Marcus Peters experienced a number of ups and downs in his first season with Los Angeles.
He’s admitted as much — both during the year and since its conclusion with Super Bowl LIII. And at every turn, head coach Sean McVay has been complimentary of how Peters has taken accountability and turned adversity into a positive response.
That’s part of why McVay told reporters at this year’s annual league meeting that the Rams would “absolutely” like to sign Peters to a long-term deal.
“We are excited about building into year two, and we’ve been really pleased with Marcus — especially pleased with what you can find out with all the experiences that we went through in one year,” McVay told assembled reporters at the coaches breakfast. “The talent is there, love the person, and he is passionate about the game. That was the one thing that — we talked about it a lot last year — but when you got guys that love football and that are good people, at the end of the day you can work with that. The passion and the different things — you love that — and I’ve loved working with Marcus so far.”
At this point, both of Los Angeles’ starting outside cornerbacks — Peters and Aqib Talib — are entering the final year of their contracts. With Talib, that’s a six-year deal he signed with the Broncos back in 2014. For Peters, that’s the fifth-year option that came from him being a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
When the Rams traded for Peters last offseason, they received a players who had a strong ability to create takeaways — Peters had picked off 19 regular-season passes and forced five more regular-season fumbles in three years with Kansas City.
But once the regular season started, Peters — again, self-admittedly — made plays that were uncharacteristic for an individual of his talent level.
“What I think was unique about getting a chance, in the first year to see Marcus go through a lot of things in one year, where some of the things early on, we know what a great player he’s been throughout the course of his career in Kansas City and there were things that — he made plays that weren’t really indicative of what we feel like he is,” McVay said. “And what I love the most about Marcus is that he took accountability for it, and I think that says a lot about him. Where he wasn’t shying away from the fact that, ‘I got to be better, I got to be more disciplined.’
“And then I think his ability to take the accountability, but then also respond, get it corrected with Aubrey and “E” doing an excellent job of correcting and addressing some of those issues, I thought he played excellent,” McVay added, referring to cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant and safeties coach Ejiro Evero.
As the season continued, McVay said, Peters got even better.
“I thought his best game was arguably the Super Bowl, and really I don’t know where that cutoff was, but really the last half of the season, he played really good football,” McVay said. “I think he is such an instinctual tough football player, he’s got a charisma and a presence and a swagger about himself. But I think the thing I was most pleased by Marcus was you find out a lot about people when they go through some tough times, some adversity and the way that he responded from some of those things early on in the year is what you love about him.
"And, hopefully, we get the chance to work with him for a while.”