In a recent article published by NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks, breaks down the first preseason game performance of Bucs rookie DE Noah Spence. Brooks’ analysis of Spence against the Eagles is quite favorable to the first year defensive end. During his collegiate career, and this season’s NFL Combine, Spence was known to have a quick get-off with the snap of the ball. Brooks recognizes this, as well as Spence’s agility and ability to use his other skills to get the quarterback and disrupt the run. The following is Brooks’ analysis and grade given published on NFL.com.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Noah Spence, defensive end. “The energetic edge rusher didn't register a sack, but the second-round pick played a key role on a defensive line that registered four sacks against Philadelphia on Thursday,” Brooks said. “As part of the Buccaneers' first-string nickel package, Spence exhibited outstanding first-step quickness and burst while hounding the quarterback off the edge. Most impressively, he displayed the agility and hand skills to win at the line and create the kind of disruption that could make him a 10-plus sack guy down the road.” GRADE: B+
There’s really no arguing the analysis or grade that Brooks lays out on Spence. The defensive end played a solid game against the first team of the Eagles. Spence displayed flashes in his game while working the B and C Gaps of the Eagles’ offensive line. It’s true that he did not record a sack, but his burst into the backfield disrupted the pocket allowing other Bucs defensive lineman to get the quarterback several times.
For the Buccaneers, it has been too long since they’ve suited up a concrete edge rusher on their defensive line. If Spence can continue his progression as a legitimate threat off the line, that will be one stone turned for the restructuring of the defense. Brooks’ grade of a B+ seems to fit Spence’s debut performance.