Battle Percolating At D-Tackle, Licht Says

July 24th, 2014
Akeem Spence has kept his foot on the gas, says the Bucs GM, who was not referencing Spence's recent ticket for going 100+ miles per hour.

Akeem Spence hasn’t “taken his foot off the gas,” says the Bucs GM, who was not referencing Spence’s recent ticket for driving 100+ miles per hour.

Now this is interesting. Damn, Joe is fired up for training camp.

Lovie Smith is on record saying his nose tackle must be a pass rusher first. Run-stuffers need not apply on Lovie’s watch.

Second-year defensive tackle Akeem Spence was known as a run stuffer out of college when the Bucs drafted him last year, but once Greg Schiano saw Spence in pads, he said Spence had pass rush talent never before seen on tape. (Funny, though, how Schiano never seemed to get Spence to breathe on a quarterback.)

Now in comes Lovie Smith, and he quickly signs DT Clinton McDonald away from the Super Bowl champion Seahawks. McDonald had 5.5 sacks and has speed and get off.

So he’s going to replace Spence in the starting lineup, right? Well, Bucs general manager Jason Licht proclaimed tonight that Spence is very much in a battle with McDonald for a starting gig.

Licht told a WDAE-AM 620 audience and host Steve Duemig that Spence “is a heck of a football player” and “will battle it out with Clinton McDonald” for a starting job.

After his radio appearance, Joe asked Licht to elaborate on Spence, and the GM was quick to explain the competition that’s brewing.

“He just hasn’t taken his foot off the gas,” Licht said of Spence. “You know, we bring in Clinton and, essentially, the writing could have been on the wall that he’s no longer the starter, but he’s been working harder than anybody. So, it’s just fun to see that competition there so far in OTAs and I expect it to continue through camp.”

For some background on Lovie’s view of a nose tackle. Here’s what Lovie told Joe in March:

“Booger McFarland and Warren Sapp were the inside tandem, both of those guys had 3-technique or under tackle type ability. When I say under tackle ability, I’m talking about guys that are athletic, that can rush the passer. A lot of times you think of just a nose guard position as more of a run-support-only position. And that’s not the case,” Lovie said.

So if Spence is competing for a starting gig, then it’s clear the current regime sees pass rush ability in him, too. Wouldn’t that be something if Spence blossomed with improved coaching. The Bucs’ D-line depth would take a big step forward, and the legacy of the former GM would take a small step, too.

18 Responses to “Battle Percolating At D-Tackle, Licht Says”

  1. biff barker Says:

    Spence and Euclid Cummings may both raise some eyebrows this year.

  2. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Looking forward to our d-line starters to impress. Like Joe said with coaching Spence along with Cummings, Gholston & AC should reach new heights.

    QB beware the Wolf Pack is waking up!

  3. Tom Edrington Says:

    Ah, sounds like the beginning of possible quality depth, it’s a start, this team has been seriously lacking in the quality depth department and I believe you would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t agree.

  4. phil Says:

    I believe Spence can win the job. Hopefully he will get some decent coaching now.

  5. Lunchbag AL Says:

    Sounds like Joe might have ‘hope’. We know what Joe thinks of ‘hope’.

    Seriously though, Spence in the rotation would be huge.

  6. Paul Says:

    Spence does everything in overdrive. If he wasn’t stoned, he’d have been going 200mph+!

  7. flmike Says:

    It’s not that Dom didn’t know football talent, it’s he didn’t know coaching talent.
    I believe Clayborn, Bowers and Spence all have spots on this team, it’s just up to them to claim them. I also believe Gholston will be the breakout guy on that line, we’re going to have a sick rotation at DE, especially on the left side.

  8. INDYbucsfan Says:

    “He just hasn’t taken his foot off the gas,” … LoL!

  9. mpmalloy Says:

    Clearly these MSM’ers are deulsional.

  10. mpmalloy Says:

    Correction: ASM’ers (Akeem Smith Mobbers)

  11. Piratic Says:

    @mpmalloy: His name is Spence.

  12. Lou. Says:

    Joe –

    Serious question: haven’t the Buc d-line coaches been good to very good over the last several years? Millard was a stud player and seemed to have swag and respect from the team. Melvin I don’t know about.

    We know Joe despised Sheridan/Schiano, but What’s the word on the past d-position coaches?

  13. Lou. Says:

    Joe –

    Serious question: haven’t the Buc d-line coaches been good to very good over the last several years? Millard was a stud player and seemed to have swag and respect from the team. Melvin I don’t know about.

    We know Joe despised Sheridan/Schiano, but What’s the word on the past d-position coaches?

  14. Joe Says:

    We know Joe despised Sheridan/Schiano, but What’s the word on the past d-position coaches?

    Millard was good. Jury’s out on Bryan Cox, who’s now with Atlanta.

  15. BoJim Says:

    Spence has a great grin. Can’t wait to see him shine.

  16. coleman hogg Says:

    Mp Malloy..#youareanidiot

  17. Nick H Says:

    Dominik = garbage always and forever, even if 1 of his selections becomes a HoF’er which is a thought that brings all of the lol’s one human can muster in a day.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    Still taking shots at the former GM and HC, seriously?!

    This can be nothing but good news, a solid D-line rotation. Get it Spence!

 
 

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