Asked if he looked up to Ed Reed as a youngster, Marcus Peters’ eyes lit up like they do when a football heads in his direction.
“Hell yeah,” Peters said. “Just playing the position, knowing what he did for this organization. I’m just grateful to be in the same locker room he was.”
Acquired in a Tuesday trade with the Los Angeles Rams, Peters brings his dynamic playmaking skills to Baltimore and is looking forward to his Ravens debut Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Reed was an uncanny playmaker as a Hall of Fame safety for the Ravens, and Peters shares that innate instinct for creating turnovers. Peters has more interceptions (24) than any NFL player since he entered the league in 2015, and he joins the Ravens with the swag one would expect from a two-time Pro Bowler.
Peters will take the field Sunday just five days after being traded to the Ravens. But he won’t look to make excuses. He’s looking to make plays.
“I’m going to be Marcus Peters, 24-7,” Peters said. “He’s not going anywhere until I’m gone. That’s how my mom and my dad raised me to be. I stand tall, and I get ahead of my business. [It] can’t faze me.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh has no plans to ease Peters into the lineup Sunday. After Friday’s practice, Harbaugh said he was confident Peters was learning Baltimore’s defense quickly and would be able to play aggressively against the Seahawks (5-1), led by their MVP candidate at quarterback Russell Wilson.
“He looked good, he’s ready to go,” Harbaugh said. “As I said, he’s going to play. He’ll probably play a lot. I think the coaches have done a really good job getting him up to speed, and he’s done a really good job of studying. We’re going out there with all of our best weapons. We’re not holding anything back.”
Peters had a three-hour cram session with coaches late Wednesday night after first arriving in Baltimore. He is also familiar with the Seahawks, having faced them twice last year and once already this season, just a couple weeks ago, while playing with the Rams.
That will help Peters, but so will his talent. The Ravens feel fortunate to acquire a cornerback with his skillset, and Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale had no doubt Peters would pick up the Ravens’ system quickly after arriving in town Wednesday.
“He said he’d let me know by Friday if he’s ready to go with the whole thing, and I said, ‘Just lie to me and tell me that you are, and we’re just going to play you,’” Martindale said.
Others in the secondary like safety Earl Thomas III and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey have answered Peters’ questions, helping him get up to speed. Peters believes he’ll feel just as comfortable playing for the Ravens on Sunday as he did with the Rams last week.
"It does help for me playing Seattle already, because I kind of got the gist of what they want to do,” Peters said. “But I'm a pro, man. Pros, you have to come in, you have to do your job. I've been in a system like this coming from Kansas City. The only thing you really have to work on is just the terms and things like that, but I think I've got it down so that I'll be able to play fast and do my thing. I’m going to be new, and the only thing that I ask is just, ‘Hey, let’s communicate.’ That’s the biggest thing, so we don’t have any busts out there.”
While Seattle’s CenturyLink Field is known for being loud, it should be quiet when the Ravens defense is on the field. Starting on the road could help Peters.
Peters is in the final year of his contract, leaving his long-term status with the Ravens uncertain. He spent his first three years with the Kansas City Chiefs before being traded to Los Angeles. Asked about his future, Peters said he would focus on the present before worrying about next season.
“I’ve been traded twice now,” Peters said. “My biggest thing is just keep doing what I do, and just control what I can control. Who knows what 26-year-old Marcus Peters would be doing in Oakland, California right now? I’m doing something that I love to do. I’m passionate about it. I’m able to take care of my family doing it. I’m just going to keep doing what I need to go.”
Peters said he was surprised be traded, but he also heard positive things about the organization from former Ravens safety Eric Weddle, who was Peters’ teammate with the Rams.
“He loves this organization,” Peters said. “He told me it's going to be a great organization for me to work [for], and to be able to play for this city is going to be amazing. He told me to just go in there, work hard, do what I've been doing, and everything will be perfectly fine."
Peters also believes everything will be fine Sunday. The Ravens had interest in Peters prior to the 2015 draft, and four years later, he is finally in Baltimore. Peters believes it will be a great marriage, and he is eager to show the Ravens what kind of player they’re getting.
“I remember my [pre-draft] visit like it was yesterday,” Peters said. “This is one of the places that liked me a lot. Coach Harbaugh actually called me a few picks right before I got picked, just checking on me to see how I was doing. I’m glad to be here and just ready to keep playing ball.”