Advanced Scouting

Spears benefits from knowledge shared by past, present teammates.

For many rookies, the mini-camps that precede their first training camp is when they have to get used to new teammates, coaches and terminology, and often entirely new offensive or defensive schemes.

Rookie Dallas DE Marcus Spears had a slight advantage over many of the other first-year players at Valley Ranch at last month's rookie mini-camp and this weekend's full-team mini-camp. After all, two of his college teammates already were on the Dallas roster, and shared their knowledge with Spears before his arrival.

LB Bradie James and OL Stephen Peterman played with Spears at LSU, and Spears said he talked with each before heading to Valley Ranch.

"They shot straight with me," Spears said. "Bradie and Peterman -- they were already here. They told me about the coaches and what is going to be expected. I'm very appreciative of what they told me."

Spears said he actually had another advantage : having played his college ball under former LSU (and current Miami Dolphins) head coach Nick Saban.

"There's really not a big difference," Spears said when asked to compare Saban to his new head coach, Bill Parcells. "They both want the best from you and the best from the team. They both know and understand what you can do. To get that out of each player, they're going to tell you the truth, they're going to treat you fair."

Despite having had the advantage of talking with James and Peterman, and having played for a college coach with NFL experience, Spears is does not feel comfortable yet in terms of his readiness for the season, or even for training camp this summer in Oxnard, Calif.

"I'm a lot more comfortable than I was last month (at the team's April mini-camp)," Spears said. "But I've got a long way to go. I'll keep talking to (Peterman and James), but I've just got to keep working hard."

CowboysHQ Top Stories