Akeem Spence Not The Worst

January 17th, 2014
akeem spence 0116a

Spreadsheeters don’t like Akeem Spence.

Oh, those spreadsheeters at Pro Football Focus, with only a couple of games this week, they have too much time on their hands and, thus, are playing with numbers.

In a breakdown of the best defensive tackles to get heat on the quarterback, Khaled Elsayed documented all NFL defensive tackles and came to the conclusion that J.J. Watt is the greatest. Joe has no problem with that. Watt is incredible.

Now the Bucs have a pretty good defensive tackle, too. You may have heard of him. Gerald McCoy? Elsayed lists GMC fourth in the NFL, behind Vinny Curry of Philadelphia and Cameron Jordan of New Orleans.

Elsayed also lists the worst pass-rushing defensive tackles in the NFL. The list proves that going all Tony Stewart down an Alabama highway with weed in the car may not be the worst thing in Akeem Spence’s life. Pro Football Focus ranks Spence as the worst NFL defensive tackle for getting pressure on the quarterback.

Now Joe has to defense Spence a little bit. First, his job is not to rush the passer. Joe knows that there are some Bucs fans when you try to tell them this, they throws their baskets of chicken wings off the table (though careful not to spill any beer) in outrage that a defensive lineman is not supposed to get heat on the quarterback.

Spence’s main job is to get heat off of GMC and clog up the middle. He does this just fine. In fact, with Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier, Joe foresees Spence actually improving.

Joe remembers during training camp former Bucs commander Greg Schiano raving about how, if needed, Spence can rush the quarterback, something the Bucs never saw on his film at Illinois because he was never asked to rush the quarterback.

Joe will say this: Spence was an upgrade over Roy Miller.

24 Responses to “Akeem Spence Not The Worst”

  1. d-money Says:

    DT’s rarely shine as rookies.

  2. Harry Says:

    am I losing it? I read this earlier today, on here??? If not, then I need to go buy a lottery ticket…

  3. Macabee Says:

    I’ve seen Lovie’s defense before and it’s not tilted nose. The DT next to McCoy will be a pass rushing DT. And maybe that will suit Spence even more. This I’m sure, he won’t be put in the dog house because of his first infraction. He will be given a chance to compete and to redeem himself! He’s young and very strong, I think he makes the team, but will have to compete to start.

  4. Jason Says:

    Forgive me for my ignorance, but the listing of Pro Football Focus doesn’t make sense to me because JJ Watt, Cameron Jordan, and Vinny Curry are all Defensive ENDS, not Tackles. I understand they may play the DT position on 3rd downs to produce more pressure, but their main position isn’t DT. So, in a listing of actual tackles, McCoy would seem to be #1.

  5. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    You are wrong Joe. You can say that Spence’s job is not to rush the passer and clog up the middle, but why is he there on 3rd downs and other obvious passing situations then? To generate pressure. Also just because he lines up as a slanted nose does not mean he automatically clogs up the middle by taking on the Center and the Guard. McCoy almost always saw those double teams and still did his job of generating pressure where as Spence didn’t against single blockers. So the PFF folks are very right and Spence cannot be defended on this issue. What you thought Spence did, was done by Lotulelei of Panthers.

  6. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    @Jason: Joe called them defensive tackles, but PFF named their ranking as best and worst “interior defenders”.

  7. Espo Says:

    I thought he played well. What I want is for 4 guys to get a jump instead of just one.

  8. ROBERT6 Says:

    spence, banks, glennon…….everyone wants to throw the rookies out like yesterdays trash.

    whats that about. All of these guys played fairly well in that they DID WHAT WAS ASKED OF THEM IN THE OLD SCHEME!

    Get rid of the stunts, turn him lose and spence will shine

    actually get some heat on the QB, get a real DB scheme and banks will have 10 picks

    Get some blocking for Glennon and he will light them up.

    if anything we should be crying about the OL, the old coaching schemes and not a one DE that can get around a decent OT.

  9. Chris Says:

    Hey joe how was he an upgrade? Bucs went from one to 17 against the run.

    Goes to show how bad a decision it was to let Michael Bennett go, or how overrated Adrian Clayborn is. –Joe

  10. BucFanForever Says:

    Chris, I honk the drop in effectiveness against he run is more the change at DE

  11. PRBucFan Says:

    He played the tilt, it truly wasn’t his job, do it makes sense.

    Now that that scheme is gone, we’ll see what he’ll have to offer.

  12. Jason Says:

    @ Jonny 2.3 Thanks! I still have issue with “interior defenders” because, again, I believe the majority of their snaps were at DE, not DT. But thanks for enlightening me, I can’t look at some links because of work firewall.

  13. ManzielMadness Says:

    Agree with @PR, Spence played tilted nose tackle and was supposed to eat up blocks.

    The run game could attribute to a number of reasons, one being, last year we had one of the worst pass defenses in the league, So teams are more likely to throw the ball instead of run, once we drafted banks and signed revis and goldson there was an automatic upgrade in our secondary. Plus The emphasis from two seasons ago was to stop the run, which is what Barron excels at, this year I believe(and I could be wrong) that Barron played more in coverage when lining up against opponents TE’s. And add that the fact that we also had more emphasis this in fixing the secondary.

  14. ManzielMadness Says:

    *More emphasis last season in improving the secondary

  15. aj Says:

    cameron jordan isn’t a DT lol, he’s definitely a d end, not even a interior lineman lol

  16. sneedy16 Says:

    Yeah, they forgot Leonard Johnson was our starting CB. Who would run when you can pass on that. lol

  17. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I agree, Spence is an upgrade over Miller.

  18. Kevin Says:

    So the guy got caught with some pot….WHO GIVES A CRAP??????? Pretty soon EVERYONE will be running around with pot.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    Kalidwhateverthefukhisnameis doesn’t know jack squat. He is another armchair Madden player that spouts off nonsense like Smell Kiper. I could give 2 sh!ts about anything this clown says. I’ll wait for Lovie to make his evaluations and go from there. Spence is surely one of the strongest tackles in the NFL. He’s young and appears to be willing to learn.

  20. Mike J Says:

    Jason, PFF considers DE’s in a 34 scheme to be inside players.

  21. Destinjohnny Says:

    Thank god dom drafted clayborne over cameron Jordan- that guy set us back so far

  22. cometowin2 Says:

    I wanted Cam Jordan with the pick we used on Clayborn but despite this and the good year Cam had I’m not giving up on Clayborn. He was coming off an injury and was.misused. I think he’ll be fine with the right coaching.

  23. triplee Says:

    Did anyone even read the article?

    “Unlike what happens with edge rushers, there’s a clear divide between those defensive tackles who can rush the passer, and those who are chiefly in for there run defense or holding up at the point of attack. So while you see names like Akeem Spence, Phil Taylor and Domata Peko in the Bottom 10, don’t fault them for their limitations because they bring other things to the table.”

    And as for DE’s being interior defenders, in a 3-4 DE’s generally are not the edge rusher and can often be compared to DT’s in a 4-3.

  24. Brandon Says:

    A lot of people consider 34 DEs to be DTs and the 34 OLBs to be DEs. Cam Jordan was drafted as a DE, Vinny Curry, too… but because in a 34 they are technically playing “inside” the outermost rusher, they are categorized as DTs.