Bucs DE Noah Spence -Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire
If you take everything into account, last year was a very solid rookie year for Buccaneers’ defensive end, Noah Spence.
Spence, while battling through a serious shoulder injury, finished second on the team with 5.5 sacks and second on the team in forced fumbles, too, with three.
But, this year the expectations are even higher, not just from Spence himself, but from his peers, too.
“This year, he’s even more hungry than he was last year,” said fellow defensive end, Robert Ayers. “I’m excited for him. I think he’s a player that can be a 15-plus sack guy this season. That’s my opinion. Whether he goes and does it is another thing, but I that’s how I feel about him. He has tools that not many people come into this league with. He’s still learning. I’m excited for him. It’s going to be a big year.”
A 15-sack season would be a jump in production much like the one from Falcons’ pass rushers Vic Beasley from 2015 to 2016, where Beasley went from four sacks his rookie season to 15,5 the next (which led the NFL).
One way Spence is trying to reach that lofty goal is by getting in better shape. It’s been reported that Spence has trimmed down some weight, and now we know what that looks like
The picture on the left is of Spence during his rookie season. He was playing at about 250 pounds with 14 percent body fat (he says). This offseason Spence made it his goal to get in better shape without losing too much size. The picture on the right is from his Instagram a few days ago, and shows a much more shredded Spence at a reported 9 percent body fat.
Spence says he feels a lot better going into this season. He attributes that to cutting fast food from his diet and by drinking only water, staying away from sugar and carbonated drinks.
Writer’s note: Although now I wonder what his go-to fast food used to be. Spence seems like a Five Guys kind of guy. Maybe Taco Bell? Popeyes? Ok, now I’m hungry.
One big reason Beasley had the jump in production that he did was because he was moved to a speed-rushing, 3-4 outside linebacker role in his sophomore season. There have been talks of Spence doing the same.
If that’s the case, Spence’s body looks to be as fast as it can be.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Taco Bell, Five Guys, Popeyes?
Aren’t those three of the four major food groups?
Throw Chipotle in there somewhere and I’m down.
Well he sure looks like a Linebacker, not a Defensive Linemen.
You’re not wrong.
well cutting that weight will def make him faster and lighter on his feet!
He looks good. If we get a productive year like Beasely’s last year, it would be a resounding success. He’s got the speed to rush from a 3/4. I believe his 10 yard split at the combine was really good, which is what I pay more attention to than the full 40 for lineman. He’s clearly trimmed down to play LB. This pic just proves it.
If you could win by looking that good in shorts, we’d be world champs. Kidding aside, Spence has put in the work, takes this serious, be nice if he busts out this year. Seem to be gaining players who have that want to be great, will do what it takes. Good culture growing in Tampa.
I’m always amazing how staying in shape is part of your job and athletes don’t do it. Lacy getting a bonus for being under 255 lbs. I would like a benefit on health insurance for staying fit.
This goes in stark contrast to a video I saw on another Bucs site last year where Marpet and another OL dude went to a taco joint and put down some serious food. I know OL need some beef but it still struck me as a ton of food for an athlete. Good for Spence. Although he shouldn’t cut out the Coca Cola altogether. Professional cyclists (I’m just a category level racer myself) use the high sugar to replenish fuel after super high efforts. It replaces lost glycogen stores used up in anaerobic efforts. I’m sure fast twitch muscle fibers needed for lightning fast get off would benefit from some sugar during the game. Or EPO, just saying.
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