Koetter Responds To Sapp’s Comments

May 11th, 2018


Since the Bucs drafted defensive tackle Vita Vea in the first round, a lot of folks have wondered how the west coast-raised, 345-pound mammoth would navigate the hot and humid climate of west-central Florida.

Humidity on the west coast where Vea is from is a virtual non-factor, unless it rains.

One of those wondering about Vea is a man who knows a thing or two about getting through a football season in sweltering Florida. That would be Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

Recently, former Bucs guard Ian Beckles shared on his podcast a chat he had with Sapp. The man whose number-99 is retired by the Bucs had his doubts whether Vea could handle an NFL season in Tampa unless he dropped some serious weight.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was asked about Sapp’s comments after underwear football practice the first rookie minicamp practice this afternoon.

Koetter has great respect for Sapp and very much appreciates how passionate Sapp is about his former team. But let’s just say Koetter doesn’t fully share Sapp’s views about Vea, though Koetter said Sapp’s general concerns are valid.

“If we thought it was a thing we wouldn’t have picked him,” Koetter said of Sapp’s skepticism about Vea. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Warren is definetly a guy who has proved what it takes to play in this league.

“We did our homework on that sort of thing. Everyone has an opinion on it. We will see.”

Sapp’s take on west coast guys playing in Florida, or even in the southeast, is neither a novel concept nor unique. Joe was told years ago by an NFL suit that west coast guys trying to transition to the atmosphere, both the weather and the football climate, is very real.

Vea even said this afternoon he was smacked in the face by the humidity when he first took the practice field today.

The NFL suit Joe referenced noted that the football culture in the southeast is a far cry from what is found on the west coast. Around this area of the country, the suit told Joe, football is a passion, an everyday lifestyle for both players from the area as well as fans. That normally is not the case in the wilds of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and surrounding areas.

Aside from just adapting to the weather, west coast guys often take time or struggle to adapt to the level football and where it ranks in this general region on the ladder of society, Joe was told.

Clearly, the NFL is full of guys from the west coast who have played at a high level. But when breaking down players during the draft process to find out what makes them tick, NFL front office types are well aware of the personal adjustment players from the Pacific time zone have to make.

18 Responses to “Koetter Responds To Sapp’s Comments”

  1. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Vea and Allen will rotate in and out. Plenty of time for Vita to get any rest he needs. The weather is a thing, but there are ways to combat it if you’ve got the depth. I’m not concerned about it until there is evidence in the games.

  2. '74 Bucs Fan Says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m calling bs on that thought. Yes – no doubt it takes time to adjust to the time zone and humidity, but lets be real here – there are studs that play in Florida that aren’t from here. Ask the Jaguars D Line about humidity. Man up and ball!!

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    I hope Licht and Dirk are right, because I’ve never seen anything that would make me think a 350lb’er is going to step in and be a pass rushing 3-down DT. Guys that big are 3-4 run stuffing NT’s, and yes, Vita had a nice 40-yard dash time (good for his size, still slower than McCoy for example), but we don’t know the other measurables since he pulled a hammy and couldn’t do more. Also his college production, for 3 years, of 9.5 sacks and 15 TFL, well that’s less sacks, and a couple more TFL than Sapp had… in one year in college, at a time when teams didn’t throw nearly as much.

    I’m just as sceptical as Sapp, but hopefully the kid is what the team says he is.

  4. destinjohnny Says:

    that is why southern football is so dominant

  5. Trench War Says:

    So that means Derwin James should flourish on the west coast eh?

  6. Trench War Says:

    McCoy was 6’2″ and under 325lbs at the combine too! Vea will do fine once he acclimates himself to Tampa weather. People act like he’s a senior coming to Florida to retire. He’s a babe and this heat will melt some weight off him but he’ll do just fine as long as he’s kept hydrated.

  7. Trench War Says:

    sorry Sapp not McCoy
    McCoy 6’4″ under 300lbs

  8. unbelievable Says:

    Isn’t he from Hawaii originally? Plenty of humidity out there.

    I understand it’s not the same once you’ve been out of it for a while (Living in Cali now, humidity on the east coast is nuts when I go back), but I think you’d re-acclimate within a few months / the first year.

    He’s a rookie d-lineman, people shouldn’t expect too much this year anyway…

  9. scott Says:

    Well Sapp didnt have an indoor practice facility!!

  10. Chris in WA Says:

    Is it just me or does Drik Koetter look a bit younger this year? Maybe the stress last season was killing him or something.

  11. UncleFunkle Says:

    I think if Vea loses a little weight and gets his nutrition right, (avocado ice cream anyone?), he’ll adjust to the heat fine. Genetically he is Tongan. Pretty sure it’s sweltering there.

  12. ComeOnJoe Says:

    Vea is from Tonga. It’s a freaking island in the Pacific Ocean. His people are literally evolved to adapt to our climate. The theory that he can’t adapt to Florida weather is stupid. We have car loads of elderly New Yorkers driving down here every day. If they can handle it I’m sure Vea can adjust.

  13. Phillip Says:

    He was born in Cali.. Please stop with the family heritage stuff. Unless he has said somewhere he’s gone back multiple times and what he was doing you all need to stop assuming he’s going to be fine.

    Is he going to be fine? Probably.. Is it because his family is from Tonga? Absolutely not.

  14. Dapostman Says:

    I don’t know about Vea but the humidity hasn’t seemed to bother the other teams D Lineman the last 10 years.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Actually islands in the south pacific have fairly temperate weather because they’re surrounded by water. You guys that just blindly believe this guy is the exception to the rule… we shall see, but it’s literally based on nothing, there’s no remarkable production, there’s no remarkable measurables, nothing. The thing that worries me is Licht having to bring up the whole “guy you hope marries your daughter” talk, I hope Licht didn’t fall in love with the person instead of the player.

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    Dapostman – huh? The humidity has literally been a problem for every single person on the team. Godwin, a very in shape WR had issues with the humidity. Do people actually pay attention to things or just make up everything they believe in?

  17. Rodney Says:

    Humidity is a biatch here. I’m born n raised n to say elderly do it all the time REALLY there’s a reason we call them snowbirds ppl SMFH. Will he be fine probably but expect it to be a slight issue first several months to a year is very possible. With that said with the rotation we have this year I’m sure he’ll be fine

  18. Fire Lichtt Says:

    Which makes Derwin the better selection… fire licht