Don’t get it twisted: Jason Peters did not come to Chicago to simply cash a check, or because the Bears had an opportunity for him to start at tackle, or even because he heard the noise that he’s washed up. He’s got much bigger aspirations.
“I really don't have nothing to prove,” Peters said. “I just want to win, get another ring, to be honest… The Pro Bowl, I got plenty of those. The All-Pros, all the accolades. The biggest one for me now is Super Bowl. I got one. I would like another here with the Chicago Bears.”
Despite coming off of two 8-8 seasons, and a less-than-inspiring playoff loss to the Saints last year, Peters maintained that he and the Bears do have a shot to win it all this year.
“We've definitely got a good team, hard workers,” Peters said. “We definitely got a shot to win the division. And you know, once you get to the playoffs anything can happen. So we've got a good chance right now looking at everything.”
Peters is so focused on winning the Lombardi trophy one more time, he said he wouldn’t feel bad if he didn’t win a starting job out of camp. There are other ways he can contribute to a championship, even if it’s not on the field on Sundays.
“Yeah, I wouldn't cry about it,” Peters said. “I mean, I've accomplished a lot of stuff. I'm here to help the young guys. Mold them. And if I don't become a starter I'm going to help mold them... and then hand the baton off to them.”
Peters hasn’t been on the team for two weeks yet, and has really only participated in one full practice, yet that impact has already been felt, even by other veterans.
“Being with Jason, it’s like, dang, you know, that experience is invaluable,” Germain Ifedi said. “It’s not even all about football stuff, it’s life stuff too. Relationships, things like that, financial stuff. He talks to us about anything.
“He’s been in it so long, seen everything. Nothing really that you can come to him with that he has not experienced. So just being a sponge, I’m sure it’s annoying, guys come up to him all the time, but those types of guys, they just love sharing and putting their arms around the younger guys and really telling them the way. Because you don’t know what you don’t know.”
At the same time, Peters didn’t seem to be in any rush to find a team to play for. He knew he could still play, so he stayed in shape over the summer. He didn’t monitor the tackle situations across the league, he just stayed ready and waited for the call. Eventually the call came from offensive line coach Juan Castillo一 while Peters was fishing on a creek in Texas.
“I was like, 'uh oh. I know what this is.'”
Peters joked about the call from Castillo, but he only jokes because he and Castillo have some history together. Castillo was Peters’ offensive line coach for two seasons in Philadelphia. Castillo was also around Peters for two more seasons in Philly, but Castillo was promoted to defensive coordinator, so the two didn’t work together as intimately during that time. Peters also knows Matt Nagy from their time together with the Eagles. In Peters’ first season in Philadelphia, Nagy was a coaching intern. The following three years Nagy acted as a coaches’ assistant and offensive quality control coach.
“This situation is good because I know all the coaches pretty much and the staff and stuff,” Peters said. “They know me and they know what I can do. They’re just letting me get my legs and stuff under me right now.
“Coming in late like this in training camp, knowing Juan and knowing what he wants, technique and stuff he wants, is key.”
And for the folks who say Peters is too old to play he has one simple message.
“I just tell them to come watch the game or practice and see if they can see if I'm 39 out there. I feel good. I've still got my quicks, my strength.”