Ron Rivera wants Chase Young, Julius Peppers to connect


Many around football have already compared Redskins edge rusher Chase Young to future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers.

While the tangible similarities seem to jump off the page, Redskins head coach Ron Rivera sees parallels that stretch beyond the football field.

"Well you know, I'd love to turn him into a Julius Peppers type player, I mean to be honest with you," Rivera told WFNZ's Kyle Bailey in Charlotte. "That's who he reminded me of so much."

"Getting to know Julius the last few years," Rivera said, "and then sitting down with Chase and just listening to him talk, I really thought that these two young men had some similarities. You know Chase is a little bit younger coming into the league than when Julius did, but he's got a tremendous skill set, a lot like Julius coming out."

Rivera caught the tail end of Peppers' career, when the latter returned to Carolina for the 2017-18 seasons.

The second overall pick coming out of North Carolina in 2002, Peppers – a two-sport star and member of a UNC basketball squad that made a Final Four appearance – was already a hometown hero even before he was drafted by the Panthers.

He went on to become the most dominant defensive end of his generation, with staying power that was unrivaled, finishing his 17-year NFL career fourth all-time in sacks (159.5). Coincidentally enough, Young grew up a huge Julius Peppers fan.

"I'm pretty excited about who he could be for us," Rivera said. "He's a heck of a young man and he's a local guy, too. That was the other parallel that I saw, was that he's such a local guy. And I would like to at some point have him reach out to Julius just to see what it was like trying to manage staying pretty much in your backyard."