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Justin Vanfulpen - LionsFans.com
SAGINAW His contract is not guaranteed, there is no incentive clause, and it is only for the veteran's minimum of $477,000. But newest Lion Alonzo Spellman thinks that Detroit may have gotten the best bargain of the century. The only other team beside Detroit that expressed interest in him was the New England Patriots.
"Nobody wanted me, twenty-eight teams thought the cup was half empty, but Detroit was smart enough and I was smart enough, willing enough and obedient enough to God to come here, said Spellman. "They got probably the best bargain of the century. I guarantee you."
"I'm not worried about the loot, I don't really care about the loot. My play will handle the money, said Spellman. "What motivates me is, I am in love with the pain of this sport. Not the injury, but the pain of this sport, I'm in love with. I can't live without it. That's why some football players can't handle it after it's over.
"That's why I'm going 10 more, so I don't have to handle it so soon."
The Lions hope that they have made a wise choice in signing him, and Spellman's first impression of the team he said was very positive.
First impression with the team, extremely positive, I have a great nucleus of guys around me, said Spellman.
Spellman has put some pressure on himself to live up to this season, and it is no small goal.
I came to Detroit and now they have a All-Pro defensive linemen, its never happen before but it is about to, said Spellman. Quarterbacks are in trouble.
Marty Mornhinweg said the Lions will use him at defensive end in their base defense, but will move him inside to defensive tackle in the nickel defense, and Alonzo plans to dominate where ever the Lions line him up.
I will dominate inside, outside, nose guard it doesnt matter where I go. Im going to dominate offensive linemen no matter where I come from, said Spellman. If you come play the Lions Im going to dominate you.
Marty Mornhinweg know that depth on the defensive line is an important part of a good defense and if you can keep bring out fresh defense linemen that is only going to help you, and Spellman bring just that to Detroit.
"He's a veteran player of high quality. He creates an extreme amount of depth in our defensive line," Marty Mornhinweg said. "I know one thing: When you have a defensive line that is deep, when you can roll people in and out of the game, you've got a leg up on other football teams, no question about it. I'll tell you one thing: On the offensive side, when you go against teams that are constantly rolling defensive linemen in and out, holy smokes, it seems they're fresh deep into the fourth quarter, and that's what we're looking for."
One thing that will help the Lions and Spellman is that Spellman will be reunited with his college defensive line coach, Bill Young, and will have former NFL pass rusher-extreme Charles Haley working with him.
Charles Haley is priceless to me because he can teach me things about this position that I have never done before because he is the classic defensive end that teaches offensive linemen that speed kills, and that is something that I need to work on is speed. I have a lot of it, but I have to learn how to use it, said Spellman.
Spellman thinks that with the coaching staff that the Lions have, along with the ownership and front office, that he can take his game to the next level and will be pushing himself to do just that.
"It's great to be here, and the reason I'm talking so highly, I need the powers to be to keep a microscope on me and push me. I'm going to push myself, but this coaching staff and ownership here and the front office here will help me take myself and my game to the next level, said Spellman. With the help of Charles Haley it will help me take my game to the next level as a pro.
Spellman is a veteran but wants people to look at him as a rookie, and his work ethic will be like he was when he was a rookie in 92.
"Look at me as a first-round draft pick and this is my first year in the league, because that's what you're going to get but not the rookie stuff. Rookies don't come in and throw people around like that. That's all veteran power and speed and tenacity, but I have the passion and the want-to-go and the want-to-do and the work ethic of the rookie I was in '92. I'm a veteran. I'm 300 pounds, man. Seven-percent body fat. Running 4.9 40s and 9.2 80s. If you break out of the pack, running back, I'm running you down.
"You all know me. You all must have forgot."
Something that Spellman did while he was waiting to sign on with a team and come in to training camp was hit the weight and you can sure tell.
All lifting. Lifting and drinking water. There weren't any coffee breaks and lunch. It was all lifting for 6 1/2 hours -- 30 pounds lighter and rock diesel."
The Lions hope that Spellman is just that, a rock diesel in their defensive line this season.