A group of 51 young NFL hopefuls saw their first day of field work as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie minicamp opened Friday afternoon.
Noah Spence – Photo: Mark Cook/PR
Among those in attendance were the team’s seven draft selections: CB Vernon Hargreaves III, DE Noah Spence, K Roberto Aguayo, DB Ryan Smith, OT Caleb Benenoch, LB Devante Bond and FB Dan Vitale.
For Spence, the Bucs’ second pick after Hargreaves and the draft’s 39th overall, the transition from college to life the pros hasn’t been dramatic just yet. But that’s also because the journey’s barely begun.
“It’s just a little faster, I guess; a lot of plays and everything like that,” Spence said after the 90-minute session wrapped up at One Buccaneer Place. “But I feel good about it. There weren’t any pads on or anything like that but it was still exciting just to have a uniform on and be out here with the guys.”
Spence comes to the Bucs after spending one season with Eastern Kentucky, becoming the Colonels’ third highest drafted player in program history behind first-round defensive ends Aaron Jones (1988) and Wally Chambers (DE). Prior to EKU, Spence had a well-documented falling out while enrolled at The Ohio State University that led to his suspension, transfer and eventually damaged draft stock.
Blunt and to the point with his responses Friday afternoon, Spence said these first three days of pad-less rookie minicamps aren’t really where players on the defensive and offensive lines get to showcase their power or explosiveness.
“[You] try to get a good pass rush, use your hands, use your hands on the run, just a lot of technique stuff,” he said.
Head coach Dirk Koetter also spoke after Friday’s camp and agreed with Spence’s assessment in terms of what coaches are looking for this weekend.
“It’s somewhat effort, but more about if they can learn and how fast they can move their feet,” the first-year head coach said. “Since we’re not going with pads, you can’t totally go on effort because they can’t hit each other. Some of these guys got here because they’re big hitters and tough guys, but that doesn’t always show up when you’re just practicing in helmets.”
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Didn’t we trade for Wally Chambers? If my memory serves me right, I think it was a second rounder. Scubog do you know?
I do Horse. Wally was a college friend with one of my friends In 1978 we gave up our 1979 first round Draft pick (4th overall) and another player for Wally Chambers who was coming off of a knee injury. That 1978 season Wally didn’t do much, but in the Worst to First 1979 season he was instrumental in the teams’ rise to the top of the division. He lasted one more uneventful season. The player the Bears took with our choice was DT Dan Hampton.
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Scubog, I am 68 yoa and have followed the Bucs from the beginning as you have. Everything you said about Chambers is correct but what I remember best is he spent a lot of his time in the whirlpool tub. I would much rather have used our first round pick on Dan Hampton who would have been a star for us for ten years or more.
Hey, horse, scubag and all of you doehard lifers as well as you reporters. Just wanted to say thanks. Appreciate all of the reading material and insight info on our team. Since I first subscribed to this site I have had nothing short of good reads and great laughs along the way.
HE was drafted in the first round by Chicago and started as a DT. He was picked 8th overall. He was in the pro bowl in 75 and 76 and he got in a contract squabble and got traded to Tampa and lined up across from Lee Roy Selmon. He was a beast.
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