Akeem Spence Is Almost ThereAugust 20th, 2013
Bucs fans paying attention to the trenches can see that rookie nose tackle Akeem Spence is no slouch on the first-team defense. The fourth-round pick targeted to be a 16-game starter by the organization seems to be on track.
Joe was impressed by Spence snuffing out a Patriots screen pass last weekend, and Joe knows Gerald McCoy raves about Spence’s work ethic.
Is Spence ready to start? Joe asked Greg Schiano yesterday.
“Akeem’s getting better. Whether he’s ready to start, you know I’m not ready to even consider all that yet. He’s makin’ plays. He’s doing his job most of the time,” Spence said. “Rookies, you get a little tired, you know they can let go of their job. And in his job it’s a very nasty, dirty job. And you gotta win that A-gap. And there’s a lot of stuff that goes on, a lot of stuff that tries to keep you from winning that A-gap. So he’s pretty good at it. But he’s got to be more consistent at it. He’s going to get a shot again Saturday night to do it. I sure hope so. Because he’s very talented.”
Barring injury or a complete breakdown, Joe is confident Spence will be the opening-day starter at nose tackle. Whether he gets spelled by Gary Gibson or stays in on passing downs is up in the air.
Regardless, so far, Spence seems like he was worth the trade-up in the fourth round needed to nab him.