Countdown: Top 10 X-Factors For 2018 – No. 10

July 15th, 2018

It’s a fun football Sunday as Joe kicks off a daily countdown look at the top 10 X-factors for your 2018 Buccaneers season.

Joe is pumped! Training camp is just 11 days away.

No. 10 – Noah Spence

Some might have placed Spence higher but Joe can’t get too crazy with Spence. Exactly how much is he going to play? You gotta be on the field to be an X-factor.

A healthy Jason Pierre-Paul will demand a ton of reps. Also, the Bucs are paying newcomer Vinny Curry $6.5 million this season, and Will Gholston is hauling in the same cash as Curry. Recently, someone with deep knowledge of the situation speculated that Gholston could be the Bucs’ comeback/surprise player of the 2018.

Still, Spence is a talented wild card coming off a unique shoulder surgery following an injury that sidelined him for 14 games last year. If you can rush the passer in the NFL, you’re a valuable dude, and Spence has flashed the talent.

Joe still can’t figure out why Spence chose to drop to under 230 pounds a year ago. Think about it. He came out of college as an undersized defensive end at 251 pounds. Trust Joe; nobody at One Buc Palace ordered him to lose that kind of weight. He was never fat to begin with.

Joe expects Spence to shine at training camp (he’s good at that) and create challenging decisions for new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner.

In case you missed yesterday’s series introduction, here are four guys you won’t see on The Countdown and why.

26 Responses to “Countdown: Top 10 X-Factors For 2018 – No. 10”

  1. Adambomb418 Says:

    If no one ordered him to lose the weight, why does my mind go quick to drug use?

  2. SB Says:

    SB Says:
    July 14th, 2018 at 11:38 pm
    Actually Chrissy…… The Only reason this site is so successful is because they are such “homers”. It is the only reason they are one of my first clicks every day regardless of what I think of their last opinion. Yeah, that’s the only reason. SMDH. –Joe
    We are all entitled to it.


    OK my bad. I misworded the first part of my comment. It is not the “only” reason this site is so successful. I am Sure you guys put a lot of hard work into this site and it is paying off. It IS however the only reason that JBF is one of my first clicks every day. I don’t bother with other Bucs sites much.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs seem to have a real ‘dilemma’ huh Joe. JPP, Curry, Gholston, Spence … all of them vying for time on a defense that’ll (hopefully) only be on the field this year for an average of ONLY 25-28 minutes per game. That’s of course assuming that the Bucs’ offense controls the clock better by running more & not turning the ball over nearly as much as last year. Less time on the field for the Bucs’ defense as a result of (potentially) being able to stop the run better, pressuring the QB more, AND better performance by the Bucs’ offense could well yield a ranking in the Top-15 and maybe even in the Top-10. Turn the dogs loose Smitty.

  4. DJ Quick Says:

    Spence is an X-Factor. If he can stay healthy I think he will produce on that line. Are the Bucs going to rotate him and Vinny Curry?

  5. martinii Says:

    We may see him at OLB, especially if Beckwith still injured. I think if he stays healthy he will get reps as a rotational and versatile player.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Another reason I come here is because of guys like you and the many others here who add some stimulating ideas to our conversation. It’s the ONLY football site I visit. It’s Joe Bucs Fan then the political blog I attend.

    Joe has put together a great product for sure and he has attracted a great group of posters as well thanks to his efforts. He has a light touch on the moderation until guys get crazy. He handles criticism of himself…selves? well. He has a thick hide and is clearly comfortable in his own skin.

    And there is one of the major judgements I make about people…are they comfortable in their own skin or are there issues.

  7. Wombat Says:

    I think with having so many edge rushers, there is gonna be a shortage of reps. With a shortage of reps, you better get something done quick or you will be replaced. JPP will keep his side legit, so the others better be rabid or they will be replaced….

  8. I Bleed Pewter Says:

    We need a rotation to keep guys fresh. This playing a guy into total exhaustion and asking him to perform at a high level in the fourth quarter is a lot to ask. Noah will spell JPP on occasion, and that’s a good thing.

  9. fritz50 Says:


    What my thoughts went to was the stress & pain of his dislocated shoulder…just don’t think he’s done anything to lose the benefit of the doubt, at this point.

  10. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Nice get off Joe!

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Go get em Spawn!

    Spence is going to force his way onto the field and into a “starter” role with great play.

  12. Bobby M. Says:

    They all lose weight during the season….20 lbs is more of a reflection of his body operating where its natural/comfortable….and he’s still a very young dude. He’ll start adding “man weight” that stays around age 24-26. Dude just has to stay healthy, there’s been too many vets state he’s the real deal for him to be a bust due to lack of talent.

  13. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I’d basically forgotten all about Spence, so if he shows up this year along with the new DEs, it could be a great changes in rushing the QB, especially with a new DL Coach.

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Off the top of my head I can think of 20 Bucs who I’m counting on to do more then Noah Spence. Really think the guy needs to be relegated to role player on this team and not Xfactor.

    Maybe then whatever he’s gonna give it will be consistent. But

  15. Knoxville Buc Fan Says:

    I remember JW mentioned his good friend Noah Spence prior to the 2016 draft. As we know Spence once was thought to go in the first round, I believe we will all see this season why. Look out, he’s gonna be a force. This cat is ripped and presumably healthy.

  16. DB55 Says:

    I’m thinking they’ll do what philly did, pull curry out on passing downs. From the games I’ve seen Curry was primarily in on 1st & 2nd downs to play the run, then they’d bring in all the beasts to rush the passer.

    If Spence can’t outplay Curry then we got some serious problems. I thought Spence would out play Bosa, boy was I wrong. I blame the injury, lol.

  17. Destinjohnny Says:

    Slow undersized speed rusher with one move….
    Oya and a bad shoulder

  18. Buccfan37 Says:

    Barring continued shoulder problems Spence is truly an X factor player. #10 is a good spot considering his potential impact despite the lingering doubt still being talked about.

  19. cmurda Says:

    I look at the DE’s as never enough. There’s no such problem as having too much talent at the position. Believe me, if the talent of Curry, Spence, and JPP force Mr Smith to rotate quite a bit, that makes the men fresh and is a successful recipe in today’s NFL. In my opinion, there’s a slight shift of quantity of many good players over quality of one great one. I believe that Jim Schwartz is one of the brightest defensive minds there ever has been in the NFL. I look at the force he created in Philly with his rotation of several really good defensive linemen but really no one player that is an elite no doubter to Canton. Opposing teams can gameplan for one JJ Watt but when they have to face multiple rotations of talented DE’s, good luck. While the majority of the talk is about JW’s disappointing Uber deal, let’s not forget that Licht shored up the O and D lines which was just what the doctor ordered. I am once again slinging my positivity out there. I don’t care who our Qb is as we go through the season, we are going to surprise some folks because of our boys in the trenches.

  20. DB55 Says:

    let’s not forget that Licht shored up the O and D lines which was just what the doctor ordered.
    The oline for real? Name our starters.

  21. JimmyJack Says:

    cmurda. Schwartz has done some great things in Philly. I would argue that they have had an elite defensive tackle with Fletcher Cox. I can’t imagine that opposing gameplans don’t revolve around him.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    A healthy Spence and a resurgent Gholston can only help.
    Here’s to the two of them ballin’ out!

  23. BucDan Says:

    Obvious passing situations have the Bucs using (I hope) JPP-VC-GMC-NP with the occasional extra man from blitz, right?

    We NEED to see a revitalized pass rush (but we all know that).

  24. Reality_43 Says:

    I’m really hoping they use Spence as an OLB in 3-4 packages, which I hope we run more of this year.

    I know one of the reasons JPP was expendable was because the Giants were switching to a 3-4, so I doubt the Bucs will run it MOST of the time, but hopefully more than last year.

    I am definitely hoping Buckner has his hands full trying to figure out who to start!!

    D back in Tampa will be a sight to behold 🙂

  25. LargoBuc Says:

    Spence will be a huge X factor. He needs to be the pass rush specialist he was drafted to be. His biggest issue is staying healthy, and I had high hopes for him last year but its year three. Time to put together a strong, healthy season. And I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Spence line up as an OLB on third and long. Get him that “free release” to the pocket.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I really hope Spence gets things rolling this year. He;s struggled with injuries for two years, and it has not been his fault.

    I hope he stays healthy and at least gets a chance to prove he belongs in the NFL.

    I have no idea if he’ll be any good, but I’m hoping for his and our sake.