Via the Kansas City Chiefs, here's a transcript of the conference call former Huskies cornerback Marcus Peters did with Chiefs reporters on Thursday after being drafted No. 18 overall.
Q: Were you surprised?
PETERS: “I was really surprised but at the same time, after meeting with the organization and having some good sit‐downs, it’s a blessing to be a part of this great organization. Their building, they have a wonderful system there and I’m just blessed to be a part of the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q: Did you first meet with them at the Combine?
PETERS: “Yeah, I met with them at the Combine. Then I came up for my visit. I just had one of those great feelings when they called. It felt like home walking into that building.”
Q: Then they visited you this past week?
Q: Obviously at that point you knew they were really interested in you.
PETERS: “Yes, sir.”
Q: What was the number one thing they wanted to find out about you?
PETERS: “Just wanted to get to know me more. Because with me, I had a coaching change up there at U‐Dub (University of Washington) that caused me to act out of character. I didn’t handle the coaching change very well and I take sole responsibility on that because it was on me to make that situation better for me and my teammates. So I owned up to everything like I did to every team and just told them that, ‘if you take me, I am going to give you my all.’ I am here to learn, I am here to take criticism from Coach Andy Reid, criticism from Coach Al (Harris). And I am just here to get better.”
Q: Can you go into detail about why you were dismissed from the team?
PETERS: “All I can talk about is that there was a misunderstanding that year at the University of Washington. I went through it, I went through this process, I’ve been enjoying this now and I will continue to enjoy it because now I get to go to the NFL and I am blessed to be able to be a part of the Kansas City Chiefs and to start a new chapter in my life. And I am going to leave it at that because I am not going to keep harping on something because U‐Dub was good to me and I am blessed to be a part of the University of Washington. It gave me a chance to branch out from Oakland and that’s dear to me. But other than that, that’s just what it’s going to be. There are no hard feelings. I give Coach (Chris) Petersen and the rest of his staff all of the praise in the world.”
Q: How are you going to handle a situation like that next time?
PETERS: “I lived and I learned from it. I’ve been through it once, so I didn’t want it taken away from me again. And if you have that taken away from you, you’ve got to have some changes made.”
Q: Can you talk about why football is so important to you?
PETERS: “I’m sitting here on my grandmother’s stairs and I’m looking right at my high school football field and I’ve been looking at my high school football field since I was a baby. My first steps were on a football field and it’s been dear to my heart ever since then. And for me to be able to grow up in this family like I have with the people that I have and football is so much of a building block for me in the foundation stages for me. It’s huge and to have that taken away from me at a critical time with me having a son and those things, it was just crushing. I’ve made those sacrifices and I stood on my tip‐toes and bounced back.”
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from your discussions with coaches Al Harris and Emmitt Thomas?
PETERS: “They’re here to help me grow. And me just watching football and understanding Coach Reid and to be able to sit down and be coached by one of the greats that I watched play ball, Al Harris, that’s going to be crazy because I saw him play when I was growing up and to have him as one of my coaches and embrace him as a mentor, it’s going to be crazy and it’s going to be fun at the same time because he’s going to help me grow into a player that I need to be and I’m trying to go win us some Super Bowls.”
Q: Do you think that aspect of coaching was missing for you in Washington, a mentor like Al Harris?
PETERS: “I wouldn’t say that because I went through four position coaching changes at U‐Dub and I had all of those things. It was just me being immature at the time with the (head) coaching change. I was used to one thing and it was different for me and I reacted to a situation a lot different and now, I know how to deal with those things. I grew and I grew as a man and as a football player and I know it’s not about just me. My actions bounce back on the team and the organization.”
Q: Who do you model your game after?
PETERS: “No, I model my game after myself. I’m here to make my mark on the NFL as Marcus Peters, not as Marcus Peters who models his game as such‐and‐such. I watch football and I take some things, every little bit of parts from everyone that I like in the games, but that’s just me building as a whole throughout the game.”
Q: How would you describe your style of play?
PETERS: “Aggressive. With me being aggressive, that just establishes dominance and me going into the league is going to cause me to calm it down and to tame it to a minimum. But other than that, that’s where Coach Al and Coach Reid come into effect. They help me grow as a player to get to the level of play that I can be at, and play at that on a consistent basis.”
Q: One of your best strengths is your competitiveness. How are you going to keep playing with that edge but make sure that you don’t cross that line?
PETERS: “That’s embedded in me. That’s been embedded in me since I was a youth and that’s just how I was raised to play this game. You’re out there playing against another man who is basically now trying to take your place and try and make your team lose a game and I’m not having that. I am going to do whatever it takes to protect my island and protect my team, first and foremost.”
Q: How much press man did you play at Washington?
PETERS: “I played a lot of it. And for me, that is where I excel at. But I can do it all and that’s when I get into the league and get with Coach Reid and the Chiefs organization, it’s going to show.”
Q: Have you always played corner?
PETERS: “I played receiver in high school.”
Q: Do you feel like you can accept hard coaching?
PETERS: “You handle it as if you have somebody who truly cares about you and who is trying to see you grow as a person on the field and as a man off the field, because now I am a father and I am dealing with grown men who have families at home, who have to come and take the sacrifice of being away from their families so many hours out of the week, and we grow that family bond together. And now it’s not personal. We are all here for one goal and that is to win.”
Q: How old is your child?
PETERS: “My son is six months.”
Q: What is his name?
PETERS: “His name is Carson.”
Q: Was there ever a time after the dismissal that you worried that you wouldn’t be a first‐round pick anymore?
PETERS: “To me, it’s never about the round. It’s always about the opportunity. For me, my whole mindset going into the draft was that whoever landed me, they would give me an opportunity to showcase that my character is not what I put on display in my last year at the University of Washington.”
Q: What is your relationship with Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch?
PETERS: “That’s my cousin.”
Q: Literally or figuratively?
PETERS: “That’s my cousin.”
Q: What does he tell you about the NFL?
PETERS: “It’s an amazing opportunity and you embrace it and that’s all I can give you.”