A Future Force

July 5th, 2019

Big numbers last year.

There are just so many, many unknowns about this Bucs defense. But Joe is pretty sure of one thing: That Vita Vea may be the NFL’s Next Big Thing.

Joe came across a story typed by Cameron Pezet of — hold on — the PFF tribe, and apparently when Vea fully recovered from his late-July calf injury, Vea was perhaps the most impressive rookie defensive lineman in the NFL.

Vea’s last six games of the 2018 season were dominant as he totaled 19 pressures and 16 defensive stops over that span. These numbers ranked first and second, respectively, among rookie interior linemen, but they also put him on the map overall.

Joe cannot downplay Vea missing training camp. For a rookie to miss camp and all of preseason is significant. Rarely do you see rookies do that and not struggle when they get on the field.

Once Vea found his sea legs, he was much more than adequate. Bucs are going to need Vea to take that next step, and perhaps farther.

54 Responses to “A Future Force”

  1. #1bucsfan Says:

    Once he found his sea legs an learned to disengage from o-lineman he started turning the corner bright future for this young man go Bucs #endthedrought

  2. Clw JB Says:

    Sea legs or when the GM told him They already had one GMC dancing with lineman – go attack the ball!!!!

  3. D-Rome Says:

    I thought the Bucs got the Vea pick right last year. They needed to get younger on the D-Line and they did.

  4. JP_09 Says:

    It’s going to be exciting with Vea and Suh. Who are you going to double, can’t double both. The third D-lineman and the linebackers should be free to wreck havoc often. Offenses are going to have to keep the RB and a TE in to block

  5. BucEmUp Says:

    Once JPP COMES BACK in October and is olaying across from nassib and we havr vea and suh AND OUTLR CORNERS WILL BE PRESSING AND LBS BLITZING OH BABY YEAH IVR BEEN WAITING A LOOOONG TIME FOR THIS!!!!


  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A “RE-VITA-LIZED” Dline……for sure.

  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    The dude is going to be a monster on the line. It wouldn’t surprise me if he made the pro-bowl in second year.

  8. BigHog Says:

    I see a season where Vita V. is dominant and N Shu just starts to beat people up! Both are big guys who will come to eat! GO BUCS GO SHUY!!

  9. RustyRhinos Says:

    It is going to be fun to watch this young man grow to be a star in this league. How many of our NFC South brethren are excited to face Vita 350, Suh 315, Nassib 275, Allen 327, Gholston 281 play after play after play. Two games a season. Line them up and let’s cut them down, SWEEP THE DIVISION 6-0 WE CAN DO IT! Want to show how bad ass the Buccaneers are, sweep the NFC South! Best possible way for us to earn RESPECT, Win our Divison. Beat them and make them remember playing the Buccaneers, not because of all the wins and highlights they earned, but because they are battered and bruised and not wanting to face us again. If we have to get mean and nasty and be the “NO FUN TEAM” just all Business. YAR! BRING IT!
    But again “Show us the fans, don’t tell us. SHOW US!”

    GO!!!! BUCS!!!!!!

  10. Hodad Says:

    He’ll do better next to a hard ass like Suh, instead of a soft ass like Gerry. I liked the pick last year, he started off injured, but turned the corner as the season went on. We should expect big things from him this year, he should deliver.

  11. Joe Says:

    instead of a soft ass like Gerry.

    “Gerry.” LOL

  12. casual observer Says:

    Agree that he could become a star this year. The D is looking up. (I know – it’s their only possible direction.) But Vea and Suh will be a dynamic duo on the DL.

  13. macabee Says:

    RustyRhino, I read somewhere that Will Gholston is at or above 300lbs now. He was told by BA that to play DE in the Bowles 3-4 he would need “rocks in his pocket”. Gholston had dropped weight to play in last years 4-3.

  14. macabee Says:

    Forgive this link Joe, I thought you had reported on it but was the only place I could find BA’s quote. Go Bucs!


  15. dmatt Says:

    McCoy was let go for reasons other than a pay cut. After BA n Bowles looked at the films on him along with what BA observed during live games, it was evident that the culture had to change because McCoy’s “my bad Ben” syndrome was not gonna change. Vea needed to be surround by vicious players such as Suh n White, n to b honest, Jordan Whitehead, who kind of reminds me of former Buc safety, Tanard Jackson. The culture had to b changed n Lovie nor Koetter, n especially MSmith didn’t have a clue of what they were doing. History is about to b written. Put Sean Peyton,Brees n the nfc south on Alert n let them know there’s a new sheriff in town, in his name is BA, a strategist a winner, n for the record, a proven one at that.

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:

    If he and Suh work well together they could be a dominant force.

    Shut off the run and make the other teams one dimensional.

    Free up rushing lanes for LVD and White and DB’s and Safeties.

    This defense COULD make a giant step next year!

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And to think…MOST of you wrote him off before he even took the field.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Vea is quite the athletic and physical specimen for a man of his size.

    His strength will become a major factor once he learns how to really use it at the NFL level.

    Vea, Suh and Nassib/Gholston as the front 3 with Barrett and Spence coming off the edge(s) as speed rushers and White/LD54 strategically blitzing up the middle – I can see that working pretty well to generate pressure and stuff opponents running games. CBs will be playing press/man a good bit and DBs will also blitz more than we’ve seen in a long time.

    If a couple of rookies can step up in the secondary and if JPP can make it all the way back to his level of play last year at some point in 2019 (those who count him out are foolish) – then this Buccaneers defense has a real chance to be a solid unit this year with vastly improved coaching and defensive scheming.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    You don’t actually know that is the reason. YOU might feel that is the reason, but you don’t know it. For you all McCoy could have gone to them and told them he wanted to go play for a contender, and they said, “We’re willing…if we can find a replacement.”

    Suh is a lateral move at best until he proves otherwise. He’ll have an advantage over McCoy, because McCoy had no one around him while he was here. Suh will have Vea and Nassib, and JPP later possibly. But Suh will have to step up and be the leader of the group with JPP injured. That’s not something he is accustomed to.

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    im just happy he’ll be learning from SUH and not gmc anymore….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I really do not get why fans like Will Gholston. He had one good year, then was plagued by injuries, only to later fail to meet his potential.

    Doesn’t make sense to blame it on coaches. A good players finds a way to produce well enough regardless. Coaching may have prevented him from becoming very good, but they did not keep him from producing at all…which he hasn’t.

    So I don’t buy in on Will Gholston. Not at all. Even more, I do not expect the coaches to either. He might just be a cut.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    In short…if the coaches put you on the field, it is up to you to make it hard to take you back off the field.

  23. RTG Bucs Says:

    “He’ll have an advantage over McCoy, because McCoy had no one around him while he was here. Suh will have Vea and Nassib, and JPP later possibly.“

    I have seen some really bad comments on this site but this takes the cake. Those are the same players that McCoy had with him last year and as usual he had a subpar performance. But it will be an advantage for Suh??
    You really shouldn’t post.

  24. casual observer Says:

    I don’t see Gholston either. What about Allen? Is he being written off?

  25. Cobraboy Says:


    Scheme and coaching matter.

    Just because you are a “good” player does not mean you will perform well in a scheme. I present Lavonte David as exhibit #1: great player rendered invisible by bad coaching and a worse scheme.

    And on of McCoys complaints was he never spoke to anyone at OB Palace, so your theory of “he went to them and asked out” is rendered inop.

    I have no doubt that BA and Bowles wanted nothing to do with one of the most overrated DL in Bucs history. “I have a quick get-off” is meaningless if you are as menacing as cotton candy.

    IMO, replacing a Man-Boy with a cartoon Super Hero fetish with a thuggish (on the field) menace is a huge upgrade.

    I’d rather have Suh as Vea’s mentor than a guy in a kimono.

  26. Ndog Says:

    Bonzai I hate to disagree with you sir but it is all about scheme fit. If Peyton Manning or Dan Marino were forced to play on the wishbone do you think they would have “make it hard to take you back off the field.”? I mean come on if your great at playing man 2 man then you are going to be better than playing zone, if you are better at anchoring down and holding your gap than you are blowing bye a guy then that should be what your asked to do. I’m not a huge Will G fan or anything but good coaches play to the strength of their players. Heck this is basically why I have hope this year cause the previous staff was HORRIBLE at doing that.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bonzai- You and I totally agree on Gholston. I can’t figure it out. He was given every opportunity.

    Vea was dominant, yes I said it DOMINANT, in the latter half of the season. Against Carolina, he was pushing his man into the backfield on nearly EVERY play. He seemed to be doing this regularly.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Ndog- For marginal players that’s probably true. I would argue that a good player can play in ANY scheme. Aaron Donald comes to mind, heck even Suh played different schemes.
    I do agree that coaches should play to their players’ strengths but at the end of the day, this is the defensive line we’re talking about.

  29. D1 Says:


    You have a solid point about d line. To broaden the idea, much more in line with ndog, Chris Carter, Hall of Fame player, when asked about talent vs scheme. He said in the history of the NFL, He could only name about 5 players that could play at the highest level no matter what scheme they had to playe within. The idea that only 5 players came to mind is pretty shocking and again, this isn’t coming from Joe bag a donuts, but rather a hall of famer . IOW, He’s very familiar with the players who came before him and afterwards.

    Btw, moss, sanders, brown, we’re on his list.

  30. Prada...sec 147 Says:

    This is going to be our best season we’ve ever had since the 02’ year bet. 6.5 games Vegas ha Ill take that all day

  31. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans') ***Rhealist, louden annoying, & tminimum are the worst posters ever!!! Says:

    If WWIII doesn’t disrupt the 2019 NFL Season, Vita Vea is going to Dominate and possibly be in the running for DPOY.

  32. BA FAN Says:

    Gholston is a great run stopper but is good for only three sacks a year but til JPP returns we need Gholston on the right side stuffing every run his way. We need to use Allen as relief NT to keep Vea ready for the fourth quarter.

  33. Buccfan37 Says:

    Vea inspires a lot of confidence going forward. I still can’t get over the tape submitted here in the past of his running back effectiveness.

  34. D-Rome Says:

    So I don’t buy in on Will Gholston. Not at all. Even more, I do not expect the coaches to either. He might just be a cut.

    It wouldn’t surprise me.

  35. JGhoti86 Says:

    Got to be honest here…I couldn’t stand the people that wrote this dude off before he even stepped foot on a football field…for Derwin James. This dude wasn’t even given by this fan base to start off (we as a fan base need to stop being guilty of this), judged prematurely, and proceeded to prove us all wrong so far.

    Same with the people being critical (you Joe) for choosing OJ Howard (how you wouldn’t pick that guy/BPA at that point is flawed and acute in their thinking process) is beyond me.

    We are lucky to have both at this point. Hopefully injuries don’t derail that!

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    BucEmUp … “IT WAS ALWAYS COACHING!!!!!!” Yes it was … PARTLY. It was also talent … PARTLY. No team can expect to have 1st rnd draft picks in every position (salary Cap doesn’t allow that). It’s a matter of drafting VERY VERY WELL in the Top-3 rounds of the draft & developing those players well, PLUS being able to hit on AND develop some others who weren’t top picks.

    As much as anything BucEmUp, it’s simply a numbers game. Even if EVERY Top-3 pick that we make gets signed to a second contract (yrs 5-8), that’s only 24 players … less than half the team. And that’s assuming that EVERY one of your Top-3 picks lasts 8 years. The other roughly 30 members of your team have to come from free agents & players developed from the lower rounds (either your picks or someone else’s). Drafting well is critical, and so is development. IMO, that’s why teams like the Bucs, with meh GMs AND musical coaches, take it in the ear year-after-year … we do it to ourselves.

  37. Jean Lafitte Says:

    With Vea’s short amount of time on the field last season he still out-performed GMC who played in all 16. For one thing Vea had 16 tackles in 6 games compared to GMC’s 16 tackles in 16 games. His trajectory at this point so far is a good indication that he should demolish GMC’s career totals. Maybe not in sacks (because he plays NT) but in every other statistical category.

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    Bonzai WTF dude? You might gotta retract your statement cause you just said McCoy had nobody around him but that Suh will have VitaV Nassib and a outside chance of JPP………….McCoy had better then that around him last year as a matter of fact.

  39. JimmyJack Says:

    With VitaV and Suh this defense stands a real chance to control the line of scrimmage. This is what I think the goal for this defensive line is. The goal was never to establish a passrush which is what I think a lot of fans don’t understand.

    As Tampa Bay fans we only saw the Tampa 2 which had completely different goals for building a DL. Bruce’s team will try to beat you with physicality up front which is something we have never saw before………I expect this team to give up nothing right over the middle and if they get beat on the flats I expect them to take it personally and make the other team pay for ever trying it again.

    GO BUCS!!!

  40. SenileSenior Says:

    I saw where Gholston is at 308 pounds. I believe all DL have been ask to put on some more weight with the exception of Vea. He will go down some from 347.

    With the enlarged coaching staff comes some specialist for conditioning, durability and injury reduction. They can set specific goals and create a monitoring programs for each individual. State of the art stuff.

    With change to a 3-4 base our DL will be bigger. Suh, Allen and Vea will function as a phalanx for our defense. (How do you like that word, Sage?) This is also appropriate with the”spear” implication in Ndomukong Suh’s name.
    Go Bucs!!!

  41. Bucsfanman Says:

    D1- Valid point. I would argue that they would at least produce though. Wouldn’t you think?

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Uh… OK.

    He had a great game against the 5th QB for the 49ers… was OK outside of that. Which isn’t an issue for a rookie, but not sure how one really good again, against deep deep backups, is really meaning he’s the next Warren Sapp. If he is, then fantastic, but he’s a guy who averaged 3.5 sacks a year in college – and he got 3 sacks last year, less than Derwin James. Vita also had 4 QB hits, which was 2 less than James.

    Anywho, in my mind, Vita still needs to prove he was worthy of the high pick when we could have had a 1st team All-Pro safety at a huge position of need. If he can do that, if he can be at least a pro-bowler, then I’ll be really excited. But there’s really nothing to base that on, he wasn’t a pass rusher in college, and he wasn’t last year either.

  43. adam from ny Says:

    also early on he followed mccoy’s lead and was playing girly soft…licht got a hold of him and said “don’t emulate mccoy, be a savage…that guy’s as good as gone”…then vea became a man beast…now he’s next to suh and licht’s like “hey vita, yes no you can emulate the hulk”

  44. adam from ny Says:

    he was getting caught up in mccoys web early on…

    mccoy would take him to din din and say things like:

    “let’s put your hair in a ponytail”

    “let’s dye your hair red, you’ll look cute”

    “when’s your bday?…what size kimono fits you?”

    mccoy way gonna feminize the dude if things stayed status quo

  45. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Stupid to compare a NT to a Safety. To say he doesn’t compare in sacks to a blitzing unblocked safety while it’s a NT’s job to occupy the middle of the offensive line, and stuff the run. It’s a position that is historically not known to get lots of sacks. Where there’s no doubt that Derwin James is a good safety his position is apple to oranges compared to defensive lineman, especially the NT.

  46. JimmyJack Says:

    Rod Munch……VitaV is not a sack artist and that not why they drafted him and that’s not his job.

    He will put up some stats in the passrush department but they won’t blow your mind. And if he plays as he did down the stretch consistently he will be a probowler easily.

    Check Dallas game…….and if you want a treat fast forward to mid second quarter. Not sure how much stats but am sure about domination.

  47. BigHog Says:

    Wan f ing moronic thing to say adam…that would mean Big V came to the Bucs with a weak a$$ mentality!! GO BUCS GO SUHY!!

  48. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Bust! Drafted the wrong guy! Fireeeee Licht!

  49. Destinjohnny Says:

    This guy is going to be really good
    Nice pick Jason

  50. Stanglassman Says:

    I’m not sure what deserves more credit but Vea sure turned his game around after Licht told him he needs to play more aggressive and get off his blocks. It could’ve just been Vita getting fully healthy but it his play was night and day different after that stern pep talk from Licht.

  51. BringBucsBack Says:

    He needs to learn to shed blocks better, develop a few moves & be quicker off of the line. He has the tools and I expect this to happen in the not too distant future. NTs in a 3-4 don’t normally light-up the stat-sheets.

  52. BucsFan727 Says:

    Go Bucs!

  53. gp Says:

    Just imagine… ROJO following the blocking of a 305 # fullback, Vita Vea

  54. D1 Says:


    OH gosh yes! Totally agree with that idea.

    What I think is grossly overstated is the idea that good to great coaches build a scheme around players vs bad to avg coaches are inflexible scheme wise.
    When in fact, very very few coaches are willing and or able to build around a player or players skill set. It’s far easier to just find someone who does fit a scheme then reinvent a new wheel.

    Case in point, BA is an excellent coach no question. I’ve yet to see him change his offense schemes to accommodate a certain player. Winston imo wasn’t particularly a great fit for koetters offense. Same thing with BA. And BA isn’t about to change schemes. Meaning, there’s one action pointed out as
    Excellent if ba does, and

    Most great coaches have done so because of scheme first then followed closely by finding players that fit into the teams scheme. Scheme is the great equalizer in the college and high school ranks. But in the NFL, scheme will only get you so far. Gotta have the horses because the pro game is so different from the amateur ranks.