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Bucs’ defensive end Noah Spence is starting to get some attention

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For Noah Spence, these are the first steps of the journey.

Behind him is scandal and controversy and redemption. In front of him are the quarterbacks of the NFL.

Spence, the Tampa Bay Bucs’ second-round draft pick, and his teammates are going through OTAs for the Bucs. It’s early, but already, the praise has begun for Spence, a defensive end from Eastern Kentucky. Teammate Robert Ayers has compared him favorably to all-pro Bronco Von Miller, a former teammate.

“He’s looked really good,” said Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter. “I love his attitude, definitely has pass rush ability, love how our defensive coaches are bringing him along, but especially I just like his attitude and the way he’s approaching it every day.

“You’re seeing his pass rush, but again, when we’re going no pads like this it’s a little bit tough to tell if he would’ve actually won every time. He tells me he wins every time, but I think if you ask the O-linemen they’d say he didn’t win every time, so we’ll see. That’ll all play itself out.”

Spence said he’s still catching on.

“I think it’s going pretty good,” Spence said. “I’m just trying to learn the defense and everything and getting together with all the guys and everything like that. Just learning this defense. That’s the best thing.

“I really like all of the schemes we’re doing and all of the packages they’ve got me in so far, so it’s been good.”

Spence said one part of his game was still ahead of the others.

“I feel like I came in with a couple of moves I really liked that I’m just trying to perfect now,” he said. “I mean, if that’s what they’re talking about. I don’t know the playbook all like that yet, but when it comes to pass rushing I think I’m pretty good.”


Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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