Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Coaches Tell Akeem Spence: Great Chance Starting Job with Tampa Bay Buccaneers Is His To Win

As rookies enter camp this week we find this nugget of interesting info from one of my favorite Buccaneers scribes Stephen Holder.

I’m sure coaches throw these kinds of promises to a bunch of players before camp to try to motivate. But in the case of Spence, he certainly has the best shot of any of the rookies to get significant playing time.

The way the roster is laid out at the moment, Spence only has one man to beat. With the departure of Roy Miller a spot has opened up and really only Spence and Gary Gibson look to have a chance to lay claim to it.

Spence is 6’1″ slightly over 300 pounds. He’s been described, my draft guru Mike Mayock as a “weight room warrior,” but needs to work hard to translate his off the field prowess to on field success.

The job of a Buccaneers DT, as long as Gerald McCoy is healthy, is to clog up the middle and make sure to be able to stop the run. McCoy and the ends will be doing plenty in the backfield, so the Bucs need a guy who simply won’t get beat at the point of attack and expose running lanes.

His tally of seven tackles for loss and one sack in 12 games as a senior in college is actually rather impressive for a tackle who was likely commanding more attention than the rest of his defensive line.

I’d still be surprised if Spence does get the nod Week 1 against the Jets, but there certainly is a chance, and he seems to think it’s his to lose. I love when rookies come in and win spots because the upside is always immense. Hopefully that’s exactly what we have here with Akeem Spence.

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