Carrying The Weight To The FieldMay 7th, 2013
There’s a lot to like with Bucs rookie nose tackle Akeem Spence. First, Joe isn’t sure the guy ever wipes the smile off his face. He’s always in a good mood.
Joe would be, too, if he could build himself into an NFL draft pick anda potential starter by hitting the weights big time, documents veteran sports columnist Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times.
“The weight room — that’s where I make my living, man,” he said. “Anytime you don’t see me in the locker room, you’ll probably find me in the weight room trying to get stronger.”
The question with Spence is how much he can apply that strength to his football play. At Illinois, he didn’t always use the best leverage, which is one of the reasons he was still there in the fourth round.
“I hear it, but I don’t try to pay attention,” Spence said. “I’m weight-room strong, but I feel like I take it to the field real well. Sometimes people don’t understand it’s the scheme. With me being so strong, sometimes people expect me to grab the blocker and throw it into the backfield. But at the same time you’re still playing football. You’ve got to pay attention to the scheme.”
As so eloquently spoken by the great Warren Sapp, “You don’t pump weights on the 50-yard line.” So true.
What does impress Joe with Spence, aside from his beaming smile, is that Spence is durable in the devil’s den that is interior line play. He started 38 straight games and left Illinois after his junior year.