Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
Published Aug. 20, 2017

TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

The retired Bucs great, who had 122 sacks in 12 NFL seasons, spent time after practice Saturday with DEs Noah Spence and Ryan Russell, leaving them with knowledge and confidence.

"It was great," Spence said. "He taught me things in five minutes I never thought to put into my game. He made me think about stuff I have to work on. It was a blessing to have him out here."

Rice, 43, said he has been impressed with what he has seen on film of Spence, who had 51/2 sacks as a rookie last year despite playing most of the season with a shoulder injury.

"He reminds me so much of myself," Rice said. "He has the talent. He has the capabilities. He has to allow it to shine now. Don't hide it from the world. Be what you're capable of being, do what you're capable of doing.

"This kid is going to be special. If you search for it long enough, you will find it."

Russell, a Cowboys draft pick in 2015, had Rod Marinelli as his defensive line coach in Dallas and said the former Bucs assistant would constantly show clips of Rice as a model for how a pass-rusher should play.

Roster shuffling

With limited depth at tackle and cornerback due to injuries, the Bucs brought in two healthy players, signing undrafted rookie OT Austin Albrecht from Utah State and CB Vernon Harris, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Chiefs.

To make room, the Bucs waived-injured two undrafted rookies, CB Maurice Fleming, who had a key end-zone pass breakup in Thursday's win against the Jaguars, and OT Cole Gardner.

The Bucs also signed another cornerback, Mariel Cooper, who like Harris played collegiately at The Citadel. No corresponding move had been made.

Must-see Thursday

It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but the Bucs-Jaguars preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, making it the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding the NFL Network) in 12 years, the website Sports Media Watch said.

That rating means that 1.6 percent of homes with TVs had the game on.

The 1.6 rating is the lowest for any ESPN preseason game since a tape-delayed 2005 game between the Falcons and Colts, which drew a 1.5 rating.

Sports Media Watch also reported that the Bucs-Jaguars' 2.6 million viewers makes it the least-watched (non-NFL Network) preseason game in more than a decade. The previous low was 2.8 million viewers for a 2008 game between the Jaguars and Redskins.

This and that

With LG Kevin Pamphile and RT Demar Dotson out with injuries, the Bucs had Evan Smith working as the starting left guard and Mike Liedtke as the first-team right tackle. Pamphile was "a little dinged up" from Thursday's game, coach Dirk Koetter said. The team is awaiting an MRI exam on Dotson's groin injury. … CB Brent Grimes, who has missed two games with a deep shin cut, ran sprints after practice, but Koetter said it's "doubtful" he plays in Saturday's preseason home game against the Browns.

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Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.