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Defensive End

Rookie Noah Spence could replace George Johnson on Bucs

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Goodbye, George Johnson. Hello, Noah Spence? The Tampa Bay Bucs lost Johnson to a hip injury he suffered Thursday, and he has been placed on injured reserve. It was a blow to Tampa Bay’s depth, because coach Dirk Koetter says that Johnson was playing well. However, rookie defensive end Noah Spence continues to impress, which may soften the loss. “Solid every day,” Koetter said. “Every day the kid flashes. For a rookie, he hasn’t hit any slump days so to…

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Tampa Bay Bucs looking for an improved pass rush in 2016

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The defensive line for the Tampa Bay Bucs should be better. But dare you hope it will be good? The Bucs, whose lack of a pass rush was a major problem a year ago, have imported free agent Robert Ayers and draft pick Noah Spence to go with Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Jacquies Smith and William Gholston. Ayers stopped short of calling Spence his protege, however. “I wouldn’t call him my protégé because I’m learning from him,” Ayers said. “He…

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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…

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Tampa Bay Bucs enter draft still searching for pass-rushing help

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The Tampa Bay Bucs renew an old search Thursday night. Once again, the Bucs are going into the NFL draft with a decent pick. Once again, they are searching for a defensive end. Once again, they need to make opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable. For years, this has been the pursuit of the Bucs. Yeah, yeah. With their first draft choice ever, they took Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon. But since then, and since the free agent signing of Simeon Rice,…

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Bucs’ new pass-rusher Robert Ayers expects to make an impact

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For Robert Ayers, the new hire of the Tampa Bay Bucs, it was a fairly impressive football season. Twelve games. Nine sacks. A nice new contract. To Ayers, however, it was even better than that. “In my mind, I had 10 sacks,” Ayers said in a conference call with the Tampa Bay media Tuesday. “We were playing against Minnesota, and I beat the guard and pulled down the quarterback. A teammate of mine, George Selvie, jumped on him and they…

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Bucs, looking for a pass-rusher, turn to former end Da’Quan Bowers

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For the Tampa Bay Bucs, the new hope as a pass-rushing defensive end looks, well, a lot like the old hope as a pass-rushing defensive end. And hello again, Da’Quan Bowers. Bowers, formerly a second-round draft pick out of Clemson, re-signed with the Bucs on Monday, meaning he isn’t ready to trade in his jersey quite yet. When the Bus picked Bowlers in 2011, the feellng was that they might have a steal. Most of the draft analysts had picked…

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