All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters is the focus of this week's cover story in Gameday Magazine. But Peters, who is not generally known as the chattiest Eagle with the media, was so forthcoming that much of his insights were left on the cutting room floor. Here, though, there are no space limitations and so we bring you Jason Peters on Jason Peters, uncut.
Does he still take motivation from going undrafted?: "Of course. I should have been drafted. I should have went before a whole bunch of guys. You check the stats, guys couldn't do the stuff I did, but they just didn't know where to put me. I did everything I had to do when I was in school as far as on the field, class, stuff like that. Sometimes you just have to go the long way around."
On what his career would have been like had he stayed at tight end: "Not long, I don't think. Not in this league. They want the smaller, receiving tight ends now. Back when I came out, they had the (Alge) Crumplers, Ben Coates, guys who were blockers and could catch. But now, it's more receiving tight ends."
On how he moved to the offensive line: "I was doing everything. I was kickoff, punt return, kickoff return, I was doing defensive end on scout team and then I was doing offensive tackle on scout team and that's when they saw me. The defensive line coach wanted me and the offensive line coach wanted me and then it came down to numbers on the D-line, and they didn't have enough offensive linemen, so I went to offense."
On his mentors in Buffalo: "I looked up to Jonas Jennings. Mike Williams, he was more the talkative guy and Jonas was the harder worker as far as the technician. Mike was more, talk you through the play, do this and do that. I looked up to those guys."
On his punt block as a rookie for the Bills: "We had to go to Cincinnati. It was freezing. I think it was in December, and I blocked it … I was lined up outside and I went across the guy's face real quick and when I blocked it, it was like it wasn't even real. When I looked up, the ball was there, I picked it up and scored."
On his favorite thing to do on the football field: "Probably pass blocking and looking up and there's a long pass that the receiver catches for a touchdown. Just having that excitement that I threw a block to score a touchdown."
On what makes him a dominant run blocker: "You have to love what you do as far as run blocking. Because you can just be soft and a guy will push you back into the backfield, slant on you. You have to be on your 'A' game when you run block. Pass blocking is hard, but the run blocking is that much harder because you can get beat across your face and lose yards on run plays too."
On his persistence in run blocking: "You just try to stick on your block and just try to finish them. You never show where Shady's at, or whoever's running the ball, so as soon as you let up on a guy and he falls back and makes a play, you look at him and you're like, 'Aw, if I had just stayed on that guy, we would have scored.' So I just try to stay on my guy until the whistle blows."
What tackles did he model his game after?: "I watched Walter Jones, that's the reason I got No. 71. And I watched Anthony Munoz and I watched (Chris) Samuels from the Redskins … Walter Jones is the guy that I watched the most and took his game and tried to put it into mine. I just used to watch him and how he moves his feet and stays low and moves side-to-side and just tried to mimic him."
On growing up as a star athlete (both football and basketball) in high school: "I was the best athlete in the east Texas area and they used to come pack it out just to come watch us play because they knew we were going to dunk the ball and be fancy and all of that. So, I mean, it was cool knowing that you were the man back then, they had magazines and you're on the front of them, stuff like that."
On his basketball game: "I'm pretty good. If I had to choose somebody's game that I'm similar to, I would have to say Kevin Love, that can rebound, that can shoot. I'm more athletic as far as dribbling the ball. I can face you up and go around you. But if I had to choose somebody's game, probably Kevin Love. He can shoot the three, the 18-footer."
On recovering from the twice-torn Achilles: "I would say it was more in the offseason because I had my surgery right before the season then I had all season to rehab. That offseason, when we were doing summer workouts, that's when I knew I was back, because I could still move. I could still do the same things I could do before I messed (my Achilles) up. And I was faster, because I had rehabbed and got stronger, so I knew I was back then. But you know you have to put the pads on. The first week of camp, I was back, running, blocking guys and I knew I was back for real then."
On competition: "I like what I do and I just try to take it all in and take coaching from (offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland). Whoever they bring in, I take coaching and put it into my game and go from there. I don't ever get comfortable as far as year-in and year-out, because you have guys who go to beat you and it goes down the drain. So I try to be as good, if not better, than I was the year before."
On his legacy: "I've never just thought about (the Hall of Fame), but guys and stuff ask me about it, 'Have I ever thought about it?' and all that. But I've never thought about it I just take it year in and year out and if it happened, it would be unbelievable."