Like many football players growing up, playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream for Jabrill Peppers.
And thew Browns’ rookie safety won’t let anything detract from it.
Not even allegations made this week on Cleveland radio that he was, “On the lean and Molly,” which led to him spending the better part of his media availability fielding questions about them.
“No one’s going to take this moment away from me. I don’t care what it is,” Peppers said. “I’ve worked my whole life to get here. I’m happy to be here. I’m not going to let what people say about me ruin the best moment of my life. Are you kidding me? I’ve been talked about, hated on my whole life. There’s no skin off my teeth.
“I’m extremely happy I’m here. I’m happy to prove myself again.”
Peppers denied the allegations made by a radio personality multiple times Friday, hours before the Browns took the field for their first practice of rookie minicamp.
“No. No. Absolutely not, never in my life,” Peppers said of the alleged drug use. “Whatever drugs [that was] said I’ve done, I’ve never done in my life.”
The allegations included an supposed eye witness account of Peppers using a substance, something Peppers said was hard to do because he wasn’t even in Cleveland to be spotted doing anything wrong in the first place.
“I never failed a drug test in my life, never been arrested, so people want to speculate on that for other reasons, which we all know what those reasons are, and so be it,” Peppers said. “I’m just here to be the best person and football player I can be, learn from the vets, the great coaches and the coaching staff and that’s what I intend to do.”
Because of a diluted sample taken at the NFL Combine, Peppers has been placed in stage 1 of the NFL’s drug program but should he remain clean in the coming months he’ll be removed from it.
“It’s due process,” Peppers said. “You can’t be frustrated about the process. I’m not the only guy going through that process. You can’t be mad at the system. You just take it on the chin like a grown man and move forward and that’s what I intend to do.”