Originally Posted by SteelersCanada
Let me ask you this, though. Do you think his size is a disadvantage? Picture him trying to go against bigger backs - someone like Trent Richardson, for example. He can defend the pass very, very well and uses his exceptional speed to break up and pick off passes but his tackling against bigger backs comes into question. Our scheme calls for our Inside Linebackers to have the ability to shed blocks and get into the backfield and this is something that Spence lacks dearly.
I'm not as high on him as most people are and I honestly think he's a situational player in the NFL.
In college, he was able to get to the RB... a lot. That is something Foote (and many other ILBs) lack the ability to do: get there. Spence gets there. Make sense?
Worst case: even if Spence does not stop the RB completely on his own, he WILL get there... slowing the RB down enough for the other defenders to pile on. There will be NO long runs against him.. although, you are correct, there could be an occasional bulldoze or two (although, I never saw him get steamrolled in college).
His instincts are supurb. He rarely takes a wrong step. He is the first player to move... like Troy does: he moves before the play unfolds, and is in the "right" spot to make the play.
As you said, he is the new breed of LB: he can cover the Gronks and Hernandezes of the world. And, this is becomming more & more of a passing league. Ergo, his assets outweigh his deficits.