to come.

"He's a beast," Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris said of Lynch. "You've got to stop him, that's the biggest thing."
Filed under: Sports