I like Spence's attitude.
It's hard not to root for Steelers LB Sean Spence
Originally Posted by flippy
By Dale Grdnic on May 30 2013
Steelers LB Sean Spence worked hard throughout his life to earn a spot in the NFL. That spot was taken away from him in just a brief moment. He's working his way back, and that, in itself, is worthy of praise.
PITTSBURGH -- A former Steelers executive once said, when asked if the team would bring back a certain player, that they weren't the Salvation Army.
I recalled this comment Wednesday while talking with Sean Spence, the second-year player who spent the entire 2012 season on injured reserve after suffering a severe knee injury during the final preseason game.
It's not like Spence was a returning All-Pro player or even a first-round pick like fellow 2012 rookie David DeCastro, who benefitted from a new rule last year that allowed him to be placed on the active roster after being on injured reserve for an extended period with a knee injury. DeCastro was activated in late November and played in the final four games with three starts. Previously, players on injured reserve could not return during the season.
Spence, who suffered his knee injury one week after DeCastro, was not close to returning at any point last season and isn't likely to be ready any time soon. However, it's difficult not to believe Spence, who said Wednesday that he would return at some point this season.
It's easy to root for him as well.
How could you not get behind a guy like Spence? He worked hard to attain a goal, getting drafted by an NFL team, only to see it all taken away in just a few seconds. The Steelers have given that opportunity back to him, but he'll have to earn the right to retain it. To this point, Spence has put in the time, and the Steelers have noticed. They are clearly rooting for him, too.
By all accounts, Spence is a good guy. He has to be, or the Steelers wouldn't be hanging with him. Whether he's correct or linebackers coach Keith Butler is right, that Spence will be "carried by the team this season,'' he'll be given every opportunity to get healthy and play football.
I wouldn't bet against Spence. Looking into his eyes Wednesday, one could see his determination and hear the conviction in his words. Spence also noted he had faith that things would work out for the best for him. That certainly couldn't hurt his chances, either. Mostly, though, he's put in the physical work necessary to succeed. The odds certainly aren't in his favor, but Spence already has beaten the odds to this point, as he also stated.
With all the negativity surrounding sports today, it was refreshing to talk to a guy like Spence, a straight-shooter who talked candidly about his injury and his chances to return. Like I've said before, I wouldn't bet against him. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he played this season a lot earlier than most believe possible. That certainly is not out of the question.
At 5-foot-11 and 231 pounds, Spence is lean and built for speed. Since his workouts have been with the training staff and not open to the media, it's difficult to know if he's able to cut loose while running or if the speed and agility he possessed prior to being drafted will return.
It's going to be interesting to monitor Spence's progress this season and await his return. What an amazing day that will be.
Given that it was looking like he might have a chance to start last year, if he is healthy, could he replace Foote this season?
I don't think he replaces foote this year..but maybe starts getting some reps in the mid/late season. Then maybe starts taking the majority of the snaps in 2014...
Maybe he and foote start to reverse rolls if his knee holds up. I'd keep foote around as long as he is productive... for depth and leadership if nothing else.
Report: Steelers Linebacker Sean Spence is Hoping to be Back this Season
By Kyle Curry on July 26, 2013
Last year during training camp and the pre-season third round pick Sean Spence was getting some high praise. Spence was drafted to be a potential future starter at inside linebacker for the Steelers, but a major knee injury has put his NFL career on hold.
Back in May Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin expects Sean Spence to make a full recovery from his horrific knee injury. There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Spence will ever play football again and things were becoming very pessimistic.
After the 2013 NFL draft, a year after the Steelers selected Spence, linebackerís coach Keith Butler had the following to say:
ďIt will be miraculous if he does come back,Ē Butler said. ďIt will be miraculous if he comes back next year. We are going to take a chance on him and see if he can come back. To me, he is worth every bit of that.Ē
After hearing Butlerís comments most wrote of Spence for the Steelers in 2013, 2014, or ever really. Butlerís comments indicated that they expect this to be a career ending injury and donít expect Spence to ever fully recovery to play football. However, Fittipaldo quoted Tomlin as saying the following today:
ďAll the rehab is going to according to plan,Ē Tomlin said. ďNo news there. I did hear the opinion regarding Spence. My opinion differs. I think heíll have a full recovery. But now you have two opinions, neither of which are expert medical opinions, so do with it what you wish.Ē
That was the outlook back in May, but Fittipaldo has some more news on the Spence front and this time it is coming from the source itself.
Joining the team mid-season may not be a possibility for Spence. He will likely be placed on injured reserve if he is not ready to go by the start of the season. The NFL does allow teams to now bring a player back off of injured reserve, but itís unlikely the Steelers would do so with an inexperienced player such as Spence.
EDIT: Spence could also stay on the PUP list throughout the off-season and start the season on the PUP list. Any player who isnít taken off the PUP list before the final 53-man roster is set has to miss the first six games of the season. Perhaps Spence could miss those six game then return. If he wasnít able to return at that point he can stay on the PUP list for three more weeks and if he still wasnít able to return he would go on injured reserve.
Even so, the fact that Spence expects to be football ready by mid-season is an improvement on recent expectations. Spence may not see the playing field in 2013, but if he can come into the 2014 off-season ready to get back on the field it would give the Steelers another linebacker with potential.
Luckily for Spence he is still very young. He just turned 23 and will only be 24 entering next yearís training camp. That means there is still plenty of time for Spence to recover and become a player that can contribute for the team.
The only question left to answer now is this: if Spence isnít ready for the 2013 season or for the start of training camp in 2014, how long will the Steelers wait for him to be ready?
Will GravesVerified account@WillGravesAP:
Steelers LB Sean Spence hard at work on agility drills. Doesn't look like a guy who will be out all season.
I've seen a few of these reports. For his sake, I wouldn't rush Spence back, but it would be great if he started on the PUP list and was able to play near the end of the year.
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
I wish him all the luck in the world, truly I do. But, given his Injury History, and his size, I just can't see him coming back, and playing a few games, and then take over the MLB spot in 2014. Just too risky. Honestly, I would rather try to move Woirlds Inside, and let Jarvis start at OLB, and let Adrian Robinson and Chris Carter battle for the Back-up positions.