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Peppers spending majority of practice time at LB

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Jabrill Peppers, who played in all three phases of the game last fall, has been focused on defense this spring.

Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno said Tuesday that Peppers has not practiced on offense this spring, but that clearly doesn’t rule him out for getting snaps in the fall.

“We can use him on offense,” Drevno said. “He’s been primarily with the defense, but there’s times we can use him on offense.”

Spring practice culminates Friday night for the Wolverines at Michigan Stadium beginning at 6 p.m. While coach Jim Harbaugh has said he’s looking forward to seeing the quarterbacks in live action, don’t expect to see much from Michigan on either side of the ball.

The coaches like to keep things under wraps, and part of that includes how Peppers is being used.

Don Brown, Michigan’s first-year defensive coordinator, said Peppers has been working 70 percent of the time at his new SAM linebacker position, and 30 percent on other things on the defensive side.

“He’s doing a lot of things. You won’t see it on display Friday, that’s for sure,” Brown said. “He’s doing enough stuff that keeps his plate full, there’s no question about that.”

Harbaugh said last fall that Peppers, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, quickly adapts to anything the coaches give him, whether it’s on offense, in the return game or on defense. Brown has found that to be true as he introduced Peppers to his hybrid SAM position.

“He’s already picked it up,” Brown said. “He’s playing at a high level there. I’m happy with him. From a coverage standpoint, he’s everything we expected. He picked up the linebacker pieces of it pretty well, as well. Making good progress, but like everybody else he needs more time, more reps.”

Brown, who last coached at Boston College, where he led the Eagles to the nation’s top-rated defense, said the last three players he coached at that position are in the NFL.

“You expect a lot at that spot,” Brown said. “We’re going to get what we expect (from Peppers), there’s no question.” @chengelis