Former Michigan star defensive back/linebacker Jabrill Peppers says he wasn’t a fan of the way suspended Maryland head coach, and former Wolverine defensive coordinator, D.J. Durkin coached during their time together in Ann Arbor.
Durkin, who left Michigan after one year as its defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh in 2015, is currently on paid administrative leave at Maryland as the school investigates allegations into what’s been reported as a toxic environment inside his new program.
The allegations claim Durkin runs a program through bullying and intimidation. An ESPN report came out detailing these claims after offensive lineman Jordan McNair died two weeks after collapsing during a conditioning workout.
Peppers, speaking with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, described Durkin’s coaching style as “bully coaching.”
“Just the way 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,” said Peppers, now in his second year with the Cleveland Browns. “The way I would describe it, king of like bully coaching, you know what I mean? I don’t think he meant anything by it, but it was just kind of how it comes off.”
On Monday, Harbaugh was asked if he’s spoken with Durkin at all after the coach went on paid leave. The two worked together at Michigan and at Stanford, as Durkin served as an assistant for Harbaugh from 2007-09.
Harbaugh said he hasn’t spoken with Durkin, saying “he has not reached out.”
He was further asked if any of Durkin’s coaching tactics gave him cause for concern during their time together: “I can’t speak for any other head coach or any other program other than my own,” Harbaugh added.
As for Peppers, while he maintains he wasn’t a fan of Durkin’s style, he did say he’s shocked to read some of the allegations that have been reported.