Brian Peters knows all too well what Sunday's regular season opener means to the city of Houston, which has already begun the recovery process following Hurricane Harvey.
"It’s awesome to be back, obviously, to be back in Houston," Peters said on Texans Radio. "We spent a decent amount of time away with Training Camp and then with the hurricane, so it’s definitely exciting to be back and we’re ready to play in front of the fans."
Last week, the Texans special teams standout was moving his own flood-damaged belongings out of his Bellaire rental home.
“My house took on about two feet of water and I just had to move everything out, throw most of the furniture out to the curb,” Peters said. “Living in the Holiday Inn right now, trying to find a new place to live. Just a little bit hectic.”
While Peters was traveling with the team, the couple renting their home to him helped preserve what they could of his belongings. Peters’ landlord placed his furniture on cinder blocks while his wife washed some of clothes to salvage them. As soon as some of his teammates heard the news, they also rushed over to help out.
“Yeah, 20-minute notice and I had five guys at my house,” Peters said. “They came over and helped carry the furniture out. It was quick. We had a decent amount of muscle over there with five guys. I was proud of my team. Proud of the good people we got here.”
Peters tells the story but downplays his hurricane experience.
“Again, only material things were lost,” Peters said. “It wasn’t that big of a deal.”
The Texans inside linebacker considers himself fortunate in the face of the catastrophic flooding caused by Harvey. Peters felt he needed to do more. Along with his teammates, Peters visited evacuees at NRG Center, played with children at the Boys and Girls Club and handed out supplies at during J.J. Watt’s Harvey relief drive.
“I wasn’t hit that hard,” Peters said. “There are people that lost everything, lost their homes, lost their possessions – everything. For me, it was just getting my house cleaned and going about my business. It felt like – not an obligation – but you have to give back when the city is hurting and after they’ve supported you so much. Not just the people of Houston, but even guys around here and the program that had people affected. You see the effect on everyone in the city as a whole. When people are in need, you have to give back.”
In the midst of Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, the Texans had to make roster cuts by the league's Sept. 2 deadline.
Peters balanced the uncertainty of making the 53-man roster and the loss of his home with the same unwavering attitude.
“Obviously as a reserve linebacker and a special team’s guy, you’re always fighting for that roster spot,” Peters said. “I have to show up and earn it every day. That’s how I went about my business. I just tried to show up every day and just do what I’m supposed to do and do it with effort and energy. As of right now, it took care of itself. It’s just part of the gig – part of the business. You know that going into it. The added stuff from the hurricane is just icing on the cake, I guess, but everything was manageable.”
Hard work paid off for Peters who once again earned his spot on the Texans 2017 roster. Signed from the Vikings practice squad in 2015, Peters has been exemplary on special teams for Houston ever since.
“Great guy, great teammate, definitely a leader, very smart, tough,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “He’s really a guy that’s been through so much, whether it’s CFL, Arena League, I mean, he played in every league to make it to this point and so those are the guys you root for and our staff really likes guys like that. He’s done a lot. He’s one of the leaders in the special teams room and two years ago, he led us in tackles on special teams and hopefully he can do that again.”
Through just 12 games in 2015, Peters led the team and tied for first in the NFL with 17 special teams tackles. Peters played for the Arena League’s Iowa Barnstormers in 2012 before spending two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he won a CFL title.
The Texans open their 2017 regular season on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.