Marcus Peters 'next level' football IQ, 'edge' felt across Raiders defense

It’s a funny thing that happens when you add a proven elite talent to you team — that team gets better.

I know, crazy, right?

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The thing about it, though, is many times it isn’t just about the talent improving is it’s not just that position that improves. Some players improve the overall team just by others feeding off their presence.

A few weeks ago, the Raiders defense had just one player who you could say lifted up the talent around him. That player, of course, is Maxx Crosby. Come the start of camp, he would get some assistance in that endeavor from one Marcus Peters.

“The biggest thing is Marcus Peters, he’s a man. He’s a confident man,” said Raiders DB coach/passing game coordinator Jason Simmons. “Whatever setting it is – DB room, if he walks in here right now, you’ll feel that edge, you’ll feel that confidence that he brings.”

The “in here” Simmons was talking about was the media room. Well, as it happens, Peters walked into that room a few days ago for a press conference. And that easy West Oakland confidence was dripping off of him.

It certainly helped that as he took to the podium, the Raiders defense was coming off two days in which they combined for seven interceptions, six of which came against Jimmy Garoppolo. And one of them was by Peters himself.

“I want to get the ball, and when the ball is in the air, you’ve got to have a will and want to go get it,” Peters said. “And I want to go get it more than everybody else. You’ve got to just make sure that infects the whole locker room and we all just do it as one unit, you feel me, and it’s going to pay off for us.”

Five other members of the Raiders secondary had picks in those two days including Tre’von Moehrig, Amik Robertson, Isaiah Pola-Mao, and rookie Jakorian Bennett.

Prior to Peters’s arrival, the best defensive back on the Raiders was Nate Hobbs. The third year cornerback is in awe of his new All Pro teammate and how he goes about his business.

“Man, MP [Marcus Peters], I just think his football IQ is on another level,” said Hobbs. “His instincts, his feet, body position. A guy like that, he just brings a whole new energy to our defense and there’s nothing like having a vet back there who can just see everything, it’s crazy to me.

“It’s like his mind work on another level with that stuff and he trusts his instincts and he sees it before the quarterback is even going to throw and it’s crazy. . . Some of the stuff he does is superhuman at the cornerback position.”

Hobbs talked about picking Peters’s brain and soaking up as he can from the veteran. So too has rookie Jakorian Bennett, who Peters has said is always asking him questions and even sits next to him in meetings.

Peters has said he is an ‘open book’ for the young cornerbacks and that he embraces his status as a mentor. But it’s more than that. Answering questions is only part of it. It’s the stuff you can’t teach that mean just as much. The things they just have to see and emulate.

“One thing you see with a guy like Marcus, he just stays even keeled,” said Simmons. “He makes a play or he gets beat, he moves on to the next play. That’s kind of been the biggest thing for those young guys to see.”

One thing Peters says a lot when he speaks is “You feel me?” Yeah, I’d say the Raiders are feeling him. And they are all the better for it.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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