Toughest Opponent

March 1st, 2018

Joe has waited a while to give a take on Vita Vea, the 6-4, 344-pound beast of a defensive tackle prowling the NFL Scouting Combine right now.

Today, Joe caught an interview with four-year UCLA starter Scott Quessenberry, a likely fifth-round picks this year at center/guard. His brother plays for the Houston Texans and Scott is a sharp guy with 44 starts of experience for the Bruins.

He was asked to name his toughest matchup in his career. Easy answer, he said, Vea, the University of Washington star.


Vea is a freakish athlete and his upside is almost limitless. So the question here is whether he is worth the No. 7 overall pick for the Bucs. The answer probably depends how you define “reach.”

Is it a “reach” at No. 7 if the Bucs think Vea is a slam dunk run-stuffer up the gut of their defense for several years, even if they have him rated as, say, a top-12 pick?

Far less menacing nose tackle Star Lotulelei was a No. 14 overall pick for the Panthers in 2013, and he gave them five strong years for an excellent defense.

Vea would be an intriguing Bucs pick because he should represent a huge upgrade. Tampa Bay has a hole at defensive tackle, which is why they signed Chris “Swaggy” Baker last year and then drafted Stevie Tu’ikolovatu in the seventh round. Stevie T. was hurt before opening day and was on injured reserve all season. And there’s injury-prone Clinton McDonald, who is a free agent at 31 years old. Gerald McCoy is 30 years old, as well.

Allegedly, Vea with the Bucs would be walking into a great incubator — allegedly. Gerald McCoy is a seasoned and caring pro. Will Gholston gives his all. Robert Ayers enjoys counseling rookies and was a former first-round pick. Noah Spence tries and tries, even if he has one arm.

And most important, the Bucs have new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner. They love him so much Dirk Koetter fired his friend Jay Hayes to make room while Team Glazer paid Hayes in full for 2018.

Joe would applaud Vea in pewter and red, assuming the brass believes he’s an instant-impact guy, minor “reach” or not.

61 Responses to “Toughest Opponent”

  1. delson Says:

    Vita has no reach. Arms shorter than an alligator’s

  2. JimmyJack Says:

    We need somebody on this line with attitude and edge. Joe is right McCoy is a seasoned and caring pro……..This caring nature needs to change and these guys need to play angry. No, Gerald don’t need to play angry since that’s not his style.

    This team has ignored the attitude of little intensity and hunger on the Dline for over a decade now……It’s time to change that. Find that guy that will bring some anger to the line. If it Bennet get him. If it’s Vea or Chubb draft them at any cost….if you gotta trade for JPP then make it happen. Just figure it out or this team will never contend.

  3. JimmyJack Says:

    Then bring in Mo Wilkerson for an interview. If he looks ready to play make it happen. If the coaches and team can’t get him buying in then we likely weren’t going to be any good any way.

    Show some balls and confidence and sign the biggest nastiest dominant DE you can. If you aren’t even going to consider Mo then you aren’t even trying.

  4. Costa Rica John Says:

    The video I’ve web of Vea has been really impressive. I wouldn’t have a problem taking him at 7.

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Im ok with it.

  6. Joeypoppems Says:

    This is the bandwagon Im on. This entire DL needs a rebuild. Vea would be a great center piece.

    Sign a RB, LG, 2 CBs in FA. Draft DL in the first 3 rounds.

  7. Easy Says:

    I’d rather have Nelson than Vea at 7

  8. SteveK Says:

    Realist repost on 3…2….1….

    Can’t wait!

    This guy is a beast! I’d take him if Quentin Nelson is gone.

  9. Brad Says:

    BSPN Just posted that the Seahawks are trying to trade Michael Bennett. How pissed would you be if he ends up somewhere else?

  10. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Turn in the card !

  11. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Everything I’m reading about Vea is that he is a tremendous talent with lots of upside. His downside currently is that he is still raw and will need work and and good coaching.

    Can you say Brentson Buckner?

  12. Waterboy Says:

    Think about it like this, 16 of the top 32 guys currently getting a lot of hype during the combine/draft process probably won’t even be in the league in 5 yrs or on their way out. If Vea has the potential to be 1 of the 16 that will remain it’s not a reach to take him at 7.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:


    You asked for it!!!! You got it!!!!!!!!!!!! and the story did not even go into how versatile Mount Vea is!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Back by Request its another “Realist Repost!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist Says:
    January 29th, 2018 at 10:21 am
    Wow, Good on you for finally recognizing what those in the know have been saying!!!!!!!!!!! It took a lot of guts to stand up and write the truth!!!!!!!!!!! And now that you are finally listening,who is that player you ask its time for a “Realist Repost”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist Says:
    January 20th, 2018 at 12:42 pm
    If the top DE does not fall,,,,,,

    Please free up the LB’s by selecting Mount Vea!!!!!!! trade down and/or pick up a “Man among boys” Vita Vea!!!!!!!! switch to a 3-4 for a point of difference in the division!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    If Bucs are serious about rebuilding our Defense, then we’ve got to be aggressive in free agency AND in the draft. That means using our top draft picks to fix our DLine and to a lesser degree our Secondary. I have zero problem taking Vea (or Payne or Minkah Fitzpatrick) in Rnd 1 with our #7 pick. Any one of the three makes us instantly better, and for years to come. We can find some beastly Guards & Centers in FA, but not so much for DTs & DEs. Use the draft Jason to fix the DLine especially.

  15. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    While you’re at it go get yourself a honey badger

  16. SB Says:

    All I know is the Combine is upon us and we will see how Davenport and Taven Bryan rise or fall. I am betting on Bryan rising Big Time. Just would love to trade with Buffalo and somehow find a way to get them Both. One can dream can’t one?

  17. AlteredEgo Says:

    What does Tmax think ?…that is the question…

  18. AlteredEgo Says:

    delson….T Rex had short arms too…

  19. The Buc Realist Says:

    I think joe is selling Mount Vea short!!!! Just to ask if someone is a reach, because of some mock draft is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And you have to ask, If the Head Coach says he wants a badazz football team, don’t you have to draft badazz players!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I rest my case!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. DR FEELGOOD Says:

    I LOVE the idea of Nelson, but this is supposedly a draft deep at guard and center. I’m not a drafting for need guy, but I think you draft Vea at 7 and take the best guard or center available in round 2-3 or best RB in 2-3. All three would or should be instant starters.

  21. SB Says:

    AlteredEgo Says:
    March 1st, 2018 at 6:32 pm
    What does Tmax think ?…that is the question…
    Lol……No true Bucs’ fan cares!

  22. JimmyJack Says:

    Brad that’s why I don’t get the fans who are upset we didn’t trade for Peters.
    We should be holding all the equity we can for the exact scenario you are talking about.

    Not sure if Bennet is rated highly by the Bucs but I think he should be based on numbers. If Licht don’t make a serious move to get a legit DE he can burn.

    Aside from that there are plenty of options at corner. Very deep position this offseason.

  23. maccam Says:

    Defense Rules, you got the right idea. The best D F.A. players to fit and draft the best Defensive player on the board. I do think the most need is at D tackle, one must be drafted this year, hopefully in the early rounds.

  24. JimmyJack Says:

    @Realist…..I think you can forget about us going to a 3-4 base. Unless Buckner doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  25. Gambelero Says:

    I like Vea after a fleecing trade-down to 11-13 or maybe 15.

  26. Willy D Buc Says:

    @The Buc Realist

    I have to say, I always agree with your posts.

    … but must you yell so loud?!!?!!?!!!?!!!

  27. JimmyJack Says:

    As far as Dirks badass team comment I am freaking done with his quotes. Absolutely done with it.

    I realized this when I was entertaining myself with some Bugs Bunny highlights……..You wanna know what I heard from a 1950’s Bugs Bunny clip?
    I swear to you on my life Bugs Bunny said…….and I quote……”speak softly and carry a big stick”

    This friggen coach is training our men based on the philosophy of freaking Bugs Bunny. The team trains like a looney tunes cartoon and they play like it too………Selling is fans a bill of goods based on a phrase that Bugs Bunny coined, no wonder this team is a complete embarrassment.

  28. SteveK Says:

    Thanks, Realist!

    I live Vea, but Nelson slightly more.

    A road grader on the line would do wonders for us. Likewise Mount Vea looks like a big mean mofo, something I’ve been clamoring for this defense. A mean beast lineman.

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    And I will be repeating that Bugs Bunny discovery. Tampa needs to know that this coach gets his philosophy’s of football from Bugs Bunny.

    I feel duped

  30. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Now, do we pair GMC with a dominant NT like Vea? Or a dominant DE like Chubb (pending availability of course). Either way, we should see a world of difference in our pass rush.

  31. Gambelero Says:

    Jimmy, Jimmy. “Speak softly and carry a big stick” comes from Theodore Roosevelt. It became a mantra for much of the entire Pax Americana era.

  32. darin Says:

    Trade for Bennett Mr Licht. Draft Vea or another stud D linemen. Do that while trading down n getting another pick or two. Cmon, work the draft and improve the team without giving away picks, aka players. Man the news on Bennett is good. Hope Licht thinks so too.

  33. JimmyJack Says:

    Fair enough Gambelero……But until this team quits playing like a pile of soft asses I’m going to choose to believe Dirk got it from Bugs Bunny.

    Don’t care if I’m wrong. I’m a fan and I’m entitled to be.

  34. The Buc Realist Says:


    Only trade for that liar bennett for a 8th round pick and if Seattle picks up his entire contract!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Conte Piscatelli Says:


    The quote you reference is originally from Teddy Roosevelt, but yes it also appears in several Bugs Bunny cartoons as cartoons used to often reference historical and current events. Not trying to hate, just keeping readers informed.

  36. JimmyJack Says:

    Well if they don’t trade for Bennett they better trade for somebody at End. They are not gonna get it done with these weak free agents that are available.

    If they feel strongly enough about Chubb I wouldn’t mind them trading up for him either.

    This coaching staff will likely be getting dumped if they roster a bunch of 4 sack guys.

  37. Jeagan1999 Says:

    A reach at 7. Trade down into the teens and get an extra 2nd round pick, if you think you want this guy. Even if he’s gone, there will be some good DE’s like Hubbard, Key or Davenport available… then we can get another DE in Round 2….and a to RB prospect (Michel, Jones, etc..)!

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    Yeah Conte I shouldn’t have said Bugs coined the phrase without knowing mb. However I am certain, based on performance, that Dirk got it from Looney Tunes.

    If I’m wrong he has his shot to proove it to me starting in Sept.

  39. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    After the combine, Mount Vea won’t be a reach at 7. FTR though I wouldn’t care who says he’s a reach. If he’s on your board, grab him…period.

  40. DB55 Says:

    Question: how/why is vea a better pick than Da’Ron Payne from Alabama? Seems to me like you’d want the guy coming out of Alabama for multiple reasons and they have virtually the same stats.

  41. Bird Says:

    Multiple experts say he is one of 4 or 5 safest picks in draft. Him and guard Nelson

    So bucs should grab either or. Build up both lines 1st. No safeties that low as I have seen in some safeties in some mocks.

  42. ManzielMadness Says:

    He also has tools rushing the passer. Not just a “run stuffer”.

  43. John meeks Says:

    The best tackle out of this draft will be the kid from michigan.can play the run and rush the passer and has a hell of a get don’t take him at number7 but if you trade down you take him before vita vea. Vita has no moves,just power and will die in this Tampa heat.boys,this is the NFL where all the big nasty offensive linemen are have to have moves in the nfl,power alone will not be enough.stop with the vita vea being the next Jerome brown,Cortez kennedy,etc bullcrap. He is strictly a one trick pony,and you don’t take that kind of pony at number7.

  44. LakeLand Says:

    John Meeks

    You talking about Maurice Hurst, I like him with the Bucs, he reminds me of a young GMC.

  45. Destinjohnny Says:


  46. Owlykat Says:

    I would not mind Vea at 7 but my preferance is Trade with Buffalo for their two first picks. Then use Stevie T as your NT, grab Orlando Brown LT from Oklahoma so you can move LT Smith to LG where he can produce as well as Nelson; with the other first pick take RB Penny (and get RB Isaha Crowell, RB, in Free Agency. With the Second pick take the Best DE Available. Then move Marpet back to RG and take Center Jensen in Free Agency or spend a 3rd Round pick on Arkansas’ Center, or Ohio States’ Center, or the Michigan State Center (all three highly rated). You then would have a tough OL to keep Jameis standing and healthy all year, and to open big holes for our RBs. Makes the other Defense have to worry about the run or pass in the Red Stone and run up our points.

  47. Owlykat Says:

    Red Zone not Red Stone! This I’phone changes words on it’s own.

  48. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Mo Wilkerson is another swaggy, Hell to the no JimmyJack!

  49. Lunchbox Says:

    Joe(s) this is directly for you: I don’t normally comment this late in a thread, as I don’t think comments this late garner much attention but I gotta say: you’re seemingly in for Vea, at least to some extent at 7? Now don’t get me wrong, I really like Vea; I think he could anchor our run defense for years, ala Gilbert Brown for the Packers. But is a NT worth a 7 pick? Conversely, you’ve consistently downplayed G Quenton Nelson, and the impact he’d have protecting America’s QB Jameis Winston, while simultaneously making ANY RB we have better by opening huge holes for him. I REALLY get your need for defensive line power here, but I’d argue that offensive line help will benefit the defense almost as much, as it will prolong drives, giving the defense much needed rest. And btw I believe all things being equal, Nelson at 7 (if there) would be a better value than Vea.

  50. LakeLand Says:

    Jimmy Lake has been bragging about how good Vita Vea is.

  51. NFLNut Says:

    NOT at #7

  52. MadMax Says:

    Yup, about time Joe 😉

  53. USFBUC Says:

    I would love to have Vea on our team, if we could some how land Chubb at 7 and then trade back into the first where ever Vea is going hopefully late teens or 20’s that would be awesome

  54. MadMax Says:

    Unless we have a shot at chubb or barkeley, id day V is the way to go for trench warfare….pick at 7 isnt a reach..hes going top 10..ive been saying that the whole time, for 5 months. Now granted I was hoping he could be a trade up target for our 2nd pick, but na, not happening.

  55. TBChucky Says:

    Chubb, Nelson, Vea in that order. We need a stud for one of our lines!

  56. 813bucboi Says:

    vita is nice…..but along with talent we need versatility!!!!!!!…….taven bryan gives you that!!!!!….can play DT or DE…..43 OR 34…….

    watch his film @joe…’ll fall in love……

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  57. Bucsfanman Says:

    @DB55- I was thinking the same thing about Payne. Not much talk about the kid. Why?

  58. webster Says:

    Tim settle!!!!!

  59. Reach87 Says:

    The DT from Stanford could be a solid 3rd round pick who compliments chubb or vea. Imo we should go DE with our first depending on how things shake out in the draft and free agency play out

  60. NFLNut Says:

    Tons of good DTs in this draft … using the #7 pick on a DT would be dumb imho

  61. godzilla13 Says:

    Vita would be a nice pick but to high at 7. There will be either four QB’s drafted before us which will mean Minkah Fitzpatrick or Saquon Barkley would be available or one of the four QB’s fall to 7 which would be great trade bait. So would you draft Vita and pass on those two and pass on a trade back? Some draft mocks have Da’Ron Payne going before Vita.