Jabrill Peppers Says DJ Durkin's Tactics 'Felt Extreme at Times' at Michigan

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2018

Cleveland Browns free safety Jabrill Peppers (22) returns a punt against the Jacksonville Jaguars during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Cleveland. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

Current Cleveland Browns and former University of Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers was critical Tuesday of University of Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin's coaching tactics while he was the defensive coordinator at Michigan.

Peppers spoke about Durkin on the Rich Eisen Show:

During the interview (h/t Michael Singer of USA Today), Peppers opened up about Durkin's actions when they were both with the Wolverines:

"Coach Durkin, he was a different guy, you know what I mean. His tactics were different. It felt extreme at times. I'm just as shocked reading all the stuff that's going on now. I thought he was only like that because it was his first time coaching us. He was the defensive coordinator so he was just trying to get us to buy-in to how he wants his defense to play. I thought once he became a head coach that he would calm down a little bit, become more of a people person, a player's coach."

Durkin is currently on administrative leave at Maryland following an ESPN report that called the culture within the program under Durkin "toxic."

Peppers expanded further on Durkin: "It's just the way that he goes about getting the most out of his players. Me, being from where I'm from, I didn't like it, but at the end of the day, I knew what the overall goal was. The way I would've described it was kind of like bully coaching. I don't think he meant anything by it. It was just kind of how it comes up."

As part of the ESPN investigative report, Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court (who was fired Tuesday) were accused by current and former Maryland players and staff members of using "fear and intimidation" to run the program.

On Tuesday, the University of Maryland accepted "legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes" made by the training staff during a workout on May 29 when offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed.

McNair died two weeks later at the age of 19 as a result of heatstroke.

Durkin spent one season at Michigan as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2015 before Maryland hired him as head coach.

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