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Old 04-28-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
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Default The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence
http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/...14-sean-spence
Friday, 27 April 2012 22:47
Written by Dan Gigler
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sean_spence

If the Steelers' selection of University of Miami linebacker Sean Spence in the third round had you scratching your head a bit, you weren't the only one. Though he played OLB at "The U" he will be an inside backer in Pittsburgh. Despite a need at that position with the release of James Farrior (and the heir apparent to him being the long-toothed 10-year vet Larry Foote) there were (and still are) a number of good NT prospects on the board, perhaps a position of higher need given its importance in the 34 scheme the Steelers run and the advanced career age of the great Casey Hampton.

Nonetheless, reports on Spence are very positive, if for one caveat: he's undersized and possibly understrong. He's only 5'11 and 230 pounds and he only hit twelve reps of 225 on the bench press of the combine. That is ... not good if you intend to successfully shed NFL-blockers, but he attributed that to a bum shoulder at the time. He is said to have an excellent football IQ.

Interestingly, in the rich-albeit-often-checkered history of Miami football, he is the first Miami Hurricane to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers since Leon Searcy in 1992. (as best the crack research team of myself and my boss Jerry Micco can tell)

Excerpts of what the experts say about Spence:

NFL.com: "Mayock's take: "One of my favorite football players on tape. He's one of the more instinctive linebackers in this draft. In the 3-4 scheme in Pittsburgh, he's going to have to play outside or that Will linebacker inside. Either way, I don't care, because I really like the way he plays.""

CBS/NFLDraftScout: Spence does everything he can to overcome lack of natural size and strength. He is already a coach on the field -- something teams may note for the future -- and shows amazing recognition skills that result from intense film analysis. Athletically, he reads and reacts quickly without wasted steps. Spence is not fooled often by play-action, and shows above average skills as a pass defender.

Pete Prisco of CBS gave Pittsburgh a B- for the Spence pick: "You watch how good he is on special teams and maybe eventually works his way onto the field. He's small, but fast."

Mocking the Draft: "Strengths: Spence has excellent athleticism, speed, and lateral quickness that he uses well to make plays on the football. He is very good at diagnosing plays then reacts quickly with his aggressive attacking style. He is rarely out of position even against play-action passes. He gives great effort and hustles to make the wrap up tackles, though not great, but is good enough to get the ball carrier to the ground. ... Weaknesses: He is a bit undersized and can get engulfed by offensive lineman against the run. He can be too aggressive at times attacking the hole and allowing the running back cutback lanes. He does not have many pass rush moves blitzing from the outsides and can be stood up at the line of scrimmage. Needs to get stronger and bigger without losing his speed and burst."

National Football Post (which scouts Spence at OLB): "Impression: A gifted sideline-to-sideline athlete who can play in space and make plays off his frame. Size is a concern, but looks like a starter in a cover two scheme who can play three downs in the NFL."

Spence's Miami bio.

For whatever its worth, Spence's Miami high school has churned out a ton of NFL talent.

Pro Football Weekly draft capsule:
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

I was against the pick at first, but the more I look into it I like it. With as much good as we are hearing about him the more I'm sure the Steelers picked ANOTHER good LB.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

Interestingly, in the rich-albeit-often-checkered history of Miami football, he is the first Miami Hurricane to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers since Leon Searcy in 1992. (as best the crack research team of myself and my boss Jerry Micco can tell)

orien harris about 5-6 yrs ago. steelers typically dont like tha U players and it probably has alot to do with drew rosehaus who represents them (although we had no problems dealing with him and #1 pick lawrence timmons).
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

I don't know about you guys, but I expect great things from our 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th picks. But I'm INSTANTLY intrigued with our 3rd round pick and that's Spence. I think this guy is a natural ball-hawk and plays within a mean streak. It helps he's very quick and agile when everything gets involved in his natural instinct when it comes to having a nose for the football.

I think if we can transition him or just bulk him up and let him compete for the middle backer position, then he would be great coming off the edge and would be MONEY with those cross-fire blitz's LeBeau's loves to run in his zone-blitz defense.

Also, everyone is forgetting that the likes like Brett Keisel, Hines Ward, Joey Porter, James Harrison and a plethora of other All-Pro talent first made their mark on special teams. In Pittsburgh, it starts there and since everyone is saying "special teams" with Spence, then that means future starter.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

i think alot of fans just assumed that the steelers would shitcan foote and sylvester and draft an immediate replacement for farrior that would come in and start day one, even AFTER the steelers passed on hightower in favor of decastro.

that is simply not the steelers way and colbert reminded everybody of that before the draft when he said there were very few players in the entire draft who could come in and have an immediate impact on the steelers roster.

hell, in the entire nfl i think only 8 rookies from last year were day 1 starters. thats just not the way it works except for the very special atheletes or thos who play on teams that completely suck.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

I am standing by this kid officially sign me up to the Sean Spence fan club. I trust the front office and like what I saw at the combine and he has very tape. Everywhere I look people like this draft other then Spence, He was my 4th MLB in this years class and I feel much better with him adding competition and not just having Timmons, Foot, Sly and a plug.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

The kid can play football in the end you can't go wrong drafting football players. I'm not a HWS guy.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

initially i question marked the pick too, but really only because i didn't know anything about the guy...didn't even realize he was on our radar.
The one thing that i'm picking up over and over again from everyone is that he's like a ball "magnet" and is extremely intelligent at diagnosing things very quickly. He sounds incredibly smart and sounds like one of those rare guys who will be involoved in almost every play when he's on the field. This one could turn out to be a gem.
Obviously, Colbert and Tomlin were really wowed by him and know things about him that we don't.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

Well at first I was kind of worried about this guy, mainly because of our recent screw up of Bruce Davis an we seemingly passed on a good NT prospect().......


But Now im feeling a little better about this pick having seen the tape an our ability to still nab a good NT prospect

Im still a little worried he won't be able to shed NFL caliber blockers.....lets hope our Strength an Conditioning Coaches make him into an even more nasty wrecking ball
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: The somewhat surprising selection of the sorta small Sean Spence

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZiggyHeyward View Post
I am standing by this kid officially sign me up to the Sean Spence fan club. I trust the front office and like what I saw at the combine and he has very tape. Everywhere I look people like this draft other then Spence, He was my 4th MLB in this years class and I feel much better with him adding competition and not just having Timmons, Foot, Sly and a plug.
He will not be competition for anybody this year..Probably won't see the field at all unless its on ST.
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