Eric Berry and Marcus Peters Have Unique Response to Pro Bowl Honors

Berry and Peters spoke with the media on Wednesday about their Pro Bowl nominations

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It was the fourth Pro Bowl honor of safety Eric Berry's career and the first for rookie first-round pick Marcus Peters.

Amazingly enough and through uniquely different challenges, both players believed that they'd be in this position today dating back to training camp.

Berry, just 378 days removed from his first round of chemotherapy treatments, still believed, even through the most difficult of days that he'd be in this position.

Peters was a rookie coming into a situation with a defense that ranked No. 2 in scoring the season before. There was a learning curve that would await him as a young player coming into the NFL.

On Wednesday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he wasn't surprised Berry earned this honor with everything he's been through.

"The reason you imagine it is because he was telling you he's going to," Reid recalled of Berry's mindset through his treatments. "He was so driven that way that you kind of had a feeling that he was going to get here, as crazy as that sounds.

"When you look back on it, and now that it's real, what a great story. True toughness and grit to be able to do that."

Berry has 58 tackles, 8 passes defensed and 2 interceptions for a Chiefs defense that through the past 8 games has surrendered an average of just 12.25 points per game, which leads the NFL.

"It's one of those checkpoints," Berry said of the honor. "You know I'm excited about it, but right now, I'm just focused on something different."

Berry is focused on the last two regular season games for the Chiefs, along with the hope that if business is taken care of over that time, more team success will follow.

He's not caught up in individual accomplishments. That's never been what he's about and it's painfully obvious when he's asked questions about himself that he'd rather talk about the group.

One of the members of that group that Berry didn't have a problem talking about was Peters, who told him back at training camp what he was going to do for this defense.

The best shots of Chiefs rookie cornerback Marcus Peters so far

"One day he was just telling me everything he was going to do for the team and how he was going to come out and perform," Berry recalled of Peters. "I believed every word of it because he has a lot of passion and you can see it in his eyes when he talks about football."

That passion is noticeable to anyone who watches Peters during a game. He is as animated of a player as you'll ever find on a football field.

"That's his character; that's who he is," Berry said. "That's not a façade. That's not a front. That's just the type of person he is. When you come in like that and you definitely back it up – his confidence is not cocky, it's not cocky at all.

"He believes in his skills, he believes in the work that he puts in and he just goes out and performs."

Peters ranks in the top three in the NFL in interceptions (second), interception return yards (first) and passes defensed (second). He's also just 3 passes defensed shy of breaking the single-season franchise record that was set by Brandon Carr (25) back in 2010.

While neither player seemed anything more than simply appreciative of the honor of making the Pro Bowl, the bigger picture of what it took for each of them to achieve this honor isn't lost upon them.

"I think it'll be pretty high," Berry said of where this moment will rank among the others over the past year of his life. "The thing that will probably stand out more to me is just the process of getting to this point. I feel like that was a big deal and I had a lot of people to help me get to that.

"That'll definitely be up there."

For Peters, the game and passion he plays with has always been about being himself and earning respect through his play, which after making the Pro Bowl in his first NFL season, would lend itself to him thinking he's on that path.

But when asked if he feels like that's the case, he said it's about sustained success, not one good season.    "It won't be done until I'm done playing this game."

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