Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers DE Noah Spence finally makes some noise – with his fists

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire


TAMPA – Second-year Buccaneers defensive end Noah Spence has had a pretty quiet training camp so far. Perhaps all that quiet is what prompted this little dust-up with backup left tackle Cole Gardner.

As you can see from the clip here, shot by WFLA News Channel 8 photo journalist Bob Hansen, Spence couldn’t quite get around Gardner during a blocking drill on Monday morning.

The strangest thing about this is that Spence takes a good hard full swing at Gardner while Gardner still has his helmet on. That’s a good way to break a hand, which is the last thing Spence needs.

Spence proved he can play and play rather well even when he’s hurt last year when he fought through a labrum tear for the better part of 16 games and still came away with 5.5 sacks.

The Bucs are obviously expecting a lot more out of Spence, the first of their two 2016 second-round draft picks, but Spence appears to be ticketed for a sub-package role yet again in 2017.

Spence is listed at 6-foot-2, 251 pounds but he seems to be even lighter than that, because he just doesn’t have the size and strength to win battles against bigger lineman such as Gardner.

Spence’s best attribute is his quickness and speed. If he can beat a lineman off the snap he can win consistently as a pass rusher but he may never develop into an every-down player.

That’s not the worst thing that could happen. There are a lot of ways for a player with Spence’s skill set to make his way in the NFL, but he’ll probably need both hands to do it.

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