Organized team activities are nothing new for cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. But Monday’s OTA session represented a beginning for both of the elite corners — their first practice in a Rams uniform.
“It was a good, good day,” Talib said. “Good communication, a pretty solid day.”
“We had fun today,” Peters said. “To be around the guys and stuff, it was a different atmosphere with me starting OTAs here. It felt really good to be out there.”
And fortunately for the new cornerback duo, head coach Sean McVay said they have been adjusting well to their new environments and are already making a difference.
“It’s fun to see those corners out there, guys you have a lot of respect for,” McVay said Monday. “I think you just see great instincts, great awareness, [and] natural movement. You certainly feel those guys out there. I know they’re excited about just continuing to get more and more familiar with the terminology of the system.”
Talib — who played under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips in Denver — is more familiar with the Rams’ scheme. But Peters, who McVay characterized as “having a great feel for the game,” is also learning quickly.
“I think I learn fast, so it’s just me taking on as much as I can take on,” Peters said. “When I don’t know, I ask questions and keep it going like that, but I think I learn fast.”
Though it is still early in Phase III of the offseason program, Peters has already been taking full advantage of his
resources, “gradually building a relationship” with his new partner on the outside.
“We’re just gradually building a relationship and it’s going to get better and better as we go week to week and day to day,” Peters said of his relationship with Talib. “Why not take what he does and his knowledge of the defense? Our play style is similar so why not listen and learn from him?”
And Talib, as an 11-year NFL veteran, is more than happy to take on the role of mentor.
“He’s learning the defense. I pretty much got a grasp of the defense, but he’s learning the defense,” Talib said. “He sits next to me in meetings, asks questions, and I’m there for him. I’m going to help as much as I can, but he’s a natural athlete [and] a natural playmaker, so he’s going to be OK.”
While Peters and Talib are at different stages in terms of their comfort with the club’s defensive scheme, they both seemed to agree on one thing. Both cornerbacks mentioned just how “crucial” these OTA sessions will be, as they continue to fit into the Rams defense.
“This is the time where you really build that camaraderie on and off the field,” Talib said. “Just to get the feel for [how] everyone plays, see how the safety plays, the safeties can see how we play and vice versa.”
“You can say we got all these big names and we got this person or that person, but if we don’t make it gel, then it ain’t going to do nothing for us,” Peters added. “We’ve got to come in and learn each other. It’s going to be a learning process for us throughout these OTAs, going into minicamp and then going into training camp.”
Check out photos from day two of the Los Angeles Rams OTA.