The PewterReport.com staff will choose a daily Bucs Camp MVP during Tampa Bay’s 2017 training camp based on that player’s performance. Visit PewterReport.com daily to find out which player is named the Bucs Camp MVP.
Bucs Camp MVP 7-30: Spence Explodes
Maybe it was just because the shoulder pads came on, or because his shoulder is feeling better after offseason surgery, but Noah Spence was tearing it up on Sunday’s practice and was the Most Valuable Player as selected by the PewterReport.com staff.
Safety Chris Conte had a diving interception to continue his great start to camp, while rookie SAM (strongside) linebacker Richie Brown had a nice pick with the reserves. Wide receiver Adam Humphries dazzled the fans with two nice receptions, rookie receiver Chris Godwin continued to impress and rookie tight end O.J. Howard made a nice catch off a pass that was tipped twice by defenders.
Bucs DE Noah Spence – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
But on a day that was full of inconsistent performances from both the offense and the defense, Spence had several good rushes and would have collected multiple sacks on Sunday. The fact that Spence is in phenomenal shape is not lost on the training camp observer. He’s more agile and can bend the corner at full speed in a similar manner to the way Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas did back in the day – although not as proficient and nearly electric as the Chiefs legend.
Spence was seeing time at left defensive end and right defensive end, and had his way with both right tackle Demar Dotson and left tackle Donovan Smith at times. On one play, Spence used a hard stab step to the right on Smith to take the left tackle outside. Then he shifted his body weight to the left and darted inside and had a clean pathway to quarterback Jameis Winston. Here is one of Spence’s great pass rush moves from Sunday.
This is a completed pass to Mike Evans, but watch DE Noah Spence on the edge. Blows up/by Donovan Smith pic.twitter.com/HCk8bRjEqY
Because the Bucs quarterbacks wear orange jerseys and can’t be hit in practice, it’s hard to tell how many sacks Spence would have had on Sunday. But one thing Spence is working on is sack-strips and is trying to hit the ball out of Winston’s hands from behind. Spence had 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles during his rookie year and could double those numbers this year if he continues to play with the speed and ferocity he showed on Sunday.
“As a rookie coming in, getting all this stuff thrown at you, you start right away, you’ve got to learn different positions,” Bucs linebacker Lavonte David said of Spence. “Now, he’s getting settled down and playing the way he plays and you’re seeing it. He’s learning the defense real well just like everybody else. It’s amazing.”
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org