Chiefs' mercurial Peters stars again
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marcus Peters went from being banished from Arrowhead Stadium for a series of embarrassing antics to breaking down the postgame huddle after an exemplary performance in a key game.
Perfectly encapsulates the up-and-down nature of the mercurial Kansas City Chiefs cornerback.
"I thought he played well," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who suspended Peters after the third-year pro tossed an official's flag into the stands during a loss to the New York Jets.
"Everybody sees it from last week to this week, but we've been together the whole week.
"He's a good player, so every week to him — every snap's the last snap," Reid said. "He's always aggressive in his play, so that was not different that way. I don't think he was trying to prove anything. He doesn't have to. He's a Pro Bowl corner."
Well, a Pro Bowl alternate this season. Peters learned that news Tuesday night, not long after he was rewarded with the AFC defensive player of the week award for picking off two passes and causing a fumble in a 30-13 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers that nearly locked up the AFC West.
The Chiefs can finish the job with a win over the Dolphins on Sunday.
"Can't say enough about him," Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said of his teammate. "Some of the things the media may say about him, we don't buy into. We know the type of guy he is and we love him. He's our guy. He's our brother."
To be sure, there are times when Peters seems to have things figured out.
He is great with kids, for example, taking the time to sign autographs and or pose for a photo with any youngster that approaches him. He helps out with the youth at his old neighborhood in Oakland, and has started to get involved in the Kansas City community, handing out turkeys at Thanksgiving.
But there are also times when his immaturity shines, when his temper boils over in spectacular fashion. That was the case at the Meadowlands, where Peters thought he was ejected for his flag-throw and trotted off to the locker room, only to learn that wasn't the case and running back to the field.
Without wearing socks, by the way, adding to the humiliation.
Reid has never hid his affinity for Peters, though, not even when he handed down a suspension for a crucial showdown against the Oakland Raiders. And when the Chiefs won that game to set up another crucial game against the Chargers, the coach stuck to his decision to welcome Peters back with open arms.
"He seemed a lot more focused and locked in," Chiefs defensive lineman Allen Bailey said. "He looked like he was geared in for the run, made a couple plays. He looked good."
At times, he even looked great.
His first interception of Philip Rivers appeared on the surface to be simple: Camp out under a jump ball with nobody around to break things up. But as safety Ron Parker described, there was more at play.
"I was in coverage and my man busted a seven-route and I thought Philip was going to throw to my man. Come to find out, Marcus was hanging on my route too," he said.
"He was hanging on my route and played his route at the same time. He did a great job. The kid is smart, he knows the game. I sat and watched the ball go in the air and I just knew that Marcus was going to be there."
Peters refused to talk after Saturday's win over the Chargers, and he was not available when the locker room was open to reporters Wednesday. But the way Parker describes his interception is an example of how the public perception of Peters differs from the viewpoint held by his teammates.
"He's very passionate," recently signed Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis said. "He has a chip on his shoulder and that's how he plays. For him to make big plays for us, that's great."