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.