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Dolphins DT Akeem Spence gets fresh start with an interesting number

Florida Football Insiders



Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

As the Dolphins continue to work out this week, their litany of new faces are getting acclimated to each other and the coaching staff. One veteran acquisition who’s looking to make an impact on the defensive line has made an interesting jersey choice.

Akeem Spence, who Miami acquired from the Lions via a trade in early May, met with the media Tuesday afternoon on a wide range of subjects, including why he has switched from the #97 he wore last year in Detroit and previously with the Bucs.

Spence talked about having big shoes to fill coming to the defense, and even bigger, putting on the #93 that Ndamukong Suh wore for the aqua and orange the last three seasons.

“I feel funny about it, because I’ve been 97 my whole career. You know when I came into the league Gerald McCoy (Buccaneers) was 93. So, I didn’t really want to be 93, but hey, it was the only number available. So, I just took it.”

He was later asked about having been in Tampa Bay and playing defensive tackle having comparison and interaction with Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.

“Sapp is Sapp. Sapp is great… I told people when I came into the league, I’m not Sapp. I’m not whoever…. I’m just me. I’m just trying to get better.”

Spence went on to set a goal that he would like to reach of eight sacks in a season. He had three a year ago with the Lions.

Spence was originally a fourth round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 2013, where he ended up playing four seasons. In that time, Spence also played for three different head coaches (Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter), as well as three different defensive schemes in those four years.

His best season in Tampa Bay was his second (2014), where he had 39 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Spence is looking to build on it all with his defensive line coach, Kris Koucrek, who has come to Miami this off season also, and obviously lobbied to get Spence down to South Florida with him.

Here’s a quick twitter video of Spence (in that new #93) and a brief shot Kocurek exhorting his guys from Tuesday:

And familiar number or not, he is looking to make an impact on line that already has the likes of Cameron Wake, and Charles Harris, and now has added Robert Quinn, too.

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