Spence = “Mini-Hercules” + “Perfectionist”

July 25th, 2013

With Roy Miller gone, the guy pegged to replace him, rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence, is the resident strongman in the Bucs’ locker room.

But Spence is no ordinary human fire hydrant. This guy’s stronger than strong.

Joe asked Gerald McCoy to give his early impressions of Spence, who McCoy surely will be attached to in various ways. McCoy called Spence a “perfectionist” and very similar to himself in the way Spence approaches the game.

But McCoy most wanted to talk about Spence’s feats of strength in the weight room. They’ve driven McCoy to the point of embarrassment.

“He’s a worker. First off, he’s a mini-Hercules,” McCoy said. “This dude, you know, I’ve never been the strongest guy but my strength went up this offseason. So I’m in there lifting and this guy’s lifting two racks down.   I almost left the weight room, just because I didn’t want to keep watching him. My heavy weight, he was like warming up.   I was like, ‘this is not even fair.’ He’s ridiculously strong. He’s a hard worker on the field. He’s similar to me when it comes to making mistakes. He despises making mistakes. So that’s what I love about him. He’s a perfectionist.”

There have been plenty of workout warriors in the NFL, and being strong doesn’t make you a great player, or even a good one.

Joe’s more excited to hear McCoy’s impressions of Spence’s attitude and work ethic. Perfectionists often thrive in the NFL.

18 Responses to “Spence = “Mini-Hercules” + “Perfectionist””

  1. Biff Barker Says:

    Well it’s not exactly the Olympics. Hope this translates to the field.

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    When I watched Spence practice during camps he was strong and a hardworker, but he was also very, vrry slow moving.

    I don’t know if this is a problem, or if he was just trying to absorb a lot of thing and was unsure of himself. I’ll be watching for improvement though. If he can increase his speed he could do some good things.

    And I say he was slow at the time, I mean snail pace slow from the moment he steps up to the line.

    Personally I don’t think he’s ready to start. Not a lot of options though.

  3. Bucnjim Says:

    Strength is good as long as technique and balance go along with it. I’d like to know how much weight McCoy was talking about though. Most professional weight lifters loss flexibility with excessive muscle gain.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All we need is for Spence to plug things up and tie up linemen while the rest penetrate.

  5. robert Says:

    he’s shorter, so he should be stronger.

  6. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    His position doesn’t really require speed and agility as much as it does strength. The whole point is for Spence to engage as many blockers as humanly possible, while holding the line of scrimmage. If they have to put more than one body on Spence all the time, and he holds the line of scrimmage, then Spence has done his job. He’s strong enough that if they choose not to double team him, he will then get his sacks, if left one on one.

    It was exactly the same with Roy Miller last year. Not a lot of sacks but he held TOS and took on double teams and chips every single game. Roy did it with weight and technique, whereas Spence will have to do it with his herculean strength since he lacks the weight advantage. Theres no doubt that he still has a lot to learn, and who best to practice against than Joseph, Zuttah, and Nicks.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Buc n Junkie

    Absolutely correct….Spence will be hard to handle….

  8. Buc1987 Says:

    @Tampabaybucfan…you are correct sir!

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Okay so your both correct only Tampabaybucfan had a shorter version and Buc’n Junkie broke it down in long form.

  10. Biff Barker Says:

    Memo to the JBF faithful, Derek Landri is your starting tilt nose.
    We don’t need a space eater, we need the pocket to be blown back.
    Not surprised to hear Spence looked slow off the snap. The explosive DT’a were gone 3 rounds before we picked him.

  11. Biff Barker Says:

    @ junkie,
    Miller was maybe 15 pounds heavier? Not that big of a difference.

  12. stevek Says:

    Curious to see Spence’s effect on the DL, specifically sack production.

    25 sacks is not good enough.

  13. chef paul Says:

    Lots of great articles and tweets already today Joe. Great job.

  14. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    @Biff Barker

    That maybe so, but Miller was bigger in stature and occupied a wider space. Just because two men can weigh almost the same, does not make them the same, it all depends on how they carry it. Miller advantage was that he was heavy in his lower portions which he used to anchor himself. Hopefully Spence, because of his phenomenal upper strength, it will make-up what he lacks in his foundational weight. fingers crossed.

  15. Meh Says:

    I’m really excited about Spence. Probably way more excited than I should be, but I think he was a steal where we grabbed him.

  16. Meh Says:

    And I don’t really see his speed as a problem. On obvious passing downs he’ll likely be taken out, and otherwise his job is going to be to hold the point while others worry about penetrating.

  17. rocmontana Says:

    Well he passed the conditioning test so he must be fast enough

  18. BamBamBuc Says:

    Strength and leverage is probably more important with the tilted nose position than any other DL spot. If Spence can gain leverage, he will be a good compliment. When GMC was drafted, there was so much talk about how Suh was SO much stronger, but GMC had the speed and quickness. We even saw Suh’s strength his rookie year as he literally picked up OL and threw them aside. Well, if Spence gets 1-on-1 and has the strength and leverage of Suh, he won’t need the speed and quickness. He’ll get the job done. If he gets doubled, it’ll leave things open for GMC, Bowers, and Clayborn. He’ll just have to hold the point while the other guys get there. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing Spence to Suh, simply stating how sheer strength and leverage can be used to hold a point, push the pocket and even pressure the QB. We need that strength on the line (but it would be nice if Spence has Suh’s intensity and fire…)