Koetter Not Pleased, Not Mad With Vea

August 27th, 2018

Soon to return.

Look, unless there is an NFL player who is the next Myron Lewis, Joe knows of no player who wants to be hurt.

But Joe already sees fans grumbling on Twitter that first round pick Vita Vea has been MIA for virtually all of training camp and no one knows for sure when he will return to practice, though the fact he was running with pads on Sunday suggests Vea is close.

Twenty-nine days ago, in the first padded practice of training camp, Vea suffered a calf injury on his left leg during a run play. He hasn’t practiced since.

Yesterday, Joe got a Twitter of a video of a play Chargers safety and first-round pick Derwin James made this weekend with a message along the lines of “See, Derwin James can get on the field.” Joe has a hunch that dude doesn’t own a Chris Conte jersey.

Dirk Koetter was asked about Vea’s status Sunday and while Koetter isn’t giddy about the situation, Koetter knows there is nothing he can do about an injury.

“He’s right on track to be back and that part is all good,” Koetter said. “I mean, are we pleased? It’s hard to be pleased when your first-round pick hasn’t been out at practice very much. But that’s nothing that he can control, we’re not mad at him about it.

“It’s just one of those things. He had an injury, it has to heal. He’s on the right track. He was out running with the trainers today in full gear before practice, so he’s getting close.”

Koetter did add that while missing chunks of time is bad for any player at any position, a defensive tackle missing roughly a month isn’t as costly as at some other positions.

Folks already whining about the Bucs not drafting Derwin Jameis because Vea hurt his left calf in July is way over the top jumping the gun.

50 Responses to “Koetter Not Pleased, Not Mad With Vea”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I support my DT#50 Get right don’t rush it Vea Gobucs

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “a defensive tackle missing roughly a month isn’t as costly as at some other positions.” That’s the key IMO Joe … Vea probably wasn’t going to be a starter anyways this year, but once healed up he can still contribute in rotation duty. I just hope that he can get back into top shape by the start of the season. Personally more concerned about Allen & Unrein missing so much time in preseason. Especially Mitch … I think he’s now been out over 2 weeks in that concussion protocol; not a good sign. He’s a baller & we need him on that DLine.

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    Complaining that we didn’t draft James is typical Buc fan! “Oooooh he made a play! We should’ve drafted THAT guy”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Root for the guys on your team. Vea will be there eventually.

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I tend to root for FSU and Florida equally. Again when they play each other I root for the team that has the most on the line in terms of bowl appearance and Nat’l Title hopes. If it’s equal then I root for a good game.

    I bring this up because I will be accused of being a Gator homer for this next thought. I went to U of Cincinnati…great basketball tradition…NO football greatness. So I am independent during the College football season but I root for all Florida teams because I’m a proud citizen of the Sunshine state.

    SOME…not ALL…but SOME Nole fans are literally embarrassing themselves on this site. It occurs when a Nole matriculates to the NFL and we do not draft him.

    I really wanted Dalvin Cook…I thought he could be the answer to our running woes. We took OJ instead and I was fine with that as well…he’s a talent that could star for a decade or more…something unlikely for ANY running back.
    Lots of Nole fans were upset we took the TE instead of Dalvin.

    Then we skipped Derwin for Vea and again SOME Nole fans are showing true ignorance….whining about how great Derwin is because of ONE preseason interception while Vea can’t get on the field.

    Do they not understand if they feel that about Derwin they should also say they were TOTALLY wrong about Dalvin who has yet to play a single snap in the NFL unless you count his brief preseason.

    If an injury makes Vea a bad pick then Dalvin was a horrid pick. I do not feel this way but if you follow THEIR logic what else can you conclude. Could we at least get some consistency in their viewpoint?

    If a GM takes a chance on a player with injury problem(s) in college and that player gets the same injury in the NFL then there is reason for griping. Outside of that it’s just a giant crapshoot! Injuries are part of the game.

    GMC’s biceps cost him a lot of his first two years…five sacks in both years combined…limited appearances…but we didn’t just write him off as a bust! He finally got healthy his third year and since then he’s averaged 15 games a season and just under 8 sacks a year. Doesn’t Vea deserve the same opportunity?

    BTW that interception of Derwin’s was not spectacular. Even the game announcers pointed out that Brees threw an uncharacteristic wounded duck floating it out there. Derwin may turn out to be a great player. But right now he’s nothing more than another West Coast Safety…the Chargers…I do not root for the Chargers…or the Vikings…or the Jags..even if they do have a few great players who went to FSU.

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    “Vea hurt his left calf in July is way over the top jumping the gun.”

    How long have you been a Bucs…fan?

  6. teacherman777 Says:

    I am 140 pounds and I drink 3 liters of water per day.

    His injury was because of dehydration.

    A man his size needs 5 liters a day.

    I hope he’s eating and drinking right.

  7. americasenabler Says:

    That pick on Brees was beautiful. He closed in so fast on that ball. He stepped up on 3rd down and made a play. Bucs need a play maker in the secondary more than a gap filling DT no knock on Vea, just facts.

  8. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Didn’t Ryan Smith make an interception this pre-season. Maybe he should have been a first round pick.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sometimes we forget….

    Just because a player is huge/beastly, young and monstrously strong, it doesn’t mean he can’t injure himself……sure, he doesn’t have an ACL or broken bone….but it can still take him down.
    Remember Carl Nicks’ big toe…….took the big man down, permanently.

    That hit on Mike Evans could have taken him out for the year……you just never know.

    It is more important for Vea to heal than to play.

  10. Kobe Faker Says:

    You win thru the draft…..thats a fact

    Derwin James would have been our defensive leader for the next 12 years

    All our division rivals are plugging their rosters thru the draft and always fighting for superbowls

    Carolina 2015 superbowl
    Atl 2016 superbowl
    Saints 2017 defeated by a bonehead play

    Gump is still trying to plug our cornerback, pass rusher, bellcow runner, saftey …etc….from our draft busts

    However our future is very very bleak because…

    Starting next year we will be in salary cap hell and Gump wont have a open wallet to screwup in FA

    Kobe Faker

  11. Lionel Says:

    Screw Derwin James ..Vea is it

  12. Wausa Says:

    I hope Vea ends up being great, but Derwin was there for the taking even after the Bucs traded down. Seemed like a no brainer for the pick to be Derwin, but the Bucs went in another direction. Hopefully Whitehead ends up being a home run pick for the Bucs

  13. Adambomb418 Says:

    All team fans whine about the players they want selected which didn’t. This is nothing new. Next story…

  14. Louis Says:

    Personally I am glad we didn’t draft Derwin James, and traded the pick. We picked up three potential starters as a result of this trade. By doing so we created a stronger defence. We needed much more than a single player to fix out defence. This draft dealt with problems on our d line, and dbackfield. Doing so in the first two rounds. We also had the luxury by doing so of drafting Watson, who will be able to step in when Jackson retires. Also finding Whitehead, Cappa, a potential steal. Jason Licht deserves praise for this year’s draft, as well as his past crafts. Our team has o my been made stronger because of his tenure as GM. Anyone who complains evidently don’t see the whole picture of a GM’s job. My concerns are keeping this young team together with the looking contracts approaching for our young stars

  15. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    We are playing this good w/o Vea, so hopefully it will only get better when he can play.

  16. FairMinded Says:

    Typical tunnel vision mentality of some fans. The trade down was a great move. In the end we got M.J. Stewart and Davis as new additions to the backfield and both look like studs so far so I don’t see what the problem is. Let’s judge the guy (Vea) when he gets back on the field for gods sakes

  17. Sumo Says:

    The injury that Vea had takes time to heal. If you never had one I can tell you from experience that it takes a couple of months to be back to normal.

  18. Mort Says:

    We aren’t in cap he’ll next year. We will cut Will Gholston, trade DeSean Jackson, and the cap is going up. It’ll be fine.

  19. go for the face30 Says:

    I think he’s now been out over 2 weeks in that concussion protocol; not a good sign. He’s a baller & we need him on that DLine.

    You’re the first and only person who considers Mitch GD Unrein a baller. He’s a depth and rotational guy that represents an upgrade from last year, which by the way, doesn’t take much.

  20. D-Rome Says:

    All team fans whine about the players they want selected which didn’t.

    Exactly, just like the fools that complained about the O.J. Howard pick. You have a chance to draft a future All-Pro TE but some fans are still complaining the Bucs didn’t take the guy that only lasted four games.

  21. Kobe Faker Says:

    Next year additional salary

    JW3 +20 mil
    Marpet +13 mil
    D Smith +12 mil
    Redheaded Matadour Kwonie +8 mil

    quick calculation +53 mill minimum

    we will be forced to unload key players and our roster will be gutted and less talented

  22. Joe Says:

    Didn’t Ryan Smith make an interception this pre-season. Maybe he should have been a first round pick.


  23. Horse Liver Says:

    Derwin James was taken 17th. Any Bucs fan who wanted the Bucs to draft that guy 7th is Warren Sapp’s well described Bucs fan. Dumbest in the NFL.

  24. Deminion Says:

    People are getting hyped about the derwin pick lol when it was a bad ball in double coverage lol

    You should be more excited Gholston got a Pre-Season Sack lol

  25. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Kobe: you say “gump” can’t draft well but all of those players you mentioned that need to be signed was drafted by him. Things that make you go hmm 🤔 1 was from a small college and 1 was from the 4th rd. You keep throwing ish against the wall until something sticks while we’re on the side line laughing at your dumb arse. You keep doing you, you clown!

  26. Owlykat Says:

    Gholston would make a good replacement for McCoy when he retires. Gholston would be able to get sacks from that position and he would do a lot better stopping the run than McCoy does. He has the height like McCoy does and a similar build, but knows how to use his hands to stop passes, and likely would knock down more than McCoy too. So cutting him for his salary next year would be a big mistake. Instead Buckner better show him how to play the three technique and how to get off the line quickly and then make him rotate in and rest McCoy during our games so McCoy can get after the QB deep into the fourth quarter. Trading VJax for a draft pick next year is fine. Get some of our lesser players who don’t live up to expectations to take some moderate cuts to their salaries can raise more cap money but leave Gholston alone.

  27. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Unfotunately licht has drafted 3 first round picks that are not starting for the bucs and that is a problem, I guess OJ starts in double tight sets but neither vea nor VH3 are starters for this team as licht passed on guys that are starting now in the NFL, picking players like that gets you very fast to 5-11

  28. Trench War Says:

    It’s funny, if Derwin were out with a significant injury or just playing like sh|t, you wouldn’t hear a peep from those FSU homers.

  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^^Funny and true!

  30. jmarkbuc Says:

    Just out of genuine curiosity..No Snark..

    Why would Vea be running in full gear? Seems to me he’d be doing a little light running in shorts.

    I’ve always believed his injury is more of a heat/humidity acclimation problem. Running in full pads, with trainers? Just seems unusual.

  31. El Buco Realisto Says:


    Because that is how close he is!!!! He has already “ran” in shorts, and then you wait a day or two to see how the injury responds!!!!! then you run in pads and see how the injury responds!!!!! Running in the pads is a testament to how far along he is!!!!!!! Just like you did not hear about him, riding stationary bikes or walking laps in pools ( movements that keep the muscles working without the weight applied on them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #trust the coaches!!!!!!!! Fix the “real” problem, the roster!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  32. jmarkbuc Says:

    I know Samoans love their hair, but he could lose five pounds and be a heck of a lot cooler, without some of it..IJS

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    I praise Licht regularly for drafting “talent” over “need”.

    In this particular case I was disappointed that Derwin James was not the pick when he was still on the board at #12.

    James would have filled an immediate need as a day 1 starter and would have been the perfect SS complement to natural FS Justin Evans. That duo would have solidified the back end of the Buccaneers defense for the next decade with high end talent and athleticism. And picking James would have FINALLY sent Chris Conte to the bench where he belongs as a reasonably solid and very experienced BACK-UP. LOL

    BUT – that said, I can also admit that being a fan of FSU, I was very familiar with James and pretty much knew from watching Derwin play many games that he was going to be an excellent professional football player.

    I saw Vita Vea play College games live maybe twice.

    So of course I had a natural bias towards James this draft since he was available to the Bucs – not because I am a Noles fan and want as many FSU players on the team as possible – but because this particular Nole IMO was a guarantee to be a stud NFL player. At a position of real need for the Bucs.

    I felt the same way about Winston. Really wanted Ramsey as well – but we were not quite in position to get Jalen unfortunately.

    With all that said – the bottom line is that I trust this GM. Licht has proven time and again over the last 5 years that he will stick pretty religiously to his own evaluations and his own Big Board for better or worse.

    And more often than not, Jason has been proven correct in his eval.

    He traded up to make Marpet the highest D3 pick in history.

    He traded up for Kwon in the 4th (later revealing that he had Alexander rated as the 28th best player on his board in 2015 – a 1st rd talent to Licht’s eye – picked at #124!).

    Few liked the Justin Evans pick in 2017 at the spot he was taken – yet now Evans looks like a great pick to most everyone.

    Jason moved up for a LBer late in the 3rd last year. What? A LB??? We already had one of the best LBing duos in the game with LD54 and Kwon. Yet look how well that Beckwith pick turned out…

    Even this year – tons of people (myself included) were not super happy with the MJ Stewart pick at #53 with other (allegedly better) CBs like Donte Jackson and Isiah Oliver still available. Yet Stewart already looks like he will be a solid addition to our CB group – his toughness and versatility and coverage skills already being evident 3 games into the pre-season.

    So it became very obvious when the Buccaneers selected Vita Vea – that Jason Licht had Vea rated higher as a player than he had Derwin James rated. Its really just as simple as that (as the simpleton would say).

    The other generality that gave me some solace in the Bucs picking Vea over James is my understanding that its very important to build up the front of your defense the right way (via the draft) – as opposed to building up the back end while leaving the front end vulnerable.

    Our DLine SUCKED in 2017 and is the primary reason the Bucs lost 11 games last year.

    So even though Vea seemed like a bit of a “luxury” pick after Licht spent all that $ on JPP (+ a 3rd rd pick), Curry, Allen and Unrein – it still made sense to get a future stud centerpiece for the DL in Vea. A very good crop of DTs came out this year and Vita Vea was the best of the bunch.

    Injuries are part of the game.

    I’d rather that Vea got hurt in his 1st practice and miss all of TC and pre-season – than have gone through all that practice time and then get hurt in the final pre-season game and have to miss the first half of his rookie season…

    That’s how I see the Vita Vea “situation” as it currently sits.

    Time will tell if GM Licht made the right call in picking Vea over James.

    Most likely – they will both be very good NFL players as all top 20 picks should be. Although statistically – about 46% of all first round picks do NOT meet the expectations of their high draft position (cough – Hargreaves- cough).

  34. Mightyjoey1 Says:

    @ Kobe Faker

    Err…no….where did you go to school?

    All those guys you mentioned might end up with a salary of 53 mil, but they are under contract now…Jameis for around 13 mil…so really look at adding around 30 mil. Subtract Desean Jackson and probably McCoy the year after that, add the increases in the cap and you got your cap space. Better minds than yours have a handle on it.

  35. BigMacAttack Says:

    Truth is the Bucs’ d line looks good and they aren’t hurting without Vea. If he’s running though, that’s a good thing. I’m sure they will slowly work him into the rotation. I’d also like to see Vea at fullback on some goal line plays. He knows the position somewhat and he’s a big strong man. The V Train Commeth. 😂

  36. jmarkbuc Says:


    I hope Kwon is what we hope he is/was.

  37. Buc50 Says:

    Samoan cutting his hair is like Sampson cutting his locks…how can anyone suggest that with a straight face.

  38. Gene Deckehoff is my hero Says:

    Anyone ever heard of Derwin James Jr.?

  39. Pickgrin Says:

    Me too jmark.

    I’m not blind to the fact that Kwon still needs to get better at NOT getting swallowed up by blockers and NOT over committing in too many instances…

    Still a hell of a 4th rd pick IMO. Just not sure if he’s worth $10M per year or not yet with a guy like Beckwith making 1/10th of that for the next 3 years on the roster…

    I imagine this season will reveal a lot of answers to a bunch of lingering questions about a bunch of players and coaching staff alike…

  40. Eric Says:

    take at least three years to determine who the best draft selection was between Vea and James.

    Not one preseason game which is ludicrous.

  41. Mike Says:

    How did things get spun around so much that Tampa Bay fans don’t even expect first and second round picks to be productive starters? Mediocrity and a losers mentality has permeated this organization and its a disgrace. Wake up Tampa Bay!

  42. Kobe Faker Says:

    “MIKE, very well said! No accountability and winner mentality…just of bunch of apologists ridiculingon posters who demand excellence!”

    Kobe Faker

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Derwin James will not have nearly the impact for the betterment of his team as Vea will for the Bucs over the long run. I could care less what Derwin James does in games so long as it isn’t against the Buccaneers.

    People need to get over the whining.

  44. m0j0 Says:

    Say it with me folks “you win in the trenches”… Vea will be back and he will be a force once healthy. Just be patient and don’t rush the healing process.

  45. SOEbuc Says:

    We got a very good looking, promising S in Whitehead that we got in the fourth round. We had the worst D-line in the year a year ago and have been bad at stopping the run up the middle for a long time. He hasn’t practiced yet but I think Vea was the better choice than D.James. Get well soon Vita. Eternally yours, SOEBUC xoxo.

  46. Gruden4President Says:

    Derwin James is garbage period.

  47. lewis Says:

    Coaching staff has a lot to prove the bottom line is its all on them .and there enough talent on offensive to make a playoff run and it doesn’t matter whos at qb we will see if the bucs just wasted 3 years on this staff /I for one am not expecting much from Dirt and crew

  48. gilhealy Says:

    gofortheface30, Unrein is a baller. Number one rated DT against the run last season. Beau Allen was second. Yea, these guys are ballers.

  49. Gene Deckehoff is my hero Says:

    The blown James Jr. non-pick should be the nail in the coffin for Licht and Koetter…

  50. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    It blows my mind that so many people haven’t learned. Mark Domanick tried for many years and failed to build from the back end. Football is won in the trenches! All of these people who clamor for a safety in the 1st round are just completely ignorant and dumb!