Akeem Spence has played nose tackle before. He just hasn't played it the way the Buccaneers want him to play it. Not to worry, though. Spence has a few months to make the adjustment.

Make the adjustment he must, though, because the Bucs have big plans for their fourth-round draft pick out of the University of Illinois.

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said this week that the Bucs are counting on the 6-foot, 307-pound former Florida state heavyweight weightlifting champion being their starting nose tackle.

That may not come as much of a surprise. The Bucs went into the draft still looking for a replacement for Roy Miller, their starter last year who left in free agency, and Spence seems like a perfect fit.

Physically, he is a virtual clone of Miller, and like Miller, he excels at stopping the run. The only difference is that Spence has yet to grow accustomed to playing the tilted nose style the Bucs employ.

That style calls for the player to line up at what is roughly a 45-degree angle to center or guard, and because he's never played that style before, Spence has some catching up to do.

“I've been working at it a lot here (in the rookie minicamp),'' Spence said. “Right now I'm just trying to get the details of it from the coach. You know, how they want me to shoot my hands and play the technique.

“It's different, but it's not too different. It's really just (lining up) a little differently. I don't think it's going to affect my play any as far as being able to get off the ball and use my strength.”

Phone a friend One of the first calls the Bucs made following the conclusion of the 2013 draft was to Arizona State CB Deveron Carr. Their timing was impeccable. So was their offer.

Knowing that several teams were on his trail, the Bucs offered Carr $20,000 to sign with them, and he accepted, but not just because the signing bonus was so handsome.