Brian Peters hasn't been here long, but he's made an impact quickly.
The special teams demon signed with the Texans on September 30, and a few days later he took the field in Atlanta. On the first play of the game, a Texans kickoff, he made the tackle.
Peters reeled off 16 more on special teams over the course of the season, and finished tied for first in the League with 17. For Shane Lechler, Peters couldn't get here fast enough.
"I've kind of been mad at the Texans for not finding him a little sooner," the All-Pro punter joked on Monday. "That guy's a hell of a ballplayer."
But Peters' path to the NFL was a circuitous one. After a collegiate career at Northwestern from 2007 to 2011, he had a few pit stops in NFL camps with Tampa Bay and Chicago. He spent some time in the Arena Football League with the Iowa Barnstormers in 2012. The last two years were north of the border with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders. He spent the 2015 offseason preseason with the Vikings, and was signed to their practice squad on September 5. But life changed, for him and the Texans special teams, in late September.
"I took the scenic route to get here," Peters said. "But I'm happy with where I am, and happy we're executing and playing well on specials here."
Peters was quick to point out that Max Bullough, Akeem Dent, Charles James, II, Eddie Pleasant, Kurtis Drummond and Jonathan Grimes have been a big part of Houston's improved play on special teams over the last nine games. And his head coach reiterated that.
"Now, for every future Houston Texan team, you can always point to these guys," Bill O'Brien said. "These are the guys that really accepted their roles. They weren't starters on defense. Or starters on offense. But they really perfected their roles and they helped the team win. That's a key in the NFL."
Peters said the entire unit is always jockeying to make the tackle. That hunger to make an impact, according to Peters, has been a key.
"We have a lot of fun, and it's competitive within the group, which is awesome," Peters said. "We'll be in the huddle saying 'I'm going to get a tackle.' Once you get guys pounding their chest and playing with some pride, we're a violent team and tough guys to block."
Lechler, who's punted in the NFL since 2000, went to seven Pro Bowls as an Oakland Raider. With 16 seasons of experience, he said Peters is one of the best he's seen on kickoff and punt coverage.
"I got to play with some great ones in Oakland, and he'd be one of those," Lechler. "He gets it. He's fast. He's smart. He's instinctive. He's a special teams player that's at the very top of the line."
Peters, for his part, said the formula for success is fairly simple.
"Special teams, when it comes down to it, is about executing," Peters said. "It's a lot of 1-on-1 battles, and just playing with pride, whether it's fight or flight when it comes to 1-on-1 battles."
Peters and the Texans host the Chiefs at 3:35 p.m. CT on Saturday inside NRG Stadium.
The Texans' faithful showed up to support their favorite football team at NRG Stadium.