Racing To Develop Akeem Spence

July 31st, 2013

In addition to rehabilitating veteran studs for Week 1 readiness, the New Schiano Order also is fast-tracking a rookie for opening day, projected starting nosetackle Akeem Spence.

Spence’s development is a race against time, Greg Schiano acknowledged today.

Joe asked Schiano to comment on whether Spence’s notorious feats of strength are showing up in practice film and how he’s progressing. The leader of the New Schiano Order said Spence is playing strong and a is major focus of his staff.

“He’s made some big improvements, even from his college tape as far as technique and stance and hands. Yeah, he’s got a lot of upside. The problem is we need that upside to be soon. We’re trying to accelerate it in every way we can. And he knows that,” Schiano said.

Yes, Joe trembled a little when Schiano used the word “problem,” thought it may have just been a figure of speech.

Spence is getting high marks from the guys across the line from him.

“He’s going to be a good player. He already has the leverage battle won on most people with his height,” Jeremy Zuttah said today. “He’s extremely strong – 500-pound bench, cleans the world, all those things. It’s about getting out here and getting comfortable and we’re confident in his ability.”

Ted Larsen said he likes Spence’s “tools” and said he shows an affinity for an unnatural position. “He does his job well. It’s not everybody’s natural position. Playing that tilted nose, it can really be a weapon.”

Yes, the Bucs have depth at nosetackle with Gary Gibson and Derek Landri, but Spence, a fourth-round pick, is the guy they want.

6 Responses to “Racing To Develop Akeem Spence”

  1. robert Says:

    6’1″ 307lbs and benches 500 hundo……


    ut I like the part about him playing natural in an unnatural position. hows his lower body and burst off the snap?

    my old room mate benched 450 and he was like 200lbs…so 500 aint that much.

  2. Mitch Says:

    He probably benches 500 for reps. But doesnt matter anyway. My ex-trainer , now colleague, use to play linebacker in the NFL and he benched 475 for reps, ran a 4.4 40, and held the record for squat, deadlift, and cleans at uconn… He didn’t make it in the league. He says its 35% athletic ability 45% intelligence & about 20% is the quality of your business/personal relationships within the nfl.

  3. SteveK Says:


    What kind of juice was your old rommie taking?

    Spence is an Ox, I expect the dude to improve and come out being a mutha phucker for the Bucs this year.

  4. Biff Barker Says:

    You still have to have the hands, upper body twist and leg drive. The bench press numbers are a nice attribute, but it does not define a good NT.
    And yes, I sense the Bucs may be a tad impatient.

  5. Bucamania Says:

    Yeah ok a 500lb bench isn’t much. Stick to your BoFlex machine.

  6. Fritz50 Says:

    I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the strength is a great place to start, but there’s a hell of a lot more to it than just that. I like Spence’s attitude & willingness to learn. While he’ll proly be raw for a while, I think (hope) he’ll develop into what we need, for the whole D’line to become the force that Bucs tradition calls for. Time will tell.