Spence, McDonald in close contest

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
8:00
AM ET
One of the best competitions of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training camp is at nose tackle.

Clinton McDonald was brought in as a free agent and Akeem Spence, last season's starter, returns. The competition between the two is intense, but healthy.

"You want to make each other better, you've got to push each other," McDonald said. "Iron sharpens iron and so does the kindness of a friend and that's the kind of approach we're taking with the whole team. We've got to push each other every day, that way when we get out there on Sunday it's a breeze, the hardest days of work are in practice."

A lot of people assumed McDonald would be the starter when he was signed away from Seattle. He might end up in that role, but it won't be without a strong fight from Spence. Coach Lovie Smith has praised Spence several times since the start of camp.

I don't think there will be a loser in this competition. I think both McDonald and Spence will end up getting significant playing time. I think the Bucs will rotate the two to play to their strengths. McDonald is a strong pass rusher and Spence is solid against the run.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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