Less than a week out from the Bucs first preseason matchup with the Eagles, it’s reaching that point in practice where players are ready to go against anyone other than their teammates. The second round pick in last season’s draft, LT Donovan Smith, can certainly be placed into that category. So far, Smith has put in a good camp, and looks to improve before the snap of the ball really counts on September 11th at Atlanta.
One of Smith’s teammates in which he’s become familiar with in battle at the line is rookie DE Noah Spence. Spence, who slipped into the second round of this year’s draft, has been impressive to veteran players and these Buccaneers coaching staff. Smith was asked about his impressions of the young edge-rusher out of Eastern Kentucky.
“He’s doing good,” Smith said. “I went against him in college. He’s more so learning and knowing how to rush people now and having a plan coming off the ball, so that’s great. We try to make each other better and help each other out - some wins, some losses and we just go from there, help each other out.”
Spence has been receiving a fair amount of admiration by the media, and more importantly other teammates. Smith was questioned further on what made Spence a distinct player.
“His speed and his bend,” Smith said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him go down.”
This description of Spence has been echoed by other Bucs players and position coaches. There seems to be a recent breath of relief concerning the state of the defensive line. With vets such as McCoy, Ayers, McDonald, as well as the younger line of players, the feeling does not seem to be as dire as originally thought, even with the loss of DT George Johnson, who was placed on IR earlier today. The world will get to see its first glimpse of this year’s initial squad this coming Thursday, August 11th at 7 p.m. The team will be traveling up to one of our favorite rivals in ‘City of Brotherly Love’.