“Vita Vea Is Not A Pass Rusher”

November 6th, 2018

Another former Buccaneer has weighed in on his beloved Bucs with strong opinions.

This time it’s retired defensive tackle Chris Hovan, who spent five seasons with Tampa Bay (2005-2009) and has coached at the college and pro levels.

Hovan lives full-time in Tampa and keeps a close eye on his former team.

Speaking to Rock Riley on 1040 AM yesterday, Hovan was very reasoned with his Bucs takes. He had little to say about America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, because, Hovan said, he’s not much of an expert on offense.

It was on defense where Hovan weighed in. “I feel like all the guys aren’t believing in the system right now,” adding that he doesn’t think the Bucs have figured out an effective D-line rotation.

Hovan said “Vita Vea is not a pass rusher,” and Hovan has no problem with that. Hovan wasn’t much of one either, he said, noting he believes the Bucs should let Vea focus on rushing down and distances as he adjusts to the league.

Of course, after Vea was drafted, Koetter was adamant that Vea can rush the passer. “Just turn on that Washington State game,” Koetter implored.

So far, Vea’s pass rushing prowess has yet to emerge for the Bucs. Still plenty of time for him to develop, though.

50 Responses to ““Vita Vea Is Not A Pass Rusher””

  1. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Vea is the new Booger. Idk why so many of y’all thought he would be a pass rusher. And I don’t want wanna hear different. More than half a y’all wanted him thinking he would be getting the qb.

  2. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Vea is the new Booger. Idk why so many of y’all thought he would be a pass rusher. And I don’t wanna hear y’all say different. More than half of y’all wanted him thinking he would replace McCoy and get to the qb.

  3. Arealbucsfan Says:

    MY comments aren’t being posted. Wtf

  4. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Now I look crazy. Thanks joes

  5. JimmyT Says:

    Ridiculous draft pick, the second VEA got off the plane the day after he was drafted and felt that humidity u just knew he was toast! Let me get my $, lay low for a couple years & get traded up north! Meanwhile we passed on Derwin Hames because we thought Chris Conte was ok? Horrible defense, pathetic drafting by this inept front office! U can’t win w this D. Clean house hire a real coach like a Jim Harbaugh, build a great D & bring in a top notch OC to get the most out of a young ONLY 24 yr old QB W unlimited potential! HATE JAMEIS all u want but u get rid of him & he ends up in Denver or NY GIANTS or even JAX & everyone will eat their words when he wins wherever he goes. If Jameis was like case kennum or Bortles or someone like that I would say let him go BUT that is far from the case.

  6. 541BucFan Says:

    Haloti Ngata had 1-5 sacks a year
    Vince Wilfork had 1-3
    Two HOFers that anchored their defenses. Don’t stress about Vea’s sacks. His health is what matters.

  7. LakeLand Says:

    He’s a 3-4 NT

  8. AfrikaThaRapper Says:

    @541BucFan Thanks for the info. I wondered if he could just be another Ngata for us. That’s one more piece to the overall puzzle. Go ‘Bucs.

  9. Destinjohnny Says:

    Said it a zillion times starting on draft day
    This was the draft that will get Jason fired

  10. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Vita IS the new Booger. Unfortunately, I was as incensed as I was when we picked Booger over Jevon Kearse as when we picked Vita over Derwin. True, somehow Booger got us closer to a championship, but in no universe was he better than Kearse. Licht simply out-thought himself thinking Vita was better than James, especially in a passing league. It was Jason’s last stand and he failed the test.

  11. Knoxville Buc Fan Says:

    He suggest the players are not believing in the system? Wtf do you call this system anyways?

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    But he ran a good 40 “for someone his size” – so he’s clearly the next Warren Sapp, right?!?

    Oh wait, Vita averaged 3.5 sacks per year and had less production in his career than Sapp had in one year.

    Anywho, I’m not bashing the kid, I agree with Hovan in that it’s OK if he’s not a pass rusher – I’m just bashing the people who thought he was a pass rusher because he had a good combine “for a guy his size.” To me, watching his tape, looking at his stats, looking at the combine, he looks like a run stuffing 3-4 NT.

    However, he’s still just a rookie, and rookie DT’s rarely produce. I think he’ll be fine as a 3-4 run stuffing NT, but it seems like a really high spot to take that player, you know considering Chris Conte and Ryan Smith were starters and, oh right, we don’t run a 3-4. He’s a bad fit, but perhaps the next coach will run a different scheme, perhaps a 3-4, in which case he can be the big guy in the middle. Still seems like a high price to pay for that, but who knows. Also there is always chance I’m wrong, and I’d gladly be wrong if it meant he turns out to be another All-Pro, like GMC has been.

  13. teacherman777 Says:


    Please go watch Samuels reverse TD again.

    And focus on Vita Vea and Beau Allen.

    Vita Vea ends up piggy back riding on Beau Allen’s back!

    It was the most embarassing Bucs play in years!!

    Please guyts. Go back and watch it! Its hilarious!

    Its a Bucs life!

    PS- I warned everybody that Vita Vea was slow.

    Go check the archives.


  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Not hard to tell from his comments Joe that Chris Hovan is ‘old school’. What he’s calling THE SYSTEM used to mean (IMO) that everyone’s got responsibilities and everyones gonna do their job … period. It used to be called ‘accountability’ I believe.

    Look at that reverse play that Carolina ran. That play should’ve been stopped for either a loss or at best a minimal gain. BUT some guys couldn’t get off blocks, others forgot their Tackling 101 fundamentals, others didn’t hustle … whatever … and the play went for a huge gain. That’s got nothing to do with ‘trusting in the system’. And IMO it’s got nothing to do with coaching. It’s got EVERYTHING to do though with, oh ya, players not getting off blocks, players not tackling worth a damn, players not hustling to the ball. It’s not about them not ‘believing’ in a magical system that’s gonna turn them into something they’re not. It’s about them not being as talented … and as motivated … as the other team. And it’s also about them not believing in each other as a team. IOW … STOP MAKING EXCUSES for these players. They’re not combat warriors; they’re entertainers. And right now, their ‘show’ isn’t very entertaining.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Arealbucsfan Says
    “Vea is the new Booger.”I

    I was saying this the moment he was drafted, but people never listen. He’ll be better at it than Booger was, but that is exactly his role. He was never…NEVER intended to replace McCoy.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Defense Rules

    You nailed it. Also on that play, guys bought into the misdirection and left their assignments. That created the opening needed.

    It’s a complete lack of discipline, which I guess is to be expected with so many young players.

    This team needs a DC who is angry and mean. Someone who will make them run gassers for crap like that.

    Outside of RB and some oline play, the offense is fine. The defense needs a whole new surgical team.

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t think firing Koetter is the right thing to do. But taking his authority over the defensive staff is…so far as hiring and firing.

    If I were the owner, after the season, I would extend Koetter and Licht two years, then fire every member of the defensive staff. Then I would bring in a defensive minded president and have him build a new defensive staff with a hard nosed DC and a good mixture of college assistant coaches for energy and fire.

    I would trade Desean Jackson, Gerald McCoy and Lavante David to get some top draft picks, and the draft would all go on defense, outside of a RB.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Bonzai … “Complete lack of discipline” is the best summation of all for what we’ve been seeing from this defense. And what’s so bizarre to me is that that’s the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Bucs’ defenses were known for in the past. Even though some guys on the defense weren’t necessarily the most talented in the league, the TEAM played with DISCIPLINE. And perhaps DISCIPLINE is THE SYSTEM that Chris Hovan was referring to.

    I like Dirk Koetter, but too much water has burst over the dam. The Glazer Boyz ONLY decision should be to hire a highly-experienced President of Football Operations with a fantastic vision for what this team should be going forward. The Glazers represent ‘Committee Leadership’ IMO … and that rarely works (the old saying “A camel is a horse built by a committee’ applies more times than not). Whoever the choose as EL JEFE needs to have full authority for hiring … and firing … or his vision won’t work. He MAY choose to retain Dirk Koetter as HC, but I doubt it. My bet would be that he’ll pick someone with a very strong defensive background as HC, but with a decent feel for offense to accompany that. That’s NOT Dirk Koetter.

  19. Easy Says:

    Vea is a 3-4 NT and isn’t fitting well in this scheme.

  20. Mark Says:

    Hovan used to clean out his car into a cart at Sam’s club. A shopping cart is not a trash can. Left some game plans in there too.

  21. TheDailyCornoer Says:

    Gerald McCoy was called a “bust” his first two seasons. Give Vea some time.

  22. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Another dumb pick by licht that doesnt fit what the bucs are doing and the way the NFL is heading, its a passing league and its an east west running league and more teams are playing with 5-6 DBs and here is the dunce licht passing on D James & Fitzpatrick for a guy who looks like a 3rd round draft pick

  23. TheDailyAutopsy Says:

    Gerald McCoy was labeled a bust his first two seasons. Give VIta Vea Some time.

  24. OneBuc55 Says:

    For the record I was definitely not a fan of the Vita Vea pic…

    I thought we should have taken Darren James; it’s rare when need meets best player available… FSU or not, in my opinion James was the best player on the board; the fact that we were able to trade back and still get him made it even more of a no-brainer to me…

    For the greater good of my beloved Buccaneers I hope Vea turns out to be closer to Haloti Ngata then Danny Shelton…

  25. BurgDweller Says:

    Not seeing the Licht has an aversion to drafting pass rushers who actually rush the QBs effectively, just like his aversion to drafting running backs that actually run the ball effectively.

  26. JabooBuc Says:

    Not sure how Jason Licht looked at this team and decided against choosing Derwin James in this draft. You need dynamic play makers and alpha dogs on this defense and you can take one look at Vea and know that he is not that.

    It’s funny, I remember Joe not being sold on James because FSU’s defense was having so many problems last year. I think we all now know that James was the only positive note on that FSU defense and its now in shambles.

    He would have been a beast for the next coach here.

  27. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Everyone whining about “we should’ve drafted this guy or so and so should be the qb, or this OLineman sucks…
    Do you think Bucs would be 3-5 with the same roster if Belichick, Tomlin, Payton or McVay were coach?

  28. Wausa Says:

    Looks like a terrible pick by Licht.
    Everyone thought Derwin James was going to be the pick, because he was considered the best player and was at a huge position of need.
    Derwin James is almost assured of winning the defensive rookie of the year award, while Vea at this point looks more like a bust that a good NFL player.

  29. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Vita Vea is the pick that Bucs fans will forever remember as being the biggest mistake in NFL draft history.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Jameis Almighty!

    That’s the biggest line of bull here. Vita Vea is going to be fantastic for us…we just need better defensive coaching and he needs a little time. He DID miss training camp and most of the season.

  31. Joe Says:

    But he ran a good 40 “for someone his size” – so he’s clearly the next Warren Sapp, right?!?

    Oh wait, Vita averaged 3.5 sacks per year and had less production in his career than Sapp had in one year.

    Who is comparing him to Sapp? Joe has never heard this guy Vea compared to Sapp. Ever.

    Right there is the problem. Unless friggin’ Warren Sapp has some magic potion and can turn the clock back 20 years and return to the Bucs, no matter who the Bucs get at defensive tackle people are going to try to run him out of town because he doesn’t get 16 sacks and act like an a-hole.

    Jesus Christ himself could play defensive tackle and Bucs fans will destroy the guy because he’s not Warren Sapp.

  32. JameisWin55 Says:

    Have to call a spade a spade sometime Vea is fat and non athletic nothing special for a top 12 pick, Jones is a change of pace back at best, Steward is slow and gets beat often, Davis will be #2 or 3 corner for us at best, Cappa can’t even get on field with the underperforming lineman we already have, Whitehead has looked the best in my opinion but he is a rotational safety at best. Let’s call it what it is this draft sucked considering we had a top 12 pick and 3 picks in the second round, along with a 3rd.

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    the kid missed TC and PS….relax…..


  34. Phillybuc Says:

    Hovan 5yrs in TB = 5 sacks. 5yrs in Minn = 17 sacks. This franchise has a knack for killing a player’s production.

  35. JabooBuc Says:

    I honestly don’t care what type of player Vea is. That’s not the point. How do you look at this secondary and not understand that it’s the biggest problem on this team.

    Vea is a NT and that’s it. He’s not a 3 tech and he’s not capable of playing end. James is dynamic. He helps you in the run game, basically another LB, and in the passing game. He covers TE’s, he can blitz with the best of them.

    Just really poor self evaluation by Jason.

  36. bucsnole Says:

    This team is in complete disarray and doesnt have the leadership (coaches or players) to get it back together.
    I expect at least several more ugly games

  37. Doctor_berto Says:

    I could try to be positive about Vea if he showed something other than playing patty cakes with the offensive live. Head down, no awareness, no agility, and one or two tackles on the year. Not to mention he is usually blocked easily by a single lineman. Licht needs to go! No excuse for passing on Derwin.

  38. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Vea will be fine. Jus don’t expect him to be a pass rusher

  39. D-Rome Says:

    Rock Riley had a nice interview with Chidi Ahanotu yesterday as well.

  40. Jmarkbuc Says:


    You don’t seriously think Licht and Koetter are salvageable, do you?

  41. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Great Sapp rant! Couldn’t agree more.

    I’ve had a couple of chances to focus only on Vea for a play. Both times he handled a double team…didn’t break through but did get a little push for a guy going 1 against 2.

    I thought having a DT that can tie up two players is a good thing?
    You start each play with a 10-9 advantage.

  42. tnew Says:

    The Vea pick is the result of not picking Sheldon Rankins in 2016. No way Derwin James would have been allowed to play like he gets to in San Diego. All this given, no-one knows what Vea will be a as a professional. Missing the entire preseason of his rookie campaign was a tremendous setback. If he can stay reasonably healthy, next season will be a better indicator.

    Biggest issue with the d-line, and possibly the entire defense, is sacrificing discipline for disruption. Yes they make big plays sometimes but usually it ends in giving up big plays. This is the least disciplined defense in the league and it starts up front. (really starts with the Head Coach)

  43. gotbbucs Says:

    I have no idea how to judge these players on this team anymore. There is just no creativity.

    This team should not be getting beat up and down the field like this. There are good players on this roster. There is such a disconnect between the players and the defensive coaching staff that I’m convinced they would be better off with the players calling their own game from on the field.

  44. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’m sure Vita has some postives. But we sure as hell ain’t seeing them. He looked awfully slow out there Sunday. Somebody here mentiones Sheldon Rankins….beast. Just one in a long line of great Defensive players we just..passed on. Funny how our history indiicates we’ve won more games with a great Defense
    vs Offense.

  45. BucsFanInPA Says:

    More concerning about Vea than lack of a pass rush is how he got blown out on the goal line running play up the middle – I believe he ended up on his butt about 2-3 yards into the end zone.

  46. joestang Says:

    Hovan did not mention that Vea can’t stop the run either. total bust

  47. TOM Says:

    Lets face it, the Bucs do not know how to draft. Everytime I saw Kueckly Sun it made me sick knowing we could have had him & passed to take Barron.

  48. JimmyJack Says:

    Whatever dudes. This team has gone the past two decades getting manhandled in the trenches. We finnally get somebody who has the ability to do something about that and you are unhappy cause he’s slow.

    I’ll just chalk it up to frustration over the franchise. A bust after 5 games. Very silly

  49. Rod Munch Says:

    Joe – I’m actually with you, I’m mocking the idea of people who always claim whoever it the next ….

    I wasn’t saying you said that, I’m saying the people on this message board were literally saying that. Go back to draft day and look at all the people literally saying he was the next Warren Sapp – I saw over and over again. Just like the “super”back from a couple of years ago was the next Alstott. I was mocking the hyperbole.

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

    Licht is the next Dom….. clean house!