Press Conference: Andy Reid on First Round Pick Marcus Peters

Andy Reid addresses the media about the Chiefs first round pick, DB Marcus Peters

"Alright, with the 18th pick, we selected Marcus Peters, cornerback from the University of Washington. We're excited about adding him into an already explosive defense at a very important position – that cornerback position. Not only is it an important position from a defensive standpoint, but we also don't have a lot of numbers there. So you take that also into consideration. We had an opportunity to go out recently here and visit with Marcus' family, (so) we feel comfortable bringing Marcus in here. Marcus had obviously a situation at the University of Washington this past year. Chris Petersen, who I'm close with is the head football coach at the University of Washington, I had an opportunity to talk to him likewise. He had a situation there where he was suspended from the football team; we all make mistakes at times in our life, Marcus realizes that. We feel comfortable that he realizes that. It was an emotional situation, and he didn't handle it the right way. I think he's learned from it, just from our experience with him, we feel like, as a group, that he learned from that situation and will move on. Again, he comes from a football family; his father was his high school football coach and is a disciplinarian. Dad, mom and grandma and everybody admitted – along with Marcus – that he probably didn't handle the situation up there the right way. We look forward to bringing him in to a very strong locker room here and with great coaches to support him. Again, I think you'll see in his playmaking ability; I will be very honest, I feel like he was the best corner along with (John Dorsey), we thought he was the best corner in this draft. Time's yours."

Q: When you hear about somebody getting kicked off a team in the middle of a year, how much deeper do you have to dig to get information on him?

REID:"Literally, (Director of Player Personnel) Chris Ballard went out and spent a day with him just a few days back here. And that was beside the time when we brought him in here and spent time with him, the time we spent with him at the Combine. He was up front with us, he said 'I goofed,' and that's half the battle. If you know the issue and you know – I think the one thing you're going to see is this guy is competitive – you kind of let your competitive juices get carried away. Then you learn to handle that, that's the maturing process that takes place with young guys. We felt like when we were done with all of the talking and meetings that he had that under control. Obviously we felt good enough about it to pick him."

Q: How do you work with Marcus Peters to keep his competitive nature on track?

REID:"What you do is you shoot him straight, I think that's an important thing that you're honest with this kid. I think that's where he's the best. His dad was a coach; his dad was a tough coach. And he appreciates the honesty of shooting him straight. I don't want to get rid of any of that competitiveness, I don't want to back him off from bump-and-run, I love the way he plays it. He's going to get up and challenge you. Is there going to be a penalty for that? Yeah, there's going to be a penalty. He's going to get up and he's going to bring it to you, he's a physical player, a tremendous tackler. He's a heck of a player. He has to keep his emotions intact, and I think he'll do that. He's not a problem off the field, that's not what he is. He's not a problem in your locker room, that's not what he is. He's smart; it's just those competitive juices, you have to know how to control those."

Q: Do you see him being ready to play right away?

REID: "I think so, yeah. I haven't coached him, but on tape, I think he can get in there and get you some snaps. I feel pretty comfortable with that."

Q: How much did Emmitt Thomas and Al Harris have in this selection and how much are they looking forward to coaching Marcus Peters?

REID:"Al spent quite a bit of time with him, as did Emmitt when he was here and at the Combine. I think he and Al are wired similarly. I had Al when he was young, and Al wanted to get up and get after you and get after you and get after you. He was relentless with that. I think he really respects Al is what I think. And Emmitt – how can you not respect Emmitt? Emmitt has a way about him with players, it's pretty amazing."

Q: After the pick was made, it was said that the University of Washington's staff's reviews of Marcus Peters weren't great, how do you deal with that?

REID: "We did our homework. I mentioned I'm close with Chris. He does a phenomenal job and I have a ton of respect for him and he's a straight shooter. I also know (former Washington head coach Steve) Sarkisian and I have a lot of respect for him, so we talked to them. Most of all, we tried to spend as much time with the kid as we could telling him about how we roll, expectations and then how he rolls. Through that evaluation process, we came to a point where we felt comfortable picking him."

Q: When guys calm down from the heat of the battle, they regret doing things that lead to things like Marcus' suspension. But then when they get back in the heat of battle, those emotions come back. Do you have a plan to deal with that?

REID:"Absolutely, I think you're accurate with that, that's a true statement. You hope that, with the things he's gone through, that's pretty dramatic there. He came back for that year and I think you would say he would probably have been a top-10 draft pick had that not occurred. I would tell you that from what we've evaluated, he's learned. We've talked to him about it, if it does occur, he's going to be reminded of that. How he handles that is important. We'll have to see how all that goes. I don't want him to not be competitive. That's not what I want, I don't want to take that edge off him, I just want him to be able to handle it the right way, so it doesn't cost the team if it occurs with a penalty. And that he handles it right with the coaches. We came out of the evaluations thinking we would be okay there."

Q: Is he going to have an issue with OTA's like De'Anthony Thomas did last year?

REID: "I'll look at that. But I don't believe so. I don't have that information for you right now."

Q: Does he remind you of anybody?

REID: "I don't know. I'm not big on comparing guys because they're all individuals. I don't think it's fair to the players to do that. I would tell you, he's a physical player. When he's leaning on you, it's heavy on bump-and-run. There's a strength there. I'd tell you that he has tremendous ball skills; a lot of corners in bump-and-run can't find the ball like he finds it. He's smart, he knows how to play the game, he was raised around it. He kind of gets that part. He has some instincts and he has intelligence mixed in there. You can formulate who you think he's like when he gets here."

Q: How much of a factor was Sean Smith's suspension? Also, he is in the last year of his contract, you already have depth issues there.

REID:"I wouldn't tell you that, I wouldn't say it was Sean Smith at all. I think Sean, actually, once he gets through all this, I think Sean will be good for him. Sean has come in and turn things over, works hard. I think Sean will be somebody that this kid can look up to."

Q: From your research do you think he might have a problem with hard coaching? Does your staff have a plan for that?

REID: "I think he's handled hard coaching his whole life. I think his dad is a straight shooter, his dad is no-nonsense. He made no excuses for him with what took place at Washington. He was very honest with his son that he should have handled it in a different way. I think it's important, like we do with any player, you coach him and you coach him what's real, don't fabricate. And as a staff, that's what we do."

Q: How much tape did you watch of him? Was there one game in particular that swayed you on him?

REID:"You have a couple years of it that you can watch and we watched all of it. Dorsey locked me into that room, so I saw it all. I don't know if there was one game. He had 11 picks or something (in his career), so you just pick one – no pun intended – but you pick a game and you can get a good idea of how he plays."

Q: Do you recall his game against Arizona State? What did you think of that game?

REID:"I watched Arizona State. He probably needed to handle things a little different, but they (he and Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong) challenged each other. Again, you have to be careful with your emotions, but those are two really good players playing against each other – it was kind of fun to watch. You have to make sure you don't get any penalties there."

Q: You guys tend to like bigger corners, how does he qualify, can he match up with those bigger guys?

REID:"Yeah, I think he's pretty good with that. I think he handles that well. The Strong kid is a pretty decent-sized kid and he gave him everything."

Q: How often can you get a guy with some baggage and keep him on the straight-and-narrow?

REID:"I've had a little bit of success with that. DeSean Jackson fell in the draft and turned out to be pretty good. Over my time, I've had a few of those. But everybody is different; everybody has their own little thing. This isn't a malicious kid by any means at all, he's highly competitive. We think we have it narrowed down to highly competitive and he just needs to learn to control that. That's what it is and if you look at my track record and Dorsey's track record, we normally aren't going to bring somebody in that's a bad person. We normally see it being okay through the studying of the player and the person. That's how we felt with this; we thought he could control it."

Q: In your time here you've had a lot of guys who were suspended in college, Sanders Commings, Travis Kelce, Phillip Gaines, is that a trend? Is that a coincidence, is it a willingness of you guys to take a chance on somebody?

REID:"Everyone is a different situation. You have to see where the player is at. As much time as you can possibly spend with these guys, that's what you want to do. And then come out and let your instincts take over in the experiences you have, how you feel about that player."

Q: What is your version of events? What happened that led to him getting kicked off the team?

REID:"He obviously had an issue with the coach. That wasn't right, there was a confrontation, not a physical confrontation which was written about – that's not true. That's what took place. It was a new staff – relatively new staff – so they weren't going to tolerate that. They made a decision there, what they felt was best for their team at that time. And I respect that. Again, we feel comfortable that he'll be a positive addition to the Chiefs organization and represent himself the right way and the Chiefs organization the right way."

Q: Were the Chiefs pretty much locked in on Peters or were there other positions in play? REID:"Well when you're picking at 18 you have a group of players that you are willing to take and then you just trust your board from there. You have a kid who you have done as much research on as this, obviously we had put the hours in before the draft. We came out saying that we would take him if the board told us, by rank, that he was the best player. We got to that point, we felt like he was the best player on the board at that time and that's what we did."

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