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Training Camp: Raiders defensive backs should lean on Marcus Peters

Veteran cornerback says he’s an open book and looking to impart knowledge to those who seek it

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Veteran cornerback Marcus Peters says he’s an open book when it comes to his younger Las Vegas Raiders teammates. He’s willing to impart knowledge to those that seek it.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you want something, you’ve got to go and get it. That summarizes Marcus Peters’ mentality on as an NFL cornerback succinctly. However, that mantra isn’t merely relegated to on-field play.

It’s Peters’ guiding principal when it comes to the younger Las Vegas Raiders defensive backs. The 30-year-old, eight-year veteran has a plethora of experience and knowledge to pass down to those that seek it. Seeking council from a cornerback that has 32-career interceptions (six of which were taken to the house) under their belt should be a must-do for any Raiders defensive back.

Especially when said cornerback is willing to impart that know-how to anyone willing to get it.

“I tell everybody, man I’m an open book, and for you to get the information you’ve got to go want to pull it out of the library and you’ve got to want to go read it,” Peters said during his media session at training camp this past Sunday.

Rookie cornerback Jakorian Bennett is surely taking advantage. Reportedly rarely leaving Peters side and seen asking for guidance from the Raiders elder stateman defensive back, the fourth-round pick is doing his best to be an absolute sponge in his initial year in the NFL.

“He just comes over and ask questions, and every question he’s got I don’t got the answer, we’re going to figure it out together,” Peters noted. “And then we get in the meeting room he sits right next to me and he’s still asking questions. And that’s how it goes, that’s how game is passed down most of the time. You don’t got to really say too much, just pay attention and lead by example and pay attention by example and you just start filling in your little information, add everything to his game and then it’s going to be him.”

Gleaning anything they can from Peters is a wise move for Raiders defensive backs and other defenders, alike.

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Las Vegas Raiders rookie cornerback Jakorian Bennett is soaking up as much knowledge from veteran Marcus Peters he can get.
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Known to be an intelligent and instinctual defender that has a knack for the explosive plays the Raiders coaching staff and personnel people seek (i.e. takeaways) but also helping out other teammates by trailing off his primary coverage assignment, Peters has the ability and attitude Las Vegas so desperately needs on defense.

Raiders elite defensive end Maxx Crosby spoke glowingly of Peters “alpha” mentality — one that the pass rusher himself exudes — and adding a defender of similar ilk in the secondary should help the group as a whole.

Peters has no qualms being mentor. He’s now in the position as the oldest player in the group, the “OG” as you will. He too was once a young brash corner hitting the NFL at age 22 after being selected with the 18th overall pick the 2015 NFL Draft out of Washington by the Kansas City Chiefs. Peters spoke glowingly of learning from veteran Chiefs in Eric Berry, Justin Leonard, Keith Smith, Sean Smith, Ron Parker, and many others.

What a debut season it was for the Oakland native as he started and played in all 16 games, intercepted eight passes with two returned for touchdowns to go along with 26 pass deflections, 60 total tackles, and one forced fumble. The performance earned Peters the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and his first of five Pro Bowl nods. Who wouldn’t want to sit under the learning tree Peters can provide?

“You’ve got to be able to pass the game down man, because the game is only going to get younger,” Peters said. “And the OG’s there’s only going to be certain select few who’s going to be able to stick around. To see you pass down some game and then see the youngsters go out there and put it to test, that’s the biggest blessing ever.”

While it remains to be seen how Peters will physically hold up this coming season for Las Vegas — he started and played in 13 games last season for the Baltimore Ravens — this much is clear: There may not be another Raiders cornerback who’ll take more pride in wearing the uniform than the veteran. He’ll be sporting the No. 24, a storied number worn by Raiders greats Willie Brown and Charles Woodson. Also, by Peters’ cousin Marshawn Lynch.

“Oh, it’s a blessing. But that’s my favorite corner from me growing up. I know some people might say Deion (Sanders) but me being able to be in the backyards of C Wood (Charles Woodson) and watching him do what he was doing as a rookie and then keep going on man, and then he used to be out in Oakland streets,” Peters said. And my pops and them just tell us stories about them chilling and hanging out, and that’s big. It’s just a blessing to be able to rock a number that he wore. Yeah, it’s a blessing. I don’t know I got too many words for that but a blessing.”