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Bucs DE Noah Spence has again put on weight trying to live up to potential

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In what will clearly be a big season for former second round pick defensive end Noah Spence of the Buccaneers, he’s decided, again, to bulk up.

Spence met with the Tampa Bay media after the Buccaneers latest OTA workout on Thursday afternoon. And, he says he has put on 20 pounds of mostly muscle since a shoulder injury derailed his 2017 season in October of last year.

It has been a constant concern about whether Spence was big enough to play defensive end or Edge Rush on a regular basis, or whether he needed to be smaller and perhaps drop some into coverage, because he simply doesn’t have the body frame to play at a larger weight.

Spence elaborated on that after a hot Tampa Bay Thursday,

“Just eating habits. Working out a lot more. I eat like 10 meals a day, now. Seven different shakes throughout the day. Last year I got down to like 228 (lbs) in camp. I’m now 257. Feeling a lot better. Lot stronger.”

The Buccaneers and GM Jason Licht had high hopes for Spence drafting him in the second round in 2016, but he has not lived up to that belief as of yet. There was a rookie season with 5 and 1/2 sacks but also a shoulder injury in Tampa Bay’s third game of 2016, that he played with the entire year.

Spence re-injured that right shoulder in the Bucs loss last October at Buffalo and never played again- having surgery and going on IR.

This time a year ago, he was also mentored in training camp by former Bucs defensive end great Simeon Rice. Rice believes that Spence has the ability to be an impact defensive end in this league, and worked with him on a couple of his most successful pass rush moves.

Spence also has veterans Vinny Curry, signed from Philly, and Jason Pierre-Paul acquired from the Giants, to help mentor him this upcoming training camp, too.

Nevertheless, weight increase or not, health of the shoulder or not, Spence has to start delivering, if he still wants to be part of the Buccaneer future plans.

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