As rookies enter camp this week we find this nugget of interesting info from one of my favorite Buccaneers scribes Stephen Holder.
#Bucs rookie DT Akeem Spence said coaches told him before leaving for break that he has great chance to win startng job. It’s now up to him
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) July 18, 2013
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.
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.