The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving forward with the off-season workouts with a multitude of new players. As a result, I take a look at a returning player that needs to have a breakout out season to stay with the new faces on defense. The defensive has not been a bright spot over the last few seasons for the team and things need to drastically change. Certainly, with a large group of draft picks spent on the defense that had little production, Noah Spence is a player that needs to have a breakout year.
2018 Season Recap
Before the 2018 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers said that they would have a heavy rotation on the defensive line, but during the offseason, the injury bug put that plan on the back burner. With the injuries, the Buccaneers looked for players that could play on the inside and outside of the defensive line. Noah Spence had an opportunity to compete for one of the spots in that rotation. Over the season Noah appeared in 12 games and saw only 45 snaps. Subsequently, he had only three tackles and zero sacks and made little impact. The Buccaneers decided to make some changes in the offseason. Most notably the team fired Head coach Dirk Koetter. This move left Noah’s spot on this year’s roster was in doubt. Then the Buccaneers hired Todd Bowles as the defensive coordinator. Bowles hire, and defensive scheme change is well suited for Spence’s play and instincts.
The Buccaneers defensive scheme over the past few years, for the lack of better words, was horrible. For that reason, Mike Smith was fired mid-season. Smith’s scheme never put his players in positions to succeed. Spence never really found a spot in the defense where he could be a factor for the Buccaneers. Known as a speedy pass rusher when entering the league. Spence was not known as a player that would put a hand in the ground and shed blockers to get to the Quarterback.
With Coach Todd Bowles coming in to run the defense Spence will be moving to Outside Linebacker. With the position change, he should be poised for a breakout season. Additionally, the new scheme will play to the strengths of Spence and could put him in a position to be a major factor in turning the defense around.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense of 2019 will be the major key to the success of the team. The aggressive play calling of defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will help players like Noah Spence. I think that moving him to Outside Linebacker will provide him the spark to become a great pass rusher in the league. Time will tell but I am looking forward to seeing what he can do in training camp and the season. Stay tuned this is going to be a roller coaster season. GO BUCS!