December 18th, 2018

Bucs rookie defensive tackle Vita Vea is about the polar opposite of an stereotypical NFL player behind the scenes as you may ever see.

Aside from his size (he’s a very large man), Vea is as chill as a human being can be. Quiet to a point you would think he’s a mute, easy-going, calm. None of the traits you would find among defensive tackles on an NFL field.

And maybe Vea was being himself too much on the field which was why for the most part, Vea has had a disappointing rookie season for the Bucs.

But it was a post-practice chat he had recently with Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht that may have flipped the switch on the gentle giant.

The topic of the conversation? Vea told reporters yesterday was to be “violent.” It’s a word Vea brought up several times. He called it the secret to his turnaround.

“I feel as a d-lineman you have to be violent,” Vea said in almost a hushed mumble — he really doesn’t like to talk only because he is so laid back. “In the position we play in, it demands it. You have to be violent in there to get the job done.”

Vea said everything began to click when he had his one-on-one with Licht a few weeks ago.

“He just came up to me after practice and told me to be violent,” Vea said of his meeting with Licht. It was the same thing Vea said he heard from assistant defensive line coach Paul Spicer. But something about hearing the same message from the guy who runs the football operations for the Bucs hit home for Vea.

“Just hearing it from [Licht] and finally seeing the bigger picture and coming back in the meeting room and finally understanding what [Spicer] is telling me, finally everything made sense.”

Joe had given Vea a big-time mulligan and sort of written off his rookie year. Why? Vea basically had no preparation for the season. He hurt his calf on the very first day of hitting in training camp and didn’t start practicing again until mid-September.

That’s tough for veterans to overcome but for rookies, that’s a disaster. Vea admitted he is just now catching up.

“I knew I had to get back into the game,” Vea said of being sidelined right away. “Being that I was out in training camp and stuff I tried to rush back in and thought everything was going to happen like that — [snaps finger]. I left little things out.

“I thought I was going to come out and play like I did in college and it doesn’t work like that.”

Vea easily has had his two best games of his young NFL career in the past two weeks. Against the Crows, he began to show why he was a first round pick. Even his harsh critic, former Bucs guard Ian Beckles gave Vea props.

Who knows what is going to happen with the Bucs in the coming days. If Team Glazer has a housecleaning, Licht could be out on the street as well.

Given how Licht worked magic with a simple conversation with Vea, perhaps Licht could find a solid second career as an NFL player consultant. A guy could make serious coin with that.

You can hear Vea mumble discuss his ah-ha moment with Licht in the video below.

56 Responses to ““Violent””

  1. Troy Says:

    Vea is going to be alright. He’s playing much better. I’m seeing improvement.

  2. Mike Says:

    Why does #1 need to hear from GM to basically play hard, half way through the season, to start playing? How is that not already known?

  3. Joe Says:

    Why does #1 need to hear from GM to basically play hard, half way through the season, to start playing? How is that not already known?

    Who knows? But maybe hearing from the guy who drafted him and who in theory could cut him turned on the light bulb? Whatever Licht said sure worked.

    Different guys are motivated in different ways. Joe is just happy this clicked.

  4. AlteredEgo Says:

    Hmmm….why didn’t #93 share that secret

  5. SOEbuc Says:

    Good. Shut up and do your job. Save your mega energy for the field.

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    Don’t care about any of the chatter. Rookie missed the entire first half of being on the playing field. Now he’s really showing his strength and speed. Very excited to see him next year, especially if he can stay healthy.

  7. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Who still believes what the players say before the play?

    Vita Vea still a cupcake! With rainbow sprinkles on top!!!

  8. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    When you draft the Disney character Maui from the movie Moana…this is the outcome. Licht’s Out other sage advice includes: Run Fast, Tackle Hard and Kick Straight ( that one has yet to “take” ).

  9. BrianBucs Says:


    Manchester United just fired their manager (head coach) before the end of the season. The decision was made by Joel Glazer

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe he needed to hear from Jason Licht because prior to that he had been taking his cues from GMC who chill on and off the field. You can’t have two soft spoken, apologetic defensive tackles.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    A DT that doesn’t know the position is violent?! Hmmm.
    He’s definitely been playing better. Keep improving big man!

  12. tmaxcon Says:

    BrianBucs Says:
    December 18th, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Manchester United just fired their manager (head coach) before the end of the season. The decision was made by Joel Glazer

    Undisputed worst sports franchise owners on TWO Continents

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    but the bucs have no talent….lol….


  14. tmaxcon Says:


    you should be extremely happy that the latest bad draft pick is soft. After all your love affair, over the years with soft mentally weak players has been well documented on these pages. Don’t worry I am sure cancer93 has worked his magic on this poor young man he will never be successful now.

  15. tmaxcon Says:


    the bucs don’t have talent. they have maybe 6 or 7 nfl caliber players on the entire roster. koetter is a victim of the worst ownership in pro sports… don’t blame him because he accepted a job with no hope or chance of success

  16. Knoxville Bucs Fan Says:

    Hopefully he’s not out driving a ice cream truck during the off season with the other DT beside him

  17. Joe Says:

    Manchester United just fired their manager (head coach) before the end of the season. The decision was made by Joel Glazer.


    And what is the price of tea in China these days?

  18. Buc'n Enough Says:

    I can not believe that in the pre-draft interviews the question or concern about playing violent did not come up…

    What the heck do they ask the potential draft choice…whats your favorite ice cream..???


  19. BrianBucs Says:

    And you don’t think that is news? Considering what is going on with the Bucs and Koetter?
    Maybe Joe needs some of that Chinese tea this morning

  20. Not there yet Says:

    I remember Geraldine his rookie season saying he didn’t know what to do either. Why are people such haters. Geraldine has Sapp our on the field with him and still is a below average talent. Do we need to go back to the hard knocks tape and hear McCoy talking about his super powers next to his life size Batman statue? He said it himself all he has is get off which has proven completely useless. Just don’t understand why rookies are criticized more than underachieving veterans who lead the team to losing seasons his entire career

  21. LakeLand Says:

    Didn’t the Ravens gut the Yucs for 242 rushing yards?

    With an undrafted rookie RB and rookie QB rushing for 200 yards
    Didn’t the Ravens control the clock for most of the 2nd half? 21 minutes
    The Bucs are ranked 27th in run defense, 27th in pass defense
    Teams are averaging over 4.8 YPC

    Yet people are still bragging about all of this:

    IMAGINARY talent on this PATHETIC defense

    And this PATHETIC team

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    tmax- You jealous?! I’m touched that you feel this way. This is a side of you that many never see. I knew your diatribe was a facade.
    “Love affair”?! You crack me up!

  23. JimBuc2 Says:

    What happens on one side of the pond is sure to ripple to the opposite shore. I’m giving Koetter props for being a true professional under pressure. Dirk sticking with buddy Mike Smith, that kind of loyalty, does remind me of Tony Dungy taking heat for Mike Shula’s inept offense. The way I see it being an NFL Head Coach has it’s equivalency in politics: A US President must suss out sound policy from competing sources of information, certain in his conviction and knowing full well that he alone is held to account for those decisions. In other words, a man would really have to want the job and better have the cajones to see it through. Thanks Dirk Koetter for being a class act.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    tmax- BTW, the rookie has been far outplaying the vet as of late. I’m not sure about the so-called “magic” he supposedly worked on him!

  25. Buc believer Says:

    I’m worried that the only reason Vea is playing better is because we have cooler temps. Anyone remember the “god it’s hot and muggy” comment when he got off the plane? I would have said right then and there “ you do come from the South Pacific Sir.”

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Sometimes it takes a High Draftee Rookie to get it. Vea will be very good in the yrs to come. But Ronald Jones man..He might just be a Bust.

  27. Fire Light Says:

    Vita Velcro Vea sucks! Fireeeeee Licht!

  28. Fire Light Says:

    Vea is a bust. Stewart Sucks. RoJo is bust city. Fireeee Licht! No more bad drafts! No more wasting time in Jameis development. Only the Bucs could mess up a player of Jameis’ magnitude. Can Koetter and Fireeeeee Licht!

  29. 813bucboi Says:


    bucs have talent….lol….

    what they dont have are coaches that know how to develop players…..

    you know, the guy that said he could get winston to the next level….the guy that was promoted from OC to HC….its his job to develop players……


  30. Kobe Faker Says:

    “When is the Fire Jason Gump bulletin board coming up?

    Kobe will pop his tent and panhandle on the ground”

    Kobe Faker

  31. LakeLand Says:


    The Ravens dominated the Bucs defense at the line of scrimmage

    It was like they were playing high schoolers

    This isn’t NFL talent

    Maybe practice squad talent

  32. LakeLand Says:

    Kobe Faker,

    Jason Licht shouldn’t be fired

    He should be arrested for Grand Theft

    Stealing millions from the gullible Bucs for 5 years

  33. Destinjohnny Says:

    Joe ask opposing players what’s it’s like to go against him

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    LakeLand- In their “defense” (LOL!) they were on the field a loooooong time because of an inept offense too.
    Just sayin’!

  35. LakeLand Says:


    I have always said that the Bucs offense was the most overrated offense I ever seen.

    But the Ravens dominated them on BOTH sides of the ball

    Their defense dominated the Bucs offense
    Their offense dominated the Bucs defense

    It were PURE domination

    But people continue to brag about this IMAGINARY talent on this team

  36. Bucsfanman Says:

    Agreed LakeLand.
    I think that when you look at the roster and see names of players at different levels, and they’re names like Evans or Howard or JPP, you’d think that we couldn’t possibly be this bad. I know I’m guilty of it.
    What I do know is that we have very little, if any, competent depth at many positions.
    I would also argue that the Ravens are a far better coached team.

  37. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Very good to see Vea starting to round into form. I like the style of his game, and look forward to more growth.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    You can never count on a rookie DT for production, even first ballot HOFer Warren Sapp had a “disappointing” rookie season for those thinking he was going to be the next great d-lineman in the league.

    Now with that said I don’t actually think Vita is a good fit, not so I think he’s a good pass rusher, he averaged 3.5 sacks a year in college so this idea that he’d come to the NFL and suddenly become a 4-3 pass rushing DT because he ran a nice 40 time was always stupid. But he can be productive – hopefully. But even with lowered expectations overall compared to most I never expected much his rookie year except to hopefully see improvement and I think that has clearly been the case.

  39. SOEbuc Says:

    DT Ed Oliver with our first round pick. Amazing all around and has great speed, length, and energy. We have a monsterous Vea. We don’t need another fat-so up the middle like GMC that’s gonna have his hands on his hips gasping for air after every play.

  40. Bucsfanman Says:

    Munch- Da’Ron Payne’s not having a bad year for a rookie DT, though I agree to an extent.

  41. 813bucboi Says:


    the run game is the ravens offense….they’ve rushed for over 190yards in 5 straight games…..

    i guess those other teams are full of high schoolers or PS players too…..

    bucs got talent….its not being maximized….


  42. Frank Pillow Says:

    Maybe it’s finally starting to click for Vita. I still think he’s better suited lining up in a zero or one technique. He showed it on the one single play where we essentially lined up on a 3-4 last week and absolutely mauled the C and flew through the gap. Then we moved him back out to a three (and at times what even looked like a five technique) for the duration of the game.

  43. Destinjohnny Says:

    Quinnen Williams 92 bama is the pick.
    He will get 10 sacks at dt as a rookie

  44. jmarkbuc Says:

    Buc believer

    I believe Vea was born and raised in California.

    Don’t know what to think about taking a mild mannered DT who has to be instructed to be “violent”, seems like we did that already.

  45. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Bucs Fan #7423 Says:
    “Vita Vea still a cupcake! With rainbow sprinkles on top!!!”


    LOL man you are definitely getting predictable.
    A “cupcake”….. guessing you wouldn’t say it to his face LOL.

  46. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Tampa Bay Demon Says:
    December 18th, 2018 at 1:48 pm
    Bucs Fan #7423 Says:
    “Vita Vea still a cupcake! With rainbow sprinkles on top!!!”


    LOL man you are definitely getting predictable.
    A “cupcake”….. guessing you wouldn’t say it to his face LOL.

    Nah i probably wouldn’t =)

  47. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    haha, cheers man! Go Bucs

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucsfanman – I said you can’t count on a rookie DT doing anything productive – it doesn’t mean it never happens, but in general you should assume you’re going to get nearly no production in year one. If you do get something, great, but even if you don’t it really has no baring on if they’ll end up being a good player or not. In any case Vita has played much much better lately – and managed a huge 9 tackles on Sunday – which is a stunning amount for a DT. Then again the only tackle I remember is him getting ran over and carrier 5 yards on a 3rd and 4. But anywho I think so far he’s had the rookie year any reasonable person with any grasp on history for the position would expect – and that’s not good or bad as I don’t think you really know anything about a DT until about halfway through year 2 or perhaps even later in some cases, it’s one of the more difficult transitions to make as nearly all these guys were always the biggest and strongest guys around – and now they’re not – and now they have to learn how to play.

  49. Fire Light Says:

    Vita Velcro should be Derwin James Jr. Fire Jason Licht! Fireeeeeeeee Licht! Fire Licht!

  50. Fire Light Says:

    Velcro must’ve been blocked into those tackles. Or credited with them by mistake. Can’t trust those stats. He’s awful and should’ve never been picked by loser Licht. Booooo

  51. Fire Light Says:

    Bucs fan is the worst troll ever. None of us will get a chance to say what we feel to his face. But if I did it would be: you had a great college career, but I wish the Bucs didn’t pick you and you were with another team. But since you are here Vita, give it your best and make sure to do all of your running in practice.

  52. Bucsfanman Says:

    Rod- You’re 100%, I agree. I had zero expectations of Vea. He has shown flashes recently, and that’s promising.
    My DT pick would’ve been Payne..obviously. That’s why I brought him up. People forget that Sapp wasn’t very good his rookie season. I think defensive players bloom later at certain positions.

  53. Pryda...sec 147 Says:

    He needs more swag !!! Hang with Kwon some more son

  54. tmaxcon Says:


    if the new bucs coach is smart he will petition to trade places with USF so bucs have a chance to compete in the conference. bulls can’t do any worse it’s a win win…

  55. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucsfanman – I think Vita will be the better player of the two, but I mostly know Payne from scouting reports, so perhaps I’m wrong. I know he’s had a nice rookie year but without seeing the sacks I can only go with what I know. But Vita was very much considered a project – and that was before switching him to a 4-3 DT. Anyways my pick would have been James as I still don’t get how Vita fits into the system, and a run stuffing 3-4 NT wasn’t really a need, and it’s a high pick for that position.

  56. Fire Light Says:

    Fireeee Licht!