Gerald McCoy Makes The Case For Akeem Spence

January 31st, 2017
Gerald McCoy Talks To Joe

Five-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy talks to Joe

The Bucs have young free agents across their defensive line, and Jason Licht has decisions to make in just over a month.

The rookie contracts of Akeem Spence and Will Gholston are expiring.

They are valuable players, but how valuable? There is their “market” value, and then there’s what they’re worth to the Bucs defense.

Joe asked five-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy about the football end of things Sunday in Orlando.

McCoy gave a strong sales pitch for Spence.

“Since he’s come into the league, he’s been put under a microscope, under pressure,” McCoy said of his fellow defensive tackle. “You know, as a rookie he got forced into a starting role. They wanted him to be ‘the guy’ immediately, and he never blinked, never does. He did whatever was necessary to make it happen. They brought in Clinton McDonald and pushed him to the back. He was forced to be solid in a backup role and has stepped up when necessary. When Clinton is out, Akeem always steps up. Think about the Denver game, he stepped up and played well. When I didn’t play, Robert Ayers didn’t play, Clinton McDonald didn’t play, look at how well he played against Carolina. And he made a key stop on third down against Carolina, he just somehow always finds a way to make himself relevant, regardless of how much people doubt him or push him to the back burner. He finds some way to push through it — to show up.”

At 25 years old, Spence, a Bucs fourth-round pick in 2013, should be a no-brainer to re-sign. He’s a solid football player. Period. And he shouldn’t cost a fortune. That’s the kind of guy the Bucs should be jumping to keep.

Spence played in every game during three of his four seasons. That’s a nice durability complement to McDonald, 30, who has missed 17 games in his three years with Tampa Bay.

Tomorrow, Joe will share McCoy’s take on Will Gholston.

21 Responses to “Gerald McCoy Makes The Case For Akeem Spence”

  1. bucsfaninchina Says:

    Can you think of a single play where Akeem Spence has jumped out?

    Me neither.

  2. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Spence and Gholston are certainly welcome back.

    It really comes down to one thing…the right $$$. If an agent doesn’t find another team to overpay we should absolutely resign both of these guys.

  3. keith Says:

    He plays nose tackle. Not a lot of jump out plays from that spot. I imagine a lot of his playmaking results in plays made by others.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    We don’t need 11 guys jumping out, it wouldn’t hurt! What we do need are guys that can get the job done and step in when needed. This seems like a no-brainer to me at 25 years old. Seasoned DTs don’t grow on trees.

  5. bucsfaninchina Says:

    I’m not asking for MANY plays where he has jumped out, I’m asking for ANY in the four years he has been here.

  6. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    I remember a key third down stop in Carolina this year. 😉

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Akeem Spence was on my wishlist during his draft. I saw him as solid depth and that’s what he is. I think his ‘pot’ stint cost him big.

    Resign him at a reasonable price, let him walk if not reasonable.

    And I’m sorry, but I do NOT buy this ‘pushed to the back’ claim.

    I don’t care where a player is on the depth chart…if he is hungry and great at his job, he’ll get promoted. Just look at Kwon.

    Just like Glennon, Akeem Spence has had opportunities to prove he can be a starter.

    It’s the fire I don’t see. Still, you don’t need fire in backups unless they are heirs.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete hit the nail on the head: “It really comes down to one thing…the right $$$.” Akeem’s not fancy, but he is a steady, reliable performer. Played in all 16 games last year, but only had 1/2 a sack, 10 tackles and 9 assists. Not fancy, but reliable.

    Reality says that the Bucs MUST upgrade their DLine if they expect to compete in the NFC South. GMC played far too many snaps IMHO, and that’s not good. McDonald does great … when he’s available (that’s the problem). Akeem played in every game, but relatively few snaps (for whatever reason). Bucs used guys like Hughes, Lambert, Siliga, Russell, Ward, Gholston & Ayers in the middle at various times but there’s no real substitute for having a couple more true beasts in the interior to stuff the run or take on double-teams to free up the DEs.

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Jaleel Johnson > Akeem Spence

  10. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Can you think of a single play where Akeem Spence has jumped out?

    Me neither.”


    Guess you weren’t watching the Carolina game. I mean, never mind the fact that it’s mentioned in this article, but I would think you’d remember how he absolutely blew up a play on third and one late in the fourth quarter. Not every player in the NFL has to have memorable plays in order to be worth being on the team. I can’t think of a play Booger McFarland made either. That doesn’t mean he didn’t, it just means you don’t have to define a player by one play. No one is going to confuse Spence with an All Pro, but he provides solid depth. So many of our fans truly don’t seem to understand the concept that you can’t fill the roster with Pro Bowlers, especially as backups.

  11. lokog Says:

    i remember more than one play spence made

  12. NJBucsFan Says:

    Having him back will be better than the Roy Miller, Gary Gibson and Amboi Okoye days.

  13. Youngbuc Says:

    He gets off double teams better than any other lineman

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    he’s a solid player that can contribute and provide solid depth at the very least…resign him….GO BUCS!!!

  15. Jonny 2.2 Says:

    Our DTs are overrated outside of McCoy. All of them don’t play with gap integrity and that costs us quite a bit against the run. At least McCoy redeems himself with his pass rush. No thanks to Spence. Yes he is young but we can do better at that position. Roy Miller was the ideal NT next to McCoy. That is why when we let him go out run D suffered in Schiano second year. We need a disciplined DT that can hold a double team and stick with his gap assignment.

  16. USFBUC Says:

    Spence is a solid backup and should be re-signed.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    If Akeem Spence agrees to a deal in the $2M per year range or less – then I would definitely resign him for depth. He’s not worth much more than that though IMO.

    Gholston should definitely be resigned unless he’s looking for more than $5M per.

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    bucsfaninchina – Remember any places where Greg Spires stood out in 2002? Yeah I didn’t think so, yet he was a starter on one of the best defenses of all time. You have to be a real dummy to think every player on defense has to be a playmaker or they have to be replaced. Opinions like yours is why talk radio callers are the worst people on earth, worse than Hitler.

  19. JAB83 Says:

    I would like to see us sign both of our Spence’s.

    This way the Joe’s can set up a

    “Spencer’s” Ale and charge 4.75$ and you get a Quarter Back for a change 😉

    Drops Mic…. (Tripe Pun)

  20. bucsfaninchina Says:

    My opinion doesn’t jive with buttmunch so now I’m Hitler hahahahaha

  21. bucsfaninchina Says:

    Greg Spires:
    6 years with TB
    185 tackles, 26 sacks
    Avg: ~31 tackles, 4.3 sacks per year

    Akeem Spence:
    4 years with TB
    55 tackles, 5.5 sacks
    Avg: ~16 tackles, 1.4 sacks per year

    Looking good, Rod Munch.