Marcus Peters is happy to be a Ram.
The cornerback knows all about the team — how the season turned out in 2017, winning the first division title since 2003. And as a fan of the the sport, he took notice of how much fun it seemed like Rams players were having along the way.
But as excited as Peters is to join what he sees as an ascending club with strong talent across the board, there's a significant added benefit to playing in Los Angeles.
Peters is from Oakland. His whole family is still there — parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles. And for the young corner, there's nothing more important.
"Family is everything. Family comes first with me," Peters said in an interview with therams.com on Wednesday. "So with me dealing with the business side of whatever I deal with, that's what I go back to. Family's going to be the people I go sit at the house with and we're really going to deal with real-life situations. When I play this game, it's just to be playing this game. I have my family within the team in the locker room, with coaches, with staff. But once it's time to go home, we've all got to go to our separate own families."
Check out photos of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib being introduced as Los Angeles Rams
Peters played the first three years of his NFL career in Kansas City, which was tougher for his family to get to. He did play one game a year in Oakland, since the Raiders and Chiefs are division rivals. But being a short plane ride away from those he loves and cares about has a number of benefits — starting with his family getting to see him play a lot more.
"It's a 50-minute flight for my family to get here, if I ever feel like I need somebody to be here," Peters said. "It's easy."
But that goes both ways, particularly in the offseason. Peters noted that there is a feeling of rejuvenation whenever he gets to go home and spend time with loved ones.
"That's where it starts at — that's where you're based at. That's where everything's at," Peters said. "That's where you know everybody's got genuine love for you. We've all got the same goal. We're trying to see this family get better and sustain it."
And there's also a sense of comfort Peters feels when he's home, surrounded by family. It's a place where he can truly feel like himself — the person he's always been. Not necessarily the All-Pro cornerback who's recorded 21 interceptions since 2015 — by far the most in the league.
"There's some people out here who really don't feel like they can go home, because they don't feel comfortable being home," Peters said. "But I feel comfortable, because when I'm home, I'm not the Marcus Peters who plays football, you feel me? I'm the same Marcus who's been running the streets since he was a little kid."
Among many other reasons, the ability to feel that more often is why Peters is glad to be back on the West Coast.
"I mean, when you get to be closer to home and you've got a young coach who's willing to [say,] 'Hey, I'm in this game and I'm young, too, and I'm going to grow, and I'm going to have some ups and downs. I want you to be here and we're all going to go through it together' — why not? Why not say, c'mon, let's go to LA?"
Why not, indeed.