Anthony Spencer expects to rush more
He's expected to rush the passer more. It's not like he didn't last season, but his six-sack 2011 season with 31 quarterback pressures, while good numbers, doesn't look as inviting in comparison to DeMarcus Ware's numbers.
Ware had 19.5 sacks and 40 quarterback pressures.
The criticism of Spencer is he should have more pressures and sacks -- not as many as Ware, but just more. Spencer will also cover tight ends and running backs, but with an improved secondary he might not have to play in pass coverage.
"You really can't say that," he said after Monday's Labor Day practice. "They still need coverage. On certain plays they're going to need to be covered. I'm sure the number of times I rush will go up. I'm hoping for that, but if it doesn't, I'm just going to play. Once the game gets around you can't really worry about that stuff."
Spencer enters into a critical time of his career. The team elected to franchise him for 2012 at $8.8 million instead of allowing him to hit the free-agent market or giving him a long-term deal.
Spencer wanted a new deal but nothing was finalized.
"I just have to go out there and play," Spencer said. "It's just like making a resume, I suppose, with each game that I have. So just go out there and make as many plays as possible and try not to mess up."
In anticipation of rushing the passer more, Spencer said he bulked up. He is about 252 to 255 pounds this year. Last season he was from 245 to 250. Spencer said he just wanted to get stronger because he must contend with right tackles and tight ends on a regular basis. If he's rushing more, he needs to handle more snaps within the defense and take advantage of when Ware is double-teamed.
"I think I'm bigger than I was last year," Spencer said. "Overall, I wanted a weight I wanted to be at coming into this year for the simple fact I wanted to be stronger for muscle mass."
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