Amari Spievey needs to get past inconsistencies

Posted Jun 5, 2012

Safety Amari Spievey hasn’t had the benefit of a true offseason in his first two years with the Lions.

A third-round pick in 2010, Spievey spent his first offseason as a rookie cornerback, but was eventually moved to safety during training camp that year. He obviously didn’t have the benefit of an offseason last year because of the lockout.

It’s been another atypical offseason for Spievey so far in 2012. He’s been feeling the lingering affects of a concussion suffered against the Saints in the playoffs last year and hasn’t been on the field for voluntary OTAs this offseason.

That’s until Monday, of course, when Spievey was back on the field for his first practice of the offseason.

“It kind of irritated me that the first offseason I get to have I had to sit out,” Spievey said Monday after practice. “It is so important. This year I feel like I would have been ahead of the ball instead of behind it trying to catch up.”

Spievey is one of the Lions players that would fit near the top of a list of players who could ill-afford to miss another offseason. He’s been battling inconsistencies which have plagued his game his first two seasons.

"It’s just staying consistent,” he admitted. "Obviously, I’m a talented player or I wouldn’t be here. I show flashes where I do amazing plays and then I mess up. That’s just building confidence and I think having an offseason will help me with my confidence."

Spievey started 15 games last year and finished fourth on the team with 70 tackles. He also intercepted three passes. He started nine games as a rookie.

"He's in his third year," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Spievey. "His first year he was hurting in training camp. He was moving from corner to safety, got thrown into the fire a little bit."

"Last year he didn't have an offseason; this year he was set back a little bit from some participation stuff. He's back and he's in a catch-up mode right now. He's a little bit rusty, but he will catch up quickly and be able to use this and these next two weeks to put himself in a good position to launch in training camp."

Spievey needs a good training camp, too.

The Lions have looked at a number of veteran free agent safeties this offseason and Erik Coleman is healed from an ankle injury that ended his 2011 season and is ready to compete for playing time.

"I really don’t pay a lot of attention to it," Spievey said of the Lions bringing in free agent safeties OJ Atogwe, Chris Crocker and Sean Jones this offseason. "I just do what I have to do and if you’re worrying about other things, you aren’t focusing on the things you need to do."