Spievey Focused on Learning the System

Posted May 21, 2010

Amari Spievey didn’t have the chance to get his feet wet with his fellow rookies the weekend following the draft.

Both of his hips were strained, so he was unable to participate in the four-practice weekend.

“I was taking it easy, trying to get better,” he said. “I don’t want to get too far behind with health, so I just took it easy during rookie camp.”

Spievey says his hips are still tight, but he is cleared for full participation in OTAs and the conditioning program.

This week he was able to begin work with the veterans and his fellow rookies and says he was excited to get in there.

“It’s fun,” he said. “I like competing against good competition. I think the only difficult thing right now is getting the rust off and learning all the plays, because if you don’t know the plays, you’re kind of hesitant out there.

“Once I can learn the plays, I’ll be able to fly around and just be better.”

For OTA days, Spievey has actually been standing next to Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham during team drills to hear the plays that are being called.

Then he is able to see his fellow cornerbacks executing that play to help him better ingest the system.

“I like to see it – hear it and see it,” said Spievey of how he best learns. “Being on the sideline helps a lot.”

Spievey is a competitive player who is looking forward to match-ups with all of Detroit’s receivers – particularly Calvin Johnson.

He has yet to test his skills against Johnson, but says he is looking forward to the challenge.

“You want to go against the best to see how good you are,” he said. “I look forward to going against him.”

Spievey drew attention when he shut down Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in the Orange Bowl, holding him to zero catches for the game.

Performances like that stem from Spievey’s speed, but also from his long arms and his physical style of play.

That physical way of playing is one thing that attracted the Detroit Lions to the Iowa cornerback.

"It's hard to find corners who are solid, physical tacklers," said General Manager Martin Mayhew after the Lions drafted Spievey.

Spievey isn’t jumping ahead of himself, though. At this point in time, he is looking to learn as much as he can and contribute in any way he can to hopefully earn playing time or a starting position.

The position group he is in is certainly open for competition, with a group of young players making up the Lions’ secondary.

“I’m just trying to get in the mix, in general, and get to know everybody,” said Spievey. “Just learn from them, earn their respect and play my position and try to help the team. Even if I’m not a starter – somehow, just help the team.”

Detroit has made a concerted effort to improve the secondary this season, trading for fourth-year cornerback Chris Houston and signing fourth-year cornerback Jonathan Wade and eighth-year cornerback Dante Wesley.

Though the majority of those players are young themselves, their experience in the NFL is something Spievey can benefit from.

“They told me not to get frustrated because I want to know everything,” he said. “They said just take your time. It’s going to be hard at first, but just keep working at it.”