Noah Spence looked really good as a pass-rusher in his first preseason game, but the big question was never how good he really is, but how he’ll do off the field. After all, he got kicked out of Ohio State for abusing ecstacy, and the reviews of his interviews with teams this offseason were mixed.
So far so good, though, as Spence has been on his best behavior since being drafted. Gerald McCoy is apparently trying to help Spence get his mind right, and reached out to him as soon as the Bucs drafted him. He talked to Sirius XM NFL about Spence’s off-field development and what he’s trying to do to mentor his fellow defensive lineman.
“I’ve spoken with his dad and told him ‘Hey listen, I’ll take care of him.,” McCoy said. “I talk to Noah all the time off the field. He texts me, asks me different questions about this, about life, about all these different things. I’m just trying to guide him the right way. I look at it as the same thing with Jameis [Winston]. The guys are kids, and kids make mistakes. Well now you’re in a man’s league, and you have to mature as a man. You’ve seen Jameis, he’s matured as a man, as a player. I’m planning the same thing to happen with Spence, because his head in the right place, he just was a kid and made some mistakes.”
Sounds good to me. A long time ago, that was Derrick Brooks’ role in the locker room: taking the young guys under his wing, trying to get their off-field life sorted and helping them in whatever way he could. McCoy taking on that role seems to fit him perfectly. You can listen to the whole clip below.