In this week’s edition of Making The Team, former Prairie View A&M undrafted free agent and current Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Quinton Spears tells us about his second week in training camp as he currently prepares for his first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Spears is getting accustomed to the life of an undrafted free agent, spending the majority of his time on the team’s schedule , staying in the team hotel and doing team activities and practice but he has also seen the realities of training camp.
“Seeing guys get cut was kind of surprising, Spears said. “I know it happens in this business, but the nature of it and how quick someone else is in that person’s locker is kind of surprising.”
“They do it properly,” he added. “They call the person in for a private meeting, tell them the direction they want to go, then that person will come down and get their stuff.”
Surely a meeting that Spears hopes to avoid in the near future.
One thing that has been well documented in the NFL is hazing of rookies by NFL veterans, certain rookies may have to carry a certain vet’s shoulder pads or helmet, sometimes rookies are forced to do embarrassing acts, for the humor of others, mostly it’s all fun and games, unfortunately for Spears, he is no exception.
“All the rookies have to get up in front of everyone at the team meetings and sing, tell a joke or do something funny,” Spears told joltleft.com “I had to do mine today, I didn’t sing or anything, I did a little PowerPoint presentation of guys on the team and their look-a-likes of characters or people that they look like, that was my funny thing I did.”
With two weeks now under his belt Spears continues to improve making a few eye catching plays in practice this week. Early in the week he got a sack on Matt Moore in eleven-on-eleven and he also tackled running back Nic Grigsby for a loss.
“I’m getting better. I’m learning the plays and getting more comfortable running the plays,” the former All-SWAC defender said. “Every day getting coached up by Jason Taylor, my pass rush has gotten a lot better.”
As an undrafted free agent, the number of opportunities they have are limited, so they really need to stand out in practice and preseason games to garner the attention of the coaching staff.
“As far as making plays, the free agents have fewer reps than the first team and the vets so when we get in, we have to take full advantage of our opportunity,” Spears said. “I get about 10-15 reps in the offense versus defense period.”
“I believe I’ve been doing pretty well, in one-on-ones of our offensive line versus defensive line we might get around two reps tops, so you have to make those count,” Spears said. “I feel like I compete well with the older guys and they give me good feedback and help me with my rush.”
The Miami Dolphins will kick off their first preseason game on Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons and Spears has already gotten a glimpse of what it’s like in the NFL to prepare for an opponent.
“Today we started watching film on Atlanta, getting used to their formations and motions and things that they do,” Spears said, “tomorrow in practice we’ll have a period of just the Atlanta offense and our offense will have a period with the Atlanta defense.”
“I’m going to be excited,” Spears said. “My mom is coming from Texas to see my first preseason game, so I’m going to have some family support there, I just want to go out there and do well, show the coaches I can play, run around and make some plays.”
Spears should get his chance to do just that. Most of the established guys will play one to two series at the most, as the preseason is used primarily to focus on the young influx of talent and youth teams receive each season, so a lot of younger guys will get their chance to prove they can compete in the league.
For a complete recap on Spears’ performance in his first preseason game check back next week for our next installment of Making The Team, we’ll talk to Spears about his first preseason game and see what’s new in camp.
The game against Atlanta will kick off at 7:30 p.m. EST 6:30 p.m. CST, you can also follow the progress live on NFL.com
Football fans be sure to join in on the conversation, you can talk about Making The Team on our facebook page and also on twitter using hashtag #MakingTheTeam
- Join us on facebook
- Follow @JeffersonPowell on twitter