It’s not all that uncommon for a player to go up against his former team. Heck, just last week Rick Wagner faced off against the Baltimore Ravens for the first time since leaving them in free agency earlier in the year. For the most part, players shrug it off as “just another game,” holding no extra animosity with the understanding that the NFL is just a business.
Not Akeem Spence.
The Detroit LIons defensive tackle is ready to face off against his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he’s completely honest about his return. “I’m very bitter,” Spence told media members per the Detroit Free Press. “But bitter with a smile on my face.”
Spence’s frustration comes from the Bucs not even offering him a second contract after playing in 56 games and making 30 starts for the team ever since drafted in the fourth round in 2013. In that time, Spence believed he played well enough to earn at least an offer, racking up 96 tackles and 5.5 sacks along the way.
“It’s just something where you’ve been somewhere for four years and you help build it up and then you got to go disappear elsewhere,” Spence said. “I took that kind of personal cause I felt like I was one of the good guys around that building.”
So how does Spence plan on making them pay?
“They’re going to have to deal with this whole d-line,” he said per MLive. “Especially me. I want to go down there and spoil their party.”
But the Lions defensive line hasn’t been able to spoil the party of many opposing offenses. Detroit only has 23 sacks on the year—only eight teams have fewer—and the Lions have especially struggled to defend the run ever since Haloti Ngata went down with an injury. In the past five weeks, the Lions have allowed an average of 147.6 rushing yards per game and 4.99 yards per carry.
But Spence doesn’t seemed too concerned. He expects the extra motivation will bring the results and that will speak for themselves. “It’ll be a bloodbath,” he promised.