THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Sean McVay could not assist himself. Marcus Peters was addressing what had turn into the dominant storyline heading into the NFC Championship Recreation, and the Los Angeles Rams’ younger, exuberant head coach tried to play alongside.
“Let me get a few of that soup!” McVay shouted from a hallway that resides roughly 50 toes from the lectern behind which Peters stood Wednesday afternoon, drawing a chuckle from the All-Professional cornerback.
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McVay’s quip apart, Peters and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton each downplayed their rematch and potential “bowl of gumbo” heading into Sunday’s extremely anticipated contest on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Peters chided the media for “attempting to make it one thing that it isn’t” and praised Payton’s competitiveness. Payton famous that the Saints wished to draft Peters with one among their first-round picks lower than 4 years in the past, including that he has “nice respect for him.”
That didn’t seem to be the case in early November. The Saints handed the Rams their first loss in that Week 9 recreation, and the decisive rating occurred when Michael Thomas zipped previous Peters for a 72-yard landing within the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, a part of a 211-yard recreation for the Saints’ All-Professional broad receiver. Afterward, Payton mentioned the next: “They had been going to journey Marcus to [Thomas], and that was high-quality by us. We thought we favored that matchup — rather a lot.”
4 days later, Peters shot again.
“Inform Sean Payton to preserve speaking that s—,” he mentioned. “We’re going to see him soon, you are feeling me? As a result of I like what he was saying on the sidelines, too. So inform him to preserve speaking that s—, and I hope you see me soon. We’re going to have a pleasant little bowl of gumbo collectively.”
In recognition of this flip of occasions, Peters tweeted, then deleted, a put up proclaiming this “gumbo week.”
He then tried to downplay all of it.
“I see y’all attempting to make it one thing that it isn’t, man,” Peters mentioned. “Simply all respect to Sean Payton and what he does. Through the recreation, issues was occurring. However I simply love the truth that he is a competitor. Once I was popping out of the draft, it was the identical approach — fiery, vitality — after I was assembly with him and issues like that. It wasn’t nothing to be disrespectful. Shoot, I used to be pissed off. I did not have the sport that I wished to have.”
Regardless of the loss that afternoon, the Rams went on to win the NFC West with relative ease, then earned a bye and bodily dominated the Dallas Cowboys within the divisional spherical. The Saints completed with the identical 13-Three report because the Rams, however earned the No. 1 seed by advantage of that victory and put themselves one win away from the Tremendous Bowl by sneaking previous the defending-champion Philadelphia Eagles final weekend.
Now, Peters and Payton will match up as soon as extra.
Saints reporters approached Payton in regards to the topic by asking whether or not he most well-liked hen and andouille over seafood gumbo.
“Subsequent query,” Payton mentioned, smiling. “I do not like seafood. I do know the place you are going.”
Requested a follow-up on Peters, Payton recognized him as “somebody that we grew actual shut to” within the analysis course of heading into the 2015 draft, which noticed Peters go to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs with the No. 18 total decide. Payton used to recruit the Bay Space, the place Peters attended highschool. And the Saints’ plan heading into that 12 months’s draft was to choose each Peters and offensive lineman Andrus Peat.
“That is the reality,” mentioned Payton, who finally drafted Peat and missed out on Peters. “I’ve nice respect for him, and it is all good.”
Peters can now profit from the emergence of one other All-Professional cornerback in Aqib Talib, who was nonetheless recovering from ankle surgical procedure throughout the Rams’ first recreation towards the Saints. Talib’s presence means neither he nor Peters will journey and as an alternative stick to one aspect of the sphere, permitting them to doubtlessly alternate towards Thomas.
“You bought two dawgs,” Peters mentioned when requested in regards to the significance of Talib becoming a member of him within the backfield.
“It provides you some flexibility,” McVay added, citing Talib’s “command” and “potential to talk.”
Peters skilled what appeared to be a down season in his first 12 months in L.A., arising with solely three interceptions whereas being graded 100th amongst 119 certified corners by Professional Soccer Focus. His response, when requested about how 2018 performed out: “We ain’t finished but.”
Peters has an opportunity to be certain that by redeeming himself.
“You look ahead to these rematches and stuff like that,” Peters mentioned, “however s—, I did not understand it was going to end up like this. Y’all did not understand it was going to end up like this. It simply occurred. Y’all have enjoyable spinning the gumbo factor all week.”