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Corey Peters Could Take Another Step Forward In 2012

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Corey Peters has quietly become one of the team's better defenders. Very quietly.

After being widely panned as a reach and then, after his rookie season, as a one-dimensional run-stopper, Peters has blossomed into a fine defensive tackle. He posted three sacks in 2011, picked a pass and deflected three others, which is terrific for a guy who goes 305 pounds on a good day.

There's considerable promise here, and Peters is all but locked into a starting job. What makes that promise even more...well, promising is that Mike Nolan is here, promising a more aggressive defense and better blitzing. I have no doubt he'll improve that aspect of the D, at least.

While that doesn't guarantee that Peters will suddenly get double-digit sacks this season, it does bode well for him. He's a powerfully built defensive tackle with a motor and enough pass rushing acumen to get into the backfield, even if he doesn't exactly have quick footwork or a vast set of moves, but the power suffices. I think he's got a legitimate shot to add a couple more sacks to that total and be a disruptive force, and he's already a solid enough run stopper.

Keep in mind that Peters is still just 23 years old and has room to grow as a player and you've got yourself a guy who ought to thrive in 2012 and beyond.

Do you think he will?