Tampa Bay is transitioning to a 3-4 base defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and the relatively undersized Spence would be a poor fit up front in the trenches in such a system. That means Bowles could take Spence's hand off the turf and allow him to focus on setting the edge from an upright stance. Spence still has a lot of work to do in order to carve out a bigger role than he had in 2018 -- Spence logged more than 10 defensive snaps on two occasions -- but there's potential for him to significantly rebound from a three-tackle, zero-sack season.
Spence, eager to add some weight following the end of last season, put on 35 pounds this offseason, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
The recipe for the added pounds included devouring nine to 10 meals per day during the offseason. The body transformation is aimed at making Spence a more complete football player in which he can serve as a three-down defensive end rather than a pass rushing specialist. The first live action glimpse of a more complete Spence can be seen during Thursday's preseason game against Miami.
Noah (shoulder) recently indicated that he's 100 percent healthy and his shoulder has regained full range of motion, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The beginning of Spence's professional career has been derailed by a reported four different shoulder dislocations. The 2016 second-rounder didn't need to miss a game after one such dislocation during his rookie year, but Spence experienced another in Week 2 of last season and was ultimately placed on injured reserve by late October after trying to play through the pain. In an effort to put this recurrence behind him, this past winter Spence opted to undergo a Latarjet procedure that is designed to treat recurring shoulder dislocations. The defensive end now can focus on carving out a role in the pass-rush rotation ahead of the 2018 campaign. With offseason acquisitions Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry being brought in as the likely starters, Spence will presumably begin the year in a backup role.
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||22||16.0||6||5.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6||9||5.0||4||1||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||3||2.0||1||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|