Spence Helping Self By Bulking Up

June 3rd, 2018

Rebuilt body. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

If nothing else, Bucs defensive end Noah Spence looks like an Adonis. Dude is all rocked up. Chiseled.

Spence honestly looks like he just walked off a cover photo shoot for a bodybuilding magazine. Beastly. And it seems multimedia maven Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com is of the mind Spence needed to put on weight to avoid getting shoved around at his position.

I’ve got to imagine it’s hard to play defensive end in the NFL at 230-ish pounds. Spence’s game is speed and he’s never going to be a JPP-like 280 or 290-pound end. He’s an edge-rushing specialist (though he played better than anticipated against the run as a rookie in 2016), so he won’t want to put on so much weight that it affects his speed. But Koetter said Spence’s target playing weight is between 253 and 259 pounds, so the team obviously believes he can maintain that same speed at that higher weight.

Will it make him less susceptible to the shoulder injuries that have abbreviated his first two seasons? It doesn’t seem to me like there would be a one-to-one corollary between being heavier and avoiding shoulder dislocations. I have certainly seen larger linemen suffer the same injury, and once you do have a dislocation, you’re more likely to have another one if you return to action without some sort of additional procedure.

I talked to one of our trainers about this and he agrees that there isn’t a direct correlation between adding weight and avoiding shoulder injuries. However, he does believe that getting bigger and stronger is going to make Spence more resilient overall. He’ll be better equipped to hold his own in physical battles against larger offensive tackles, his primary foes on the field.

Joe sure has his fingers crossed that Spence doesn’t blow his shoulder out again. A third such injury in three years and his NFL days might just be done. His Bucs days very much would be in limbo.

Spence is the wild card on this defensive line. In a perfect world, the Bucs want Spence playing at right defensive end on passing downs and Jason Pierre-Paul at left defensive end.

If Spence can stay healthy and, say, get seven sacks, that would be a huge boost to the pass rush. If he is on track for seven sacks, offenses cannot just ignore him. They would have to account for him too, along with Vinny Curry and JPP.

And, oh yeah, Gerald McCoy.

18 Responses to “Spence Helping Self By Bulking Up”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:

    If DL stays healthy, on paper, this defense should be close to dominant.
    Joe, any update on Jordan Whitehead, Justin Watson or Jack Cichy progress ?
    Thanks for reports

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    Wild card is a good summary. If healthy he could be a superb help for this D.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    I thought that fennely had a great piece of what they actually did on NS57 corrective surgery!!!! There is a lot to be excited about NS57 the human highlight comming back for a great year this year!!!!! He is the best pure pass rusher on this roster!!!!!!!!! If the Line rotation is what was said, we will be seeing more of him than just a situational 3rd and long plays!!!!!!! Very exciting indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    A part of Spence’s last surgery involved a procedure that will keep his shoulder in the socket permanently so that it can’t/won’t become dislocated again.

    Hopefully that will be the case and Noah can avoid other injuries – because the dude has everything you look for in a player regarding love of the game want to, willingness to work hard and talent – if he can just manage to stay healthy…

    Go get ’em Spawn!

  5. BringBucsBack Says:

    Wasn’t he jacked-up last year?

  6. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Hopefully the extra weight helps. Injuries aside, he has been horrible as an edge rusher in the NFL. Offensive tackles have easily just pushed him outside of the pocket and he hardly ever puts pressure on QBs. Personally if he doesn’t improve this year that pick needs to be declared a bust and they need to move on.

  7. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    For the posters above saying how much talent he has: Do you guys watch the games? Spence has been awful even when healthy. He gets thrown around like a rag doll and tackles have no trouble neutralizing him. I was also excited when they drafted him, but he has done nothing to impress me as a Buc.

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    TDTB Says:
    “Spence has been awful even when healthy… he has done nothing to impress”

    Spence played 1 healthy game in 2017 – and got a sack/strip/fumble in that game.

    Noah got 5 1/2 sacks as a rookie in 2016 playing most of the year with an injured shoulder – basically held together/supported by a harness. Spence has also looked pretty solid defending against the run whenever he was in there.

    Do YOU watch the games TDTB? If so – not sure what you are looking at to come away with this negative take on Spence.

  9. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    TouchDown, do you have video evidence of this?

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Realist and Pickgrin….I hope you guys are correct about this procedure. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

    One thing that made me nervous recently was the Lightning’s Ryan Callahan. He hits everything that moves on the ice but he’s paid the price.

    He just had his THIRD shoulder procedure in just four years. Of course Callahan is in his mid 30’s and not a young guy like Spence. And hopefully as pointed out Spence had a different procedure.

    AGAIN…Spence was THE most talked about player last year at the Jags/Bucs summer practice. Both Bucs vets and Jag players!!! He was ready to blow up.

    He averaged a little over a third of a sack a game while our leader GMC is just under a half sack a game.

  11. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Yea man, he could be that wildcard for us if healthy.
    This dline will get 50 sacks this year!!!
    Don’t care about the doubters right now.

  12. Capt.Tim Says:

    The epitome of stupidity
    They had Spence drop weight last year, and he gets hurt again- almost immediately.
    Now, one of our trainers feels that, being heavier might help Noah hold up against Offensive tackles!!

    NO SH*T!!!

    So, a 6’2”, 230# man might get hurt, going up aginst a 6’6”, 320# every play of a game???

    When I heard Spence had been told to drop weight last season-I was glad to hear it! Figured that meant they were gonna use Spence properly- as a rush LBer. i.e. Von Miller.

    But noooooo- some moron thought, that the best way to protect a too small DE, is to have him get smaller!!!
    That moron is the reason Noah Spence got hurt last year.
    6’2”, 230# is way too small, to line up against the NFLs moster tackled for 50 plays a game.
    You will get hurt.
    Ive been saying it forever. Noah Spence is too small to play DE in the NFL!
    He played some LB in college. Its not New to him. And it would play to his strengths.
    Let Spence stand up, right next to JPP.
    JPP engages the Tackle, Spence goes around the edge- now thats QB pressure!

    Im glad to hear Noah is Bulking up. At 265#, he would hold up better.
    But hes still giving up 4” in heigth, and and 60# in weight.
    Thats a lot .
    I guess the same brain surgeons that told him to lose weight, are the same Brain surgeons who refuse to play Spence at LB. a position where he cold become an elite pass rusher.

    Its that kind of stupidity- that has made the Bucs one of the worst Franchises in the NFL, since their conception.

    You cant suck as much,and as long as the Bucs have- without a plan

  13. Anonymous Says:

    We heard this last year too, though I understand he is heavier this year.

    i just hope he can stay healthy. Unleash the Spawn!

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The Buc Realist Says
    “He is the best pure pass rusher on this roster!”

    I don’t see how we can know that. He hasn’t been on the field long enough. I hope you are right, but he’ll have to prove it.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    Monster Tackles*

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Has any NFL player besides Spence had this specific shoulder procedure?

    Color me sceptical.

  17. jmarkbuc Says:

    Drop him back to 230lbs and turn him into Kam Chancellor

  18. ManzielMadness Says:

    One of the biggest X factors on our defense this year no doubt…. and @TDTB did you watch the same games I was watching? Teams were sliding protection over to Spence… kid is fast, hopefully he’s developed a couple more counter moves.