On Monday, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith spoke to the media. Instead of being bombarded about his pending three-game suspension, Smith was asked about the other players in his group. It is a very young group with a pair of rookies in first-round pick Marcus Peters and third-round selection Steven Nelson, along with second-year man Phillip Gaines.
Smith had plenty of praise for all of them, including a cool story about Nelson when asked about the aforementioned youngsters, per the team’s press release:
"“They have that dog in them in the sense that when they get beat, they don’t get down on themselves. They come back to the line of scrimmage ready to go for that next rep. I think yesterday, in one-on-ones, Steve got beat on a play, and he took like the next three reps. He skipped me and the guys behind me and said ‘no, I need this work.’ And you appreciate that. That’s a guy who wants to get better and prove to everybody that he was worth being a top-three round pick.”"
This is great to hear. As a corner, you need to have a next-play mindset. Nelson was able to move on from his failure and not only play well, but demand more reps. Nelson was also working alone after practice this weekend according to reports, staying late to work on his backpedal.
Smith also spoke about the star of camp, Mr. Peters.
"“First off, Marcus (is a) tremendous athlete, a guy who’s very smart. We’ll all know he’s gifted and talented – he’s a first round draft pick, that’s what you expect. The way he’s picked up the defense and just the smaller things that myself or the rest of the coaching staff are trying to explain to him about playing cornerback in the National Football League. He’s come along a long ways. He’s picked it up very fast.”"
Peters is getting an insane amount of praise. On Sunday night, Minnesota Vikings rookie cornerback Trae Waynes was getting torched and taking penalties. Since he was taken seven spots ahead of Peters in the first round, experts were talking consistently about how Minnesota will be kicking itself for passing on Peters. Hopefully all of this positive attention will be justified once he puts on the pads for real in September.