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Behind the Facemask: Corey Peters

Posted Sep 13, 2013

AtlantaFalcons.com's Frank Kleha goes in depth with defensive tackle Corey Peters about his dry sense of humor, his biggest fear and his thoughts on jean shorts.

In a busy offseason, Corey Peters continued work on his Master’s degree in Educational Administration online at Michigan State (after finishing his degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Kentucky in only 3.5 years) and also got married (Genna). Corey performs countless hours in the community each year so much that he was nominated for the Falcons Man of the Year honor in 2012. A self-described “average guy," Peters may seem like a quiet and reserved person at first glance, but he shows a different side of his personality that others might not know, such as his keen sense of humor, in this week’s version of Behind the Facemask.

Frank Kleha: Some of your teammates say you could be the funniest guy on the team.

Corey Peters: It depends. My sense of humor is different. Some people think I’m hilarious and some don’t think I’m funny at all or they don’t get it. I have a dry sense of humor. I find certain things funny that others don’t’. I notice a lot of stuff that maybe others don’t and I think that adds to it. Sometimes I’m the only one laughing in the meeting rooms. I like to have a good time.  

FK: Are you a prankster?

CP: I wouldn’t say that, but I like a good prank. The best pranked pulled on me was by (former LB) Coy Wire. Coy dressed up like a bush and was outside my dorm one year at night during training camp when I came around the corner on a golf cart. He kneeled down and had camouflage on with leaves and jumped out and scared me. I’ve got some hot sauce in my locker and I’ve been waiting for the right moment (to get someone). It’s supposed to be the world’s hottest sauce and I’m going to try to get someone without them knowing and put it on their sandwich and maybe get the website to film it.  I just have to figure out how to do it exactly.

FK: Most embarrassing moment as a kid?

CP: In high school at a pep rally for the football team in front of the whole school, we were huddled up and all jumping around and I just fell right on the ground. Everyone was leaving and there I was on the ground. AND everybody ran off and I’m just lying there by myself (laughing).

FK: Do you have a Hollywood crush?

CP: I still have this thing for (singer) Patti LaBelle, which is weird. I can’t explain it. I know she’s older, but there’s something about her. As long as I can remember she’s been it.

FK: What do you think people would be surprised to know about being a pro football player?

CP: It would be how much work it is. It’s natural for people to just watch the game and see the Sunday aspect of it. But in all reality, and I’ve realized this much more since I’ve been married, football is the centerpiece of my life and everything revolves around that. It’s like having a desk job and a three-hour workout thrown in the middle of it. People don’t realize the amount of time that it takes. When I told my family that I work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., nobody realized that.

FK: If you were had to perform in a talent show, what talent would you display?

CP: That’s a tough one. I don’t know any magic, but I used to be real into it. I used to watch magicians all the time and I was going to try to learn how to do card tricks (when I was younger), but one of my older brothers told me it was lame, so I gave it up. But still to this day, if I see a magician on the street somewhere wherever I go I will stop and watch them. I will stand there for 30 minutes watching them on the street. I love watching magic shows in Las Vegas, too. If I had the time I would love to learn how to do some tricks. I would do magic at a talent show if I had to because I think you could learn how to do it and it would be a great show.

FK: What do you think is the greatest invention ever?

CP: (Without hesitating) Air conditioning.

FK: Are you serious?

CP: Air conditioning is amazing. Have you ever tried to ride in a car without any air conditioning? When I went to Kentucky and it was hot, they wanted to have classes outside…I said no way. That is not me!

FK: Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion?

CP: Jean shorts. I used to be big into jean shorts. When I was training for the NFL combine in Florida (prior to the 2010 Draft) with other guys from around the country, we were getting ready to go somewhere and I had some jean shorts on and a couple of the guys said…‘Are you wearing that’? And I was like…‘what’s wrong’? They said ‘nobody wears those anymore.’ I told them we wear jean shorts at Kentucky. And I don’t know if we were backwards or not, but that’s what we did. Then, I did start looking around and I didn’t really see anybody else wearing them so I stopped, too. But I like jean shorts and I still got some.

FK: Word is that you think you can beat anybody on the basketball court?

CP: Well, I’m pretty talented (smiling).  I can’t shoot, but I can post up inside. I can also rebound and play defense. Basically, I’m like Shaq (O’Neil) even to the point where I can’t shoot free throws either.  That’s my only weakness. My inside game is strong. I can beat anybody one-on-one…make it, take it, that’s my game and that’s how I play.  

FK: Also, heard you have a wrestling background? Did that sport help you in football?

CP: Wrestling in high school was probably one of the best decisions I made. It’s great for defensive linemen, offensive linemen and positions like fullback because it teaches you leverage and body positioning. You learn how to feel where somebody’s weight is and its good conditioning. It’s basically hand-to-hand combat so I recommend it for anybody playing football. By the way, I stopped watching pro wrestling when I found out it wasn’t real. I was devastated when I found out. I was crushed. I used to love it.

FK: You know Roddy (White) was a two-time state wrestling champion in high school. Do you think you could take him in a match?

CP: If it came down to it, I would destroy Roddy. I hear he’s real good, though. Wrestling is not a main stream sport so if you were not put into it when you were really young it’s tough (to pick-up). But if you can get somebody who’s really athletic and he can learn some moves, they can be very dynamic.

FK: Do you have any fears?

CP: I have a fear of flying. I don’t like flying at all. Actually, I think it’s more of a fear of being unsafe at certain heights. As long as the plane takes off and is not shaking or has turbulence I’m good. I won’t get on a rollercoaster because I feel like I’m going to die. I think it’s just having a fear of being unsafe.

FK: How do you handle road trips?

CP: Well, I don’t have an option during the season so when I get on the plane people that sit next to me just know how I feel. I have to hold on to stuff. When I get on the plane I sit in the middle of the row and put my hand on the back of the seat to my left and then I grab Drew’s (Davis) arm on the right and hold on. I will drive anywhere else I have to go most of the time. If it’s within seven or eight hours, I will drive.

FK: What is your favorite indulgence?

CP: Reality television. I watch just about all of them. I like Love & Hip Hop. I used to love the Real World, but that doesn’t come on much anymore.  I watch Catfish, Teen Mom and I love Duck Dynasty. (Duck Dynasty) is a good show and it’s very entertaining.