Marcus Peters is from Oakland, California. He came into the league in 2015 as a surprise first-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. I say surprise because he was suspended in 2014 by the Washington Huskies for a sideline temper tantrum–doesn’t that sound familiar–and then later dismissed from the football program for disciplinary issues.
Prior to picking him with the 18th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, then general manager John Dorsey said he didn’t believe the pick was “risky” at all.
“No. Once you meet the kid, once you see where he’s from. We go through a research process in terms of trying to find that out about players. If the truth be told, the kid came here. We met him at the combine. He sat with all the position coaches at the combine. I had the chance to have a side bar with him at the combine. We brought him here to the building for a day. And then, just this past week, Monday and Tuesday I believe it was, we sent Chris Ballard out to Oakland. He had a chance to sit down with the kid, his parents. We did very extensive research in regards to this person and we talked to his coaches, his former coaches. Listen, you know what the kid is: competitive. He’s a very competitive kid. He’s not a malicious kid whatsoever.”
For the most part, I think most will agree with Dorsey’s initial assessment here. He’s not malicious, but he plays with more emotion than he sometimes knows how to handle. His mouth gets him in trouble with officials, and while he can sometimes be a magician with his ability to jump routes and pick off the pass — he has 18 since he entered the league, which leads all defensive backs in that statistic for that time period — he is not a “lock down” cornerback by any stretch of the imagination.
If you watch how Peters plays, he seems incapable of playing press coverage, oftentimes lining up 15-yards off of the receiver he is defending. This can cause him to get beat by inside routes more times than not. In addition to that, Peters is a terrible tackler. He doesn’t wrap up when he makes a hit, rather he just extends his arms, trying to push the offensive player to the ground. When he’s not doing that, he’s purely trying to go after the ball, in an attempt to rip it from the receivers hands. This ploy has only worked one time in the two full seasons Peters has been on the team.
However, these flaws can all be coached away. Coaches can teach players how to wrap up on a tackle instead of pushing the player to the ground. Coaches can teach how to play press coverage, and how to not allow a catch on the slant or short routes. What coaches can’t teach is attitude. They can’t teach respect.
Take this latest issue with Peters for example. After hitting Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr — which was a good thing, and should not have been penalized — Peters third-cousin, twice removed, Marshawn Lynch ran onto the field, presumably to protect Peters from getting beat up by the Raiders’ offensive line. Once Lynch was ejected from the game, and the Chiefs ultimately dropped one to their division rivals — because of the secondary which is supposed to be led by Peters, I might add — Peters reportedly rode the Oakland public transit system with Lynch after the game. This included a rousing chant of “F#(k the Chiefs” by the passengers on the train, led by Lynch, with Peters right there.
Then, on the Sunday Fox NFL Pre-Game Show, Jay Glazer reported Peters would be testifying on Lynch’s behalf during his appeal hearing on Monday. A joke was even made asking what the Chiefs’ coaches thought about their corner back helping keep a division rival’s starting running back on the field.
It is clear to most people that Peters desires to be in the Silver and Black of the Oakland — soon-to-be Las Vegas — Raiders. And I say let him go. Yes, the Chiefs would have to play him twice a year, but they also have the blueprint on how to beat him. Throw slants to the receivers on his side of the field, and they’ll be wide open. All game.
I’m done defending this guy. Until he starts playing football commensurate with his draft position and pedigree and stops acting like the Oakland Raider it seems he so desperately wants to be, I am firmly in the position that the Chiefs should look to draft or sign his replacement in the offseason.
I’m curious to hear what you guys think. Should the Chiefs hang on to Peters or should they let him leave and head to the other, darker, dingier, more crime-ridden city by the bay? Sound off in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!
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