May 24th, 2016
Can Noah Spence fill the void at defensive end?

Can Noah Spence fill the void at defensive end?

Do the Bucs have strengths? Sure, at quarterback, at running back, probably at wide receiver if the wind blows right, and probably at offensive line.

What area of the Bucs is weak? Well, to read the words of Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, the defense is weak but in particular, defensive end. Rosenthal typed a piece that looked at the weak spots of every NFC squad and in his view, defense end is the Bucs’ crater.

At least the Bucs put in the effort to address their defensive end hole. If rookie Noah Spence starts, last season’s top Bucs sack artist Jacquies Smith could be forced to the bench behind Spence and free agent pickup Robert Ayers.

Mike Smith inherits an uneven yet intriguing defensive roster that includes foundation pieces like Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David. It still feels like a work in progress that is looking for permanent solutions at defensive end and safety. Perhaps Spence can be a start.

It’s going to be interesting to see who starts. Initially, Joe thought it might be Jacquies Smith and Noah Spence. But with the cash dropped in the lap of Robert Ayers, wouldn’t he get a leg up on someone?

20 Responses to “Weak”

  1. d-roca Says:

    Hes definitely got 2 legs up, unless mr smith puts him next to gmc. N i definitely like mrs smiths pies. Go bucs

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Not very concerned about who gets to ‘start’ on defense and run out of the tunnel first. I like Mike Smith’s philosophy of looking for 15 or 16 ‘starters’ on defense. Of those 4-5 ‘extras’ I’d guess that 1 will be a 3rd CB for certain packages, and the remaining 3-4 will be the DLine rotation players. My guess is that GMC, McDonald, Akeem Spence, Noah Spence, Ayers, Jack Smith and Gholston will all be ‘starters’ in Mike Smith’s eyes.

  3. tdtb2015 Says:

    15 – 16 starters…..Blah, blah…..blah!

    Give us solid finisher with KA mentality.

    Go Bucs!!!

  4. Kevin Says:

    Dont care what smith says this d line belongs to hayes, much like the team always knew koetter was the man with the asnwets even when lovie was here. Hayes will get it right. We will see if smith can figure out the rest

  5. Dreambig Says:

    We have had so much change during the offseason its hard to really know where we are on D-line. Hopefully it will turn out like last year when we were all panicking about the oline. I just dug through the joebucsfan archives for last year at this time and through preseaon and things looked pretty grim, Jameis was getting killed in the preseason and we had one of the worst pressure on the QB stats in the league. What a great job Warhop did last year fixing that mess. Now Oline is listed as a strength. Crazy the difference a year makes. Now we have a Jay Hayes coaching up the Dline and if we are lucky he will get more out of the players we already had plus our new guys.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Don’t care who starts…I like the 15-16 starters…..think it builds a team mentality rather than individual…..at any time a player could be asked to step up into a full time role….this will help them prepare for that.

  7. James Walker Says:

    Rotate them and go with who makes the plays.

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    Agree with the “don’t care who starts” it as not as important as who is “in” when the its the 4th quarter and the Bucs are ahead by 3!!!! Who will close is now the more important question!!!!

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    Ayers will move inside in nickel sub-packages when Spence comes in.

  10. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    I’m reading a lot fo your posts (not all, I’m a rebel ) and fro mwhat you posted about DC smith, he bis not seeing our defense in a typical way.
    He seems to want our defence to be a “Mystique” (xmen) one ! A defense able to adapt and adjust depending on the opponent, the situation and so on.
    He already said that it will not be a 3-4, 4-3 defense, but a mix and combinaison of it.
    So basically, apart for 3 to 4 players, there will not really be starters in this defence.

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    Jac Smith is not an every down player. He’s basically had a few good games and has been hurt more than not. He gets blown up in the run game. Great story but he’s hardly a reliable consistent player. Spence and Ayers will start but there will be a nice rotation of inside and outside dline until mccoy gets his yearly injury and Smith gets hurt. Hopefully akeem Spence back can hold up. Lot of players with significant injury histories on dline including the supposed star. McDonald’s health is key too

  12. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    It will probably be ayers and Gholston on the edge on 1st and 2nd and then move ayers inside on passing downs with Spence and Smith on the edge. That’s your best pass rushing combination by far. If Smith can stay healthy I think this line will do just fine. Ayers is one of the key pieces. Can he can repeat what he did last season will be the biggest question mark. I’m not expecting a whole lot out of Spence his rookie year. He’s got to adjust to the speed of the game and the talent of NFL caliber tackles. Big difference between division 1 (Ohio valley conference) talent at eastern Kentucky. Yes u can point to our young and talented guard in Ali Marpet who showed no problems adjusting, but playing DE versus guard is a little different imo.

  13. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    why didnt licht and lovie take a flier on bjorn werner at d end last year, since that is need area

  14. DPewter Says:

    Robert Ayers, and William Gholston will get the start with a heavy rotation of Smith and Spence. Spence or Smith (if Smith can stay healthy) could edge out Ayers early to mid season.

    Why Gholston? Because he is the best run stopping DLinemen we have and has the length to disrupt quick passes.

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    Until any one guy really stands out, I expect there to be a healthy rotation. It will probably be necessary to blitz in order to take the pressure off the D-line until we know for sure. Heck, lets blitz anyway! It sure does look like fun when other teams sack QBs! Why not us?!

  16. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    tdtb2015 Says:
    May 24th, 2016 at 6:32 am
    15 – 16 starters…..Blah, blah…..blah!

    Give us solid finisher with KA mentality.

    Go Bucs!!!


    Spence is gonna be our Kwon Alexander of the Dline.

    And he has a RELENTLESS motor.

    We need that Kwon Alexander mentality at every defensive position if possible and at least 1 of those guys in every position grouping to set the tone and lead by example.

    And we need the same with Winston’s mentality on offense.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    Looking forward the changes of defensive coaching alone give me high optimism that this Bucs team is on the upswing.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    In a highly specialized, data-driven, situational NFL, the term “starter” is becoming meaningless…

    The number of “every down” players is becoming quite small…

  19. godzilla13 Says:

    Mike Smith and Jay Hayes are going to play a physical, aggressive football with a defensive line which employs a heavy rotation to make sure when the 4th quarter hits we are the stronger group. Remember we have nine possibly ten defensive line players who I expect to not only make the team but all get playing time. At defensive end we have Robert Ayers, Noah Spence, Jacquies Smith, Howard Jones, William Gholston and George Johnson. At defensive tackle we have Gerold McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Akeem Speence. We also now have the former Dolphin AJ Francis. The 6-5 330 DT can be used on certain packages to stuff the middle. Robert Ayers and Noah Spence should start on the outside then move Ayers next to McCoy inside on nickle packages. Most people say our best 3rd down line-up includes Spence and Smith on the outside of McCoy and Ayers inside. I believe our best 3rd down line-up could include Gholston on the inside next to GMC with Spence and Ayers outside? I have also heard of a four CB package. That could be something to see.

  20. Brent bull/buc Says:

    If we could add another solid dt I’d actually be excited. I don’t see it though because all that’s available are rejects. That’s why I hated that Aguayo pick. We could have jarron reed and pariah cooper. Instead we have a cheap kicker.