Meet the new members of the Mob Squad.
The Los Angeles Rams introduced their two new cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, at their training facility in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday.
It didn't take long for the former Denver Bronco and Kansas Chiefs, old friends in the AFC West to start to act like best friends as they laughed and joked with members of the media during a brief press conference.
"Oh, let's do it," Peters said of joining the Rams. "For me, I get to have another All-Pro corner on the other side, so now you don't know where you're going to go. And then when you've got a safety like Joyner and then you're adding Sam Shields and you keep Robey? Come on now. It's just going to be fun. You've got to find a way. Pick your poison."
Peters was referring to the team's re-signing of safety LaMarcus Joyner via the franchise tag, and Nickell Robey-Coleman who re-signed on Tuesday. Sam Shields was signed via free agency after playing with the Green Bay Packers the last seven seasons.
The reigning NFC West champions began the offseaon by acquiring two of the best cornerbacks in the league in order to address a weak spot in the secondary which played its first full season under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
“This is a great day for our organization," said head coach Sean McVay "Anytime that you're able to acquire two players of this caliber, we'll take that all day. These guys are special players [and] they bring a great passion for the game."
The moves could not officially be announced until the 2018 NFL season oficially began on Wednesday.
"These guys are special players," head coach Sean McVay said. "They bring a great passion for the game. You can see these are both cerebral players, and then they have the physical talents to match up. Guys that love football, these are the types of guys we love to be around."
In order to assemble his arsenal in the secondar, Rams' general manager Les Snead needed to part ways with to stellar linebackers and fan favorites in Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn in order to make room for Talib and Peters.
"It's rare to be able to acquire two players of this caliber," said McVay. "So when the opportunity does present itself, you want to be ready."
In additon to their defensive captain and leader in sacks behind Aaron Donald, the Rams lost cornerback Trumaine Johsnon after the signed a $15 million/year deal with the New York Jets.
The Rams placed the franchise tag on Johnson each of the last two seasons, but were able to acquire Pro-Bowlers Talib and Peters for significantly less money that it would have cost them to re-sign Johnson.
Talib and Peters are excited to finally be playing alongside each other, and the duo who have seven Pro-Bowl selections between them are even more thrilled to join an upstart Rams team that had one of the single greatest turnarounds in 2017 under McVay.
"I saw a bunch of guys having fun," Talib said of watching the Rams last season. "They were playing for somebody who they believed in. You watch half the teams in the league, they just go through the motions and kind of collect a check, but there's another half of those teams, and playoff teams, they've got a coach who they respect, and whatever he's preaching, he's got guys believing that they can really go do it."
Despite the fact that Talib and Peters are among the best in the game at their position, it's their attitudes on the field, and their off-the-field problems that have many fans concerned.
Talib has had legal issues off the field over the last 10 years, and famously shout himself in the leg after the Broncos won the Super Bowl in 2015. Last season, his rivalry with Oakland Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree reached a boiling point when the two fought on the field, each ejected from the game, and suspended for the following week's game.
Peters, was kicked off his college team at Washington, and was suspended for one game last season after he threw the referee's flag into the stands following an overtime loss to the New York Jets. During that same game, Peters was caught on camera arguing with a Chiefs assistant coach.
"When we look back into the game, passionate players have always been the ones that got the bad rep of not being a team player and being selfish," Peters said of his reputation. "That's not the case for me. My ultimate goal is to be a winner. I was born a champion."
Time will tell how the two passionate players pan out, but one thing is for certain, the duo will be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks and receivers in 2018.