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Noah Spence is on a mission.
Coming off the field in Tampa last week before the first preseason game, I casually and jokingly mentioned to him about fellow defensive end Robert Ayers’ prediction of 15 sacks from earlier this spring. Spence looked at me with a somewhat scary look in his eyes and said something unprintable.
To paraphrase for this family-friendly publication, Spence basically said, he isn’t concerned with anyone’s predictions of his play. He knows what he has to do, and plans on doing it.
Whether 15 sacks becomes a reality or not, if Spence stays healthy, taking the over on his 5.5 sacks from a year ago, seems like an almost sure bet.
This week in Jacksonville, the slimmer, even faster Spence was on display. And while he is an excellent speed rusher, Spence has spent the offseason and early part of camp, planning and working on counter moves. Having two working shoulders most certainly helps as well. Spence was the star of the defense over the last two days for the Buccaneers, and he matched every bit of the intensity of the Jaguars who seemed to be the more driven of the two teams, especially on Monday. Tuesday was better overall for the Bucs, but Spence had his motor humming both days and it was easy to notice No. 57 every time he was on the field.
Spence was the Bucs best pass rusher in the 1-on-1’s on Tuesday and displayed a nice inside move on the clip above.
Bus head coach Dirk Koetter was asked about Spence following Tuesday’s practice.
“Well, he’s still learning,” Koetter said. “He’s just in his second year, he was a part-time player last year, so I think Noah’s just continuing to learn and develop. He’s worked on his body. Noah’s a ‘motor’ player. That’s his strength is his motor, more than anything else. They can talk about quickness, size, speed, toughness but the guy gets by on having a great motor. I think his game is going to show up as a game wears on more so than just a three or four-play set.”
For Bucs fans waiting to see the team’s first double-digit sacker since Simeon Rice, Spence appears to be primed for a breakout season.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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