During his media session today, Mike Smith couldn’t sing the praises of second round pick Noah Spence nearly enough. Needless to say, he’s excited Spence is part of the team.
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Mike Smith already loves the fact that Noah Spence is on this team. Heck, he might even be more excited than Bucs fans. While taking questions from the local media, Smith had nothing but great things to say about the troubled defensive end on his rise back from rock bottom;
"“Well, I think Noah Spence has some real traits you’re looking for in a pass rusher. He’s got a very good first step and has the ability to use his hands extremely well. In our mind, he was one of the best – if not the best – pass rusher in the draft.We’re trying to have somewhere between 15 and 16 guys that we consider starters on our defense. It’s a long season. You’re going to have guys playing in different packages and we’ve got a plan for Noah in terms of bringing him along. I was very impressed with his football intelligence in the rookie mini-camp and what he’s done this week”Jan 30, 2016; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive end Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky (97) in the second quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports"
There is little to no doubt that if Spence hadn’t gotten himself in trouble at Ohio State, he would’ve been a first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Bucs got themselves a steal in round two. Spence went above and beyond in rookie mini-camp to impress his coaches.
"“Well, we’ve thrown a lot at him. Over the last seven or eight days, we’ve put about 70 percent of our defense in. We wanted to see what these guys could handle. The philosophy is to throw it at them – all of it – and see what they handle and then come back and kind of reconstruct it piece by piece.He’s your prototypical – size-wise – right defensive end when you start talking about where he’s going to line up. With the schemes we’re talking about doing, he’s going to have the ability to line on both sides of the ball.”"
One more crazy thing that Mike Smith mentioned Thursday was that he was going to “scheme against the strengths of the opponent”. Wait, what? You mean you can actually do that? You can look at what a team does offensively and gameplan against that? To take them out of their comfort zone and create chaos?
And here we all thought that running the same defensive scheme week in and week out, despite what the offense does, was the only way to do things. What a novel idea.
Who knows…maybe now our corners will be able to stop a slant.