Spievey Garners Attention Through Practice Performance

Posted Jun 24, 2010

Rookie cornerback Amari Spievey has had a good mini-camp thus far, coming away with a few near-interceptions on Wednesday before pulling in two during Thursday morning’s practice.

When he caught his first interception, he was met with a chorus of, “About time” from his teammates, but all were glad to see him do well.

It brings additional reinforcement to this year’s rookie class and what could potentially translate to the field on Sundays.

“I knew I could play,” Spievey said, “but when you don’t know everything and you’re confused you don’t play fast, so I wasn’t playing fast. Right now I’m just learning more and playing more confident. I’m able to put myself in position to make plays.”

Rookies only get about a month to get used to a new system and a new speed of play before the offseason program breaks.

Spievey seems to have made good use of his time, however, learning a lot from both his veteran teammates and his position coach, Tim Walton.

On Thursday, that paid off when Head Coach Jim Schwartz told Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham to call man-to-man when he saw that the offensive play called for a deep ball.

“We had Aaron Berry and Spievey out there and we wanted to put them in that situation and see how they respond to it,” said Schwartz.

Spievey responded well, coming away with his second interception of the day.

“The ball was a little bit underthrown,” said Schwartz, “but sometimes the underthrown balls are the most difficult ones to play because the receiver sees it if you don’t. I thought Amari did a really good job of coming back and making that play.”

As a cornerback who has been a running back and wide receiver most of his life, Spievey is focused on the fundamentals.

“This is like my third year playing corner,” he said. “So I just want to look more like a corner – just stay low, stay in the athletic positions instead of trying to rely on my athletic ability because you can’t do that in the NFL.”

That is significant for Spievey, who was recruited by the University of Iowa because of his overall athletic ability.

When they needed additional cornerbacks, they converted Spievey, who believed he wouldn’t have a problem due to his athletic ability.

He was right.

Now, he is preparing for his first NFL training camp as a cornerback, citing his strengths as anticipation, movement and having good hips.

“I’m just trying to get comfortable,” he said. “For a rookie that doesn’t know a lot or anybody that doesn’t know a lot, they’re confused and all over the place. I’m just trying to relax and be patient, taking my time and stay focused so my ability can show through.”