Anthony Spencer looks good. He had a big smile, square diamond earrings and a watch that blinded with the bling Saturday while watching Purdue's spring game at Ross-Ade Stadium. Even better, he feels great.
And that could mean big things for the Dallas Cowboys in 2009.
Spencer injured his right knee in the preseason opener in 2008 and had arthroscopic surgery. The frustration level must have been high: When I asked Spencer about it, he said he missed "six or seven" games because of the injury. The official statistics have him missing four. Now, though, Spencer said he feels "as healthy as I can be," and he was working with the starting defense during recent workouts.
In his rookie season in 2007, Spencer started his first six games at outside linebacker while Greg Ellis was recovering from an injury. Spencer played all 16 games that season. He had 34 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 12 games last season.
He's excited about potentially starting in 2009.
"I definitely feel like I got my feet wet," Spencer said of his first two seasons. "I feel good about what I'm doing. I know my position really well. I adjusted a lot from the change of position, playing defense having my hand down (at Purdue) and now standing up. I'm just ready to play.
"I've just got to stay healthy. That's my biggest thing coming into the season, just staying healthy and everything else will work out. I know it will."
Spencer had just gotten back to Indiana before he took in the spring game, which he said he actually didn't see much of. He was joined at the game by at least 20 other former Boilermakers, so there was much chatting to be done.
Spencer had been in Dallas for about the last month and a half working out, he said. There were non-mandatory workouts about two weeks ago, but he was down there before that. He owns a home in Dallas.
"I work out during the week and take my trips on weekends," he said. "When my family comes down, they have somewhere to stay. We have a good time. I love Dallas. It's a great city. There's always something to do, and we have great times."
He expects to be in Fort Wayne at points this summer, working out with Athletes With Purpose and also helping in that camp in either June or July. He'll be back in Dallas for training camp.
Here's other snippets from our chat:
- On former receiver Terrell Owens, who signed with Buffalo in the offseason and is widely portrayed as a prima donna by national media: "He is probably one of the coolest dudes I know. Seriously. I don't see where any of that comes from. All the stuff that happened last year, I was like, 'I was just there. They got in a fight? When did that happen?' I hear stuff on TV, and sometimes it's ridiculous. He's a real good guy. He's a great teammate. He'll be missed."
- On owner Jerry Jones: He's so rich, it's ridiculous. But what about your bling? Oh yeah, he pays me well. He shares. On the new $1 billion stadium, set to open in 2009: I've been in it a couple times, and it's like a whole new city. It's hard to explain. It's like they built a whole city inside of a complex. It's ridiculous. On keeping up with Purdue: I watch the games on Saturdays when they play. Everyone tries to talk crap, especially Bobby Carpenter because he played for Ohio State. If you don't win, you definitely are going to hear about it the next day. I root for them.