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Miami linebacker Sean Spence raises eyebrows with weak bench

Sean Spence AP

The list of the weakest players on the bench press at this year’s Scouting Combine starts with seven wide receivers, and then a player who sticks out like a sore thumb: Miami linebacker Sean Spence.

Spence managed to put up just 12 repetitions at 225 pounds, which is perfectly good for a typical guy working out at a local gym, but not good at all for an NFL linebacker. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said Spence’s performance was troubling.

“This one bothers me because I loved this kid as a player,” Mayock said. “A 231-pound linebacker with instincts and speed. Come on. Have you been in the weight room? I don’t get that.”

In his session with the media, Spence acknowledged that his biggest problem on the field is getting off blocks, but he said teams that watch him on tape will see that he has elite speed.

“I think I’m a three down linebacker, very fast, I can go sideline to sideline,” Spence said. “I’m a smart, very instinctive player. I’m going to play hard. I’m a leader. I lead by example, and most of all I make plays.”

The good thing about a weak upper body is it’s something that can be improved with hard work in the weight room. But NFL teams will wonder why Spence hasn’t already done that hard work in the weight room.

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30 Responses to “Miami linebacker Sean Spence raises eyebrows with weak bench”
  1. frenchy121212 says: Feb 27, 2012 1:42 PM

    He will get some of that NFL Hgh and be good to go.

  2. rajbais says: Feb 27, 2012 1:54 PM

    Ahem!!!!! Pro Day????

    Hello!!!!!

    Plus, I’m now weighing at 144. When I was 170 I did the same number!!! I just shed weight because I HATED the size of my head!!!!

  3. fijabbersman345 says: Feb 27, 2012 1:54 PM

    That’s twelve times what Fred Smoot could bench! You’d think a linebacker going into the NFL would at least hit 15…but he IS the size of a safety. If he runs slow his stock is going to tank.

  4. gmsalpha says: Feb 27, 2012 2:05 PM

    He should go really high in the flag football leagues!

  5. KIR says: Feb 27, 2012 2:09 PM

    FYI, Terrell Suggs only posted 19 bench press reps

  6. steeelfann says: Feb 27, 2012 2:13 PM

    12 reps is pathetic for a backer. He is NOT prepared physically or mentally for the NFL. He will be dominated.

  7. richardhurtz says: Feb 27, 2012 2:22 PM

    Michael David Smith says “Spence managed to put up just 12 repetitions at 225 pounds, which is perfectly good for a typical guy working out at a local gym…”

    Really? Most dudes at the “local gym” couldn’t bench 225 ONCE! I’m betting not one guy who writes for this site could do it more then three times, if at all.

    Yeah I get that his numbers weren’t good compared to his peers but this notion that benching 225 12 times is “weak” is a joke especially when the guys questioning it couldn’t compete in a local semi-pro league.

  8. rob0527 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:24 PM

    If he gets off blocks poorly, than NFL linebacker is out of the question. No problem in making him a safety

  9. damnsureis says: Feb 27, 2012 2:32 PM

    It’s probably a good thing that you aren’t required to do bench presses during a football game.

  10. Soulman45 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:36 PM

    The Bears will get him and the Lions will have someone to run over.

  11. edweird0 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:38 PM

    Yeah cause we all know how much insight the underwear Olympics give us for how players are going to perform on the field. All you guys mocking this kid have clearly never seen him play. This kid has ELITE instincts, you can’t teach that. Whoever gets this kid is gunna get a steal, great work ethic and he’s a leader in the locker room.

  12. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 27, 2012 2:47 PM

    Talk to Jimmy Harrison – He’ll help you out, son. Just take this.. you can go from a NFL Europe reject to a pro bowler overnight.

  13. canehouse says: Feb 27, 2012 2:49 PM

    Miami players are weak! Probably not very astute in reading his basic presnap keys.

  14. gator2006 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:52 PM

    The NFL Combine benching competition is weird anyway. They should go for maximum weight (for one or three or five reps, whatever) or make them bench a specified weight per position (say 250 for a LB) 10-12 times for speed.

  15. eaglesw00t says: Feb 27, 2012 2:57 PM

    Eeww…

    Im 33 years old and Im 6’0 200. I put up 225 9 times every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    Im having trouble increasing my reps, but Im not getting younger.

    The fact that a kid 10 years younger than me isnt much stronger than me would trouble me as a scout.

    I hate putting too much into combine results, but either he was lazy (and didnt feel like putting up any more) or he isnt as strong as he should be, and will get mauled by O-linemen.

    Either way, not good.

  16. moneey31 says: Feb 27, 2012 3:15 PM

    Now I’ve seen Spence play and he is a baller. You could tell his freshman year that he was going to be a draft pick one day. I don’t like when people who haven’t played the game at least on the collegiate level, criticize pro athletes, BUT 12 is really weak for a LB. There are plenty of wr’s, db’s, and maybe even kickers that can do more…lol. I still think Spence has a tremendous upside, This shows more of a lack of a desire to actually want to get stronger, which raises questions of intelligence because this is the biggest try out of his life. I still love the kid as a player though

  17. sirmixalotalotalot says: Feb 27, 2012 3:15 PM

    Any LB should put up 20+ reps. Doesn’t need to be 40, but reality is the NFL is full of LB’s that can run like the wind and are capable of 30 reps on this drill. He might have been fast in college, but the NFL is a whole new ballgame.

  18. janvanflac says: Feb 27, 2012 3:16 PM

    bench press is a lot about form….which translates not at all to a football field.

  19. ernst90 says: Feb 27, 2012 3:28 PM

    I did that as a junior in high school at 5’11 190

  20. jimmymcnultysbottleofjameson says: Feb 27, 2012 3:33 PM

    @eagleswoot,

    Haha, some quick advise, you’re having trouble increasing your reps because you’re a typical meat and BP 3 times a week. Your muscles need to recover, do some back work, you prob look like a hunch.

  21. portnoychunk says: Feb 27, 2012 3:34 PM

    Maybe he should get some tips from that “Shocking Muscle Pictures” dude in the ad on the right of my screen. Is your head supposed to be smaller than your biceps? Do they think we don’t know what photo-shop is?

  22. macwomack says: Feb 27, 2012 3:41 PM

    I think he actually beat Leon Lett. Anyone remeber Lett’s bench press? Was it 12, or maybe it was 14…

  23. osubrndn says: Feb 27, 2012 3:43 PM

    Eagleswoot…the fact you’re not giving a large muscle group like your chest 2 days of rest shows your ignorance.

    anyhow, 2 months ago i was able to 12 reps of 225…and i agree with the article that’s not very strong for an NFL linebacker where strength is at a premium (especially how strong ol/fb/te/rb can be). I’d have no desrie to try and tackle someone like brandon jacobs/m. turner/v davis/gates/etc..

    and 225 10 times a gym isn’t that abnormal..there’s alot of big guys at my gym…it’s just the short 5’9 guys at the gym that can’t do it.

  24. earlcampbellrules says: Feb 27, 2012 3:44 PM

    Who cares? The combine is f’n stupid. Can he play football? That’s all that matters.

  25. richardhurtz says: Feb 27, 2012 3:58 PM

    I love how all of the high school “heros” are coming out of the wood work to say they are stronger than this kid or they bench more than him.

    Meanwhile they are typing from their Mom’s basement or a halfway house while this kid is at the NFL Scouting Combine.

    LMFAO!

  26. osubrndn says: Feb 27, 2012 4:47 PM

    Being stronger than someone doesn’t make you a football player…being a raiders fan i’m fully aware of this.

    By your analysis someone that works out a lot must be a loser?

    you’re so misguided.

  27. lilrob10201 says: Feb 27, 2012 5:03 PM

    Its not all about arm strength.He can have a weak bench but you dont know how much he can squat with his leg strength.In the NFL for a LB leg power is more important.

  28. osubrndn says: Feb 27, 2012 5:10 PM

    i’d think shedding blocks would be important to have a strong bench…which i’d think would be pretty important for a linebacker, especially in run support.

  29. jagav62 says: Feb 27, 2012 9:07 PM

    At age 50 I can still manage about 20 reps at 225 maybe I should get a tryout. This player just needs a little more work to work up past 12 reps,at his age with a little more dedication he should see a quick improvement, if not I’ll gladly train him.

  30. hatesycophants says: Feb 27, 2012 9:08 PM

    @richardhurts,

    Excellent post! “I was 5′ 2″, 97 lbs as a freshman and me my uncle dad benched 225 3 times a week all the time.”

    At least during the lockout real football fans were posting bs. This off-season already sucks.

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