Akeem Spence Not The WorstJanuary 17th, 2014
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.