“Still Getting His Legs Under Him”

October 24th, 2018

Joe’s not down on Vita Vea, the manbeast, first-round draft pick at defensive tackle.

However, it is a little discouraging that the best of his three games might have been his debut in Chicago on September 30.

Vea doesn’t like a No. 12 overall pick yet. However, he missed all over August and most of September with a calf injury, so the guy deserves time to get into NFL shape. This is not a George Johnson/Da’Quan Bowers situation.

Dirk Koetter was asked about Vea today and said the following, “Vita looks like a guy that is still getting his legs under him.

Kudos for Koetter for being candid.

The head coach added, “he looks like a guy that’s still finding his way with his pad level a little bit, with his conditioning.”

Mike Smith referenced Vea needing work on pad level before he was fired. And at 6-4, 335(?), Vea has to understand just how critical that is at the NFL level.

Perhaps a game in the low 50s, expected temperatures in Cincinnati on Sunday, is just what Vea needs to spark his game.

37 Responses to ““Still Getting His Legs Under Him””

  1. BucDan Says:

    I’ve seen a few plays where VV straight mauls the guard or center into the backfield – right passed the runner or scrambling QB. I would like to see better use of his eye (head on a swivel!) to spot the ball.

    I also felt like he worked great this weekend pushing the center of the pocket, while Nassib, JPP AND SPENCE(!) put in work off the edge.

    Not all QBs have the scramble ability of Mayfield (however, the game is moving that direction), so I feel like we might see some nice things against Andy this weekend (not stone feet, but not Baker, either).

  2. BFFL Says:

    He does what DTs have to do and that’s stuff the run and push the pocket. Something I’ve never seen from McCoy.

  3. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    BucDan…I’d argue why picking Vita was so asinine when Derwin was available. Why are we picking up a run stuffer (albeit a quick one) when the game is moving away from that. Licht was so obsessed with toughness he sorta forgot speed is the future (& speedy players with football instincts, unlike Ronald Jones who’s just speedy).

  4. Dom is gone... Licht? Says:

    Vita was pick because Smitty wanted huge DT fore his defense.. that’s what he had in Jacksonville that made him look great… now no more Smitty and the defensive rookie of the year plays for the chargers … oh the life As a Bucs fan Man weren’t those few years great …. The other 30+ not so much

  5. unbelievable Says:

    ^ Well we got abused in the run game last year, that’s probably why.

    You can make an argument about needing a safety too, but we’ve already seen what happens when you try to build a defense from the back instead of the front… it doesn’t work.

    Gotta get the trenches built up first.

    I think Vea will get more effective at rushing the passer as he gets his technique down. But anyone expecting him to be the next Warren Sapp is setting themselves up for massive disappointment.

    BTW Agreed about RoJo. As soon as someone touches him, he loses all balance and goes to the ground. Speed is great but you still gotta be able to take some contact or it’s meaningless.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    vita will be fine….

    we would all be calling d.james a bust if he were in tampa because our former DC wouldn’t know how to use him correctly…..how many sacks does j.evans have?….whitehead?….conte before he got hurt?…..that’s the same amount d.james would have if he were with the bucs…..and with this defense only having 1pick, I doubt d.james would’ve had more….

    screw james……he aint a buc so he can walk the plank!!!!!


  7. 813bucboi Says:


    I agree….rojo is too light in the pants….j.evans looks bigger than him…..


  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    Cincinnati toughest opponent yet

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    Put a fast, angry beast, great pass rushing DT Round One 2019 next to him. Maybe the two can become TRUE six-time pro bowlers together.

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Agree with others about the building from the back end never working.

    The Chargers had an elite front 7 and elite CBs when they took James. He was the last piece; although losing Bosa and another CB early this year hurt them.

    I doubt James has the success here as he is having with the Chargers just for those basic reasons; and MS’s secondary routinely getting torched.

    We need to build an elite front 7 IMO; before we can adequately even deal with the secondary. Carolina has had that formula for years and consistently has top defenses regardless of starting rookies or random journeymen at CB/S.

    Seattle’s D is balling now because of their elite pass rush that runs through Frank Clark and their aggressive well-coached attacking mentality. But their D is all new names basically in the secondary.

  11. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Vita looks terrible. If he wasn’t such a high pick he’d be on the practice squad. Derwin James Jr was the clear choice. Licht blew it. Derwin James Jr will be in the HOF.

  12. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    This article is hilarious. “Finding his feet” “maybe the cold weather will help” truth is, Bucs play 8 games in Tampa. In the heat. This sounds like a lot of hope. I appreciate the positivity, but, goodness gracious, the pick was blown. He’s a bust. That article will be coming soon.

  13. 1sparkybuc Says:

    When was the last time the Bucs had 5 sacks in a game? Vita didn’t get one but I bet he allowed someone else to get theirs. It might take a year or two for him to become a force, but I like that he will impact both the run and passing game. Build from the front

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Vita will be down to about 305 next year. I think he see’s his problem. He got beatdown on a few plays last Sunday. I got him having a great 2nd year. This year though, he is in the official NFL School program.

  15. BucHead5588 Says:

    He’s played in 3 games an missed all offseason he will be fine

  16. Buc4evr Says:

    Geez, we have a lot more problems than Vita on the Defense…let’s give the rook a chance. Maybe a few more games before everyone goes crazy. Lol.

  17. Customer87 Says:

    All you Derwin James people. Who cares if he makes a play here and there. Has he made the chargers pass defense any better. Because everything I’ve read they’re ranked in the bottom half of the nfl also

  18. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Nobody gave Jameis a chance, why give Vita one?

  19. jmarkbuc Says:

    Jameis has had 3+ seasons of chances…

  20. Destinjohnny Says:

    He is strong as hell and always moves his guy back
    I worry about his short arms

  21. Red86 Says:

    Need to get his legs under him? Couldn’t really tell.

    Vea got great push on majority of his snaps. It didn’t matter if it was single or double team. All he needs now is a little hands fighting actions to get pass the o line. This guy is really strong. Plus I like his consistency.

  22. joestang Says:

    Why is everyone we pick needs 2 to 3 years to adjust or grow into the NFL. Most 1st and 2nd round picks start immediately and contribute. Not the Bucs. We cant coach or evaluate talent. I would trade a #1 for Peterson. He would be better than the #1 we draft.

  23. BucsBandit Says:

    I love all the “whaaaaaa we didn’t pick Derwin James!” CRYBABIES on this site.


    1) SIXTEEN (16) other NFL Teams PASSED on Derwin James. That’s HALF OF THE LEAGUE. So half of the league passed on James for a reason. James had a prior knee injury that made him A MAJOR RISK. Bucs couldn’t afford that risk with a high draft pick.

    2) The Bucs drafted a safety high in the 1st round (Barron) before and it really hurt the team for awhile. Bucs scouts saw some other safety prospects they could select later in the draft for what they felt was better value. Our weak D-Line play as had been the biggest issue with our Defense the last few years. Worse pass rush in the league.

    3) The Chargers already had a solid Defense in place, especially on the D-Line. Their play makes James even better. So he went to a team that was a great fit for him. There’s no way to know that James would have even played as well with the Bucs as our D isn’t as good.

    4) QUIT YOUR CRYING. Everyone is a perfect “Scout” for talent in HINDSIGHT. You same homers were saying the Bucs missed out on Dalvin Cook, future Hall Of Famer. LOL. And the same was said about Derrius Guice.

    Derwin James could have easily been out of the season like Guice having bad knees as well.

  24. Noles Says:

    So Vea drops 30lbs & he plays w same strength ? He is no 3 technique. Derwin James was pick & yea he wouldn’t have same stats bc his surrounding teammates are better but he is still talented on his own. This is a passing league not run stuffing. Need to build trenches for sure, so please help me understand how our GM former OL is so bad at getting Jameis a competent OL. The MGT of this team from top down is the problem. Who cares if the Glazers are willing to spend money if they spend it on the wrong players. Born and raised here & previous poster was right. 30 years of LOSING and only a few bright years. Glazers are great at making money but terrible at building a Classy Winning Organization w great culture & that’s on them. Sorry to say but we will have all new coaches and GM next year which is good at this point but then rebuilding begins. Philosophy of new regime may not fit our current players etc…. just don’t see a winner anytime soon, sure hope I am wrong but look at their track record bc it’s not very good…. Jason Licht is a JOKE his draft & free agent signings have been terrible for the most part. Why should we give these guys any more time….or trust their philosophy…

  25. Christopher Schiefen Says:


    1)Plenty of teams passed on Brady and Montana and Emmitt Smith. Not a great argument. And his knee was two years ago. Vita comes in and gets hurt the first play of practice and is out two months. For the guy meant to be the mountain of the defense.

    2)The Bucs only released Barron because Lovie Smith was too stupid too use him. Imagine Barron at SS and Derwin at free. What we have now is the worst passing defense in the league for two years…in a passing era. We addressed the pass rush with JPP and Curry and Nassib and Spence coming back. 4 players added.

    3)Derwin James is such a great player he fits anywhere. He can play LB, S, even CB in a pinch, whereas Vita can play DT. That’s it. If you think a talent like Derwin is system-dependent you honestly shouldn’t comment on football that much.

    4)I wanted Derwin on draft night, and compared it to how disappointed I was when we picked Anthony McFarland over Jevon Kearse. I also commented publicly (on another site) that Jones didn’t strike me as having football instincts in his highlights. RB is the toughest position to scout because it relies on subtle creativity from the player. Dalvin Cook and Guice’s offfield sh*t made me not want them.

    Look, Vita is simply Licht’s last stand. If he and the team play better, he gets to pick more players. This really is it.

  26. BucFamous Says:

    Derwin James has been a force, and Vea has barely been on the field. Here’s hoping he’s a late bloomer because right now it looks like a big mistake.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m not down on him at all – I just don’t think he fits this defense. Also I think people are nuts who think he’s more than a 3-4 NT run stuffer, and if that was what he was being asked to do he’d be adequate at it – which is all you can expect from a rookie interior lineman since they rarely do anything their rookie year. But those who think he’s a pass rusher – I ask again, based on what? His college production? No. On his 40-time? No – his 40 time is fine, but nothing special, the thing that makes it special is his size, but that doesn’t mean he’s getting to the QB any faster. It’s seemed like a bad fit since day one but that’s not on him, it’s on the team for taking him.

    Hopefully I’m wrong and he goes on to make me look dumb for questioning anything about him.

  28. Mike10 Says:

    Please please please for the love of God can he pls change his number!

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Christopher Schiefen Says
    “BucDan…I’d argue why picking Vita was so asinine when Derwin was available. Why are we picking up a run stuffer (albeit a quick one) when the game is moving away from that.”

    I think BucDan’s point was that scrambling QBs are going to increase, not that the NFL is moving away from the run.

    The NFL has always worked in cycles. The teams that are always trying to impersonate are the losing teams. They never seem to catch up to the current trends because those trends evolve.

    I realize the NFL seems to be moving away from the run and defense, but it is temporary. Defenses will adjust to the new rules and find ways to excel, and offenses will eventually decide running the ball will give them an edge because defenses will be focused on defending the pass.


  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Rod Munch

    I think he was the perfect pick. He isn’t really a run stuffer as people seem to claim. He also isn’t a pass rusher.

    He is a pocket collapser.

    Keeping in mind that he has only started one game, once he get’s things down, the rest of the line will gain a huge advantage with him there.

    I don’t really care about Rookie of the Year. I don’t care what other first round picks are doing for other teams. No sense in fretting over things that cannot be changed.

    I care about the long term future of this team going forward from the current state.

    These people harping on Derwin James or who constantly bring up players we should not have let go, or things they did not like in past drafts…those people are stuck. Instead of concerning themselves with what they ‘think’ were mistakes, they would be better served by concerning themselves with how to take the hand we are dealt and making the best of it.

  31. johnnybuc Says:

    will never live up to his draft billing. can still be a really solid player but that’s just the reality when u take a 2 down NT in top half of first round . you can find really good nose tackles in middle rounds of draft. unless he figures out how to pass rush out of no where it’s going to be a reach by licht . especially bad with who was on the board at time . (james, alexander, landry)

  32. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    He will always be compared to D james because licht passed on him and took vea, hope vea will be good but seems like wrong pick for the way this defense is/was set up….someone tell licht the league is changing and he missed the notice, the falcons, saints and panthers are all passing teams, but go ahead and get a 3-4 NT

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    johnnybuc Says
    ” that’s just the reality when u take a 2 down NT in top half of first round”

    Vita was not taken in the top of the round. He was take mid-first round.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Dusthty Rhothdes

    Just curious, but have you seen the number of sacks a 3-4 gets?

  35. Frank Pillow Says:

    The 2016 and 2018 drafts may end up dooming Licht- jury’s still out on ‘18, has to be. As for Vea, while he’s a ‘powerful man,’ he is very slow off the snap- watch the film- he has to rely on trying to maul people (and yes, he tends to stand straight up a lot), but the C and/or G’s have enough time to take their first step and set or drive on him. All isn’t lost- he is very, very raw.

  36. IMBUC Says:

    Any of you arm-chair prognosticators that claim a player is a bust (Vea) or a hall-of-famer (James) before they are half-way through their ROOKIE season are delusional. They both look like promising players. And anyone claiming that Vea is a bust because he got injured in preseason should delete their account.

  37. BucitLyst Says:

    Prior to the draft, while Vita was on either ESPN or NFL Network, he was asked where he wanted to land and he said Seattle for. Number of reasons, but one being that he couldn’t deal with the heat in some of the other markets. I think he was being honest and the Bucs should have factored that type of red flag in their decision to draft a cool weather guy to a hot franchise. Maybe D James would have been available day 1 and not have to wait until Fall to play.