Say what you want about drafting a young man with question marks. If you have talent, and Marcus Peters has plenty of it, sometimes you have to go with a hunch. When Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid, made the choice to draft Peters, he knew all about his talent.
With Reid convinced, he could channel that inner drive; Peters came to the Chiefs filling one of the teams biggest areas of need. As a hard driving, in your face cornerback, Peters brings a physical reputation that no other cornerback possess in camp.
In addressing the media on Thursday, Peters was as moved as anyone about the appearance of All Pro Safety, Eric Berry on Wednesday. He was quick to use the words ‘Leadership’ and ‘Courage’ when referring to his inspirational teammate.
"Just for him to come back and fight from what he was going through, for him to come back like nothing has changed. He’s been out here, he’s been an excellent guy in the room for us to learn from," Peters said about Berry.
The Berry story is one for the ages, but the impact on the Chiefs younger players, can’t be overlooked. Add that with the fact the Chiefs will be counting on some diaper dandies to step up in the secondary, makes the remarkable recovery by Berry that more impactful for the Chiefs.
It’s really hard to not talk about anything else at this stage of camp but Berry. Yet, the way this team has bonded around their hero certainly has made an impression on Peters.
What struck the harmony string with me was the fact Peters already understands the big picture.
“We have big goal amongst this team and that’s to win a Super Bowl,” Peters told the media on Thursday.
With the absence, possibly long term, of cornerback Sean Smith, Peters stands to benefit most with in earning a shot with KC’s first team defense. Though he is a rookie, and counting on them is generally a mistake, Peters has a fire that could ignite KC’s secondary.
In talking to people that scouted Peters last year, most felt his intensity level took over. During the game he’d get so fired, and into the mission to attack cornerbacks, his uncontrolled emotions shadowed his talents on the field.
Under the tutelage of Hall of Fame Cornerback’s Coach, Emmitt Thomas, and the inspiration of Berry to boot, the hope remains that Peters could become an elite NFL player for the Chiefs defense.
That is of course, if takes the lessons of his elders and applies them on the football field.
From all accounts, Peters has shown enough maturity since arriving in Kansas City to believe that’s the case. To his credit, he’s blended humility about his past, and appreciates the faith, the Chiefs put into him in taking him in the first round last spring.
It’s far too early too determine if Peters has that star quality or not. However, if he remains focused, and understands the ‘Super Bowl’ is the Holy Grail, I’d say he’s already ahead of the other first round picks that he’ll be compared to for years to come.
Photos: Marcus Peters (Ed Szczepanski USA Today Sports)