Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Lions: Now or never for Amari Spievey
By Kevin Seifert
I'm back from covering the Green Bay Packers' first minicamp practice, but before I start unloading my notebook, let's catch up on what turned out to be a one-hour workout the Detroit Lions opened their minicamp with Tuesday morning.
Players were due for a charity fishing tournament shortly after noon ET, so coach Jim Schwartz pushed most of this week's on-field work into Wednesday and Thursday's workouts. Tuesday, however, was the first time reporters had a chance to speak with safety Amari Spievey after it took some five months to eliminate post-concussion symptoms.
Spievey originally suffered the injury in the January playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints, and he told reporters that his head was still "killing me" during strength and conditioning sessions in April -- prompting his immediate removal from all activities. Spievey has been receiving treatment at a hospital and is taking medicine that only recently ended his headaches.
That's a scary situation for any player, but particularly for one the Lions are counting on to shore up a relatively weak spot of their team. (As you know, the safety position is one of our areas of interest for Lions minicamp.) Spievey is almost certainly facing a make-or-break year as a starting safety for the team, at least based on what Schwartz said Tuesday.
"Amari is still a young player," Schwartz said. "It's only his third year in the league and he's still young at the position. He's only been playing safety for about a year-and-a-half. Inconsistent as a second-year player. He played really well at times and had some games that he didn't play as well.
"He needs to get that off of his résumé and now's the time to do it. He’s still a young player, but that should be no longer on his résumé. It's his third year in the system. His position coach hasn't changed. His coordinator hasn’t changed. We need to see more consistency out of him because when he's played well, he's played very well for us."
More in a bit.