The Secret To Sacks

November 13th, 2019


For quite a while there, the Derwin James Fan Club never missed a chance to bellyache that the Bucs didn’t draft him.

And even when there wasn’t a chance, the same loud crowd created their own opportunity.

Yeah, at first it appeared the Derwin James Fan Club was right. The Bucs secondary stunk — which is getting to be a proud Tampa Bay tradition — and the man the Bucs drafted instead of the sainted James, Vita Vea, got off to a slow start after being injured through much of training camp and into the early weeks of his rookie season.

This year, healthy, Vea is blowing up and could be right up there as one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the game. No, he doesn’t get after the passer like Aaron Donald but he does everything else just as well.

Vea has become a beast and is a huge reason the Bucs have the best run defense in the NFL. Dude, just don’t run on Vea.

In his weekly sitdown with Dan Lucas of WFLA-TV Channel 8, Arians explains Vea has a hidden trait key to a much-improved area of the defense.

“He has shut the running game down,” Arians said. “He gets such good push up the middle of the pocket, pushing guys out to Shaq and JPP.”

It makes sense. If Vea is blowing blockers straight back into the pocket, which he does sometimes two at a time, unless a quarterback himself is going to go straight back, he has to move outside or get trampled.

And when a quarterback does that, the outside guys clean up.

Would the Bucs be better with James or with Vea?  At least for now, Vea. But if the Bucs would have been proactive and traded a first-round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick, this question would have been a moot point.

The Arians sitdown was recorded Monday. Lucas asked Arians two questions about Hargreaves and received uncharacteristic clipped responses from Arians. Perhaps his mind was already made up that Hargreaves was a goner?

20 Responses to “The Secret To Sacks”

  1. Lamarcus Says:

    It’s weird because I thought this pick was a bad pick because he was not a 3 down lineman. More of 3-4 guy if want more production and it’s happening. Huge anchor for our team someone to build around. Awesome college talent that rarely translate into pros and Vea was able to. Just seems to be the strongest man out there.

    How much of this is because Suh is here? Last year Suh didn’t put up huge numbers but Donald was incredible and other worldly. Now Donald is back to usually self now Vea is taking over the NFL?

    Like I said ,. Dline will be better without GMC.

  2. ElioT Says:

    Dude is a beast.

    Imagine if we had a couple more young and talented d-linemen next to him, instead of drafting an army of DBs over the past few years?

    Vea hustles his a** off too!

    He doesn’t give up on plays and sprints downfield to try and get in on the tackle.

    Kid deserves the kuddos.

  3. Colorado Says:

    Vea is an absolute monster in the middle. I don’t think anyone will be able to run up the gut on us for years with him under center. Fantastic pick by Licht.

  4. ElioT Says:

    Perhaps our dumba** GM will ignore the trenches again and not get Vita any help? Suh, JPP, Barrett and Nassib are all URFAs in 2020.

    Say what you will about the Rockstar… at least he tried to surround McCoy’s candy-a** with homegrown talent when he was in his “prime”.

    I’m not sure if Brian Price, Clayborn, Bowers and McPloy ever played a down together.

    They better not waste Vea’s prime years.


  5. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    As much as I want Forrest gone he made a good pick. Also I wonder who we draft next year. Burrow will be gone, we can still get Herbert, maybe we draft Delpit out of LSU or that Iowa Edge.

  6. DB55 Says:

    Lamarcus gets it.

  7. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    The guy has great effort until the whistle , often chasing down plays far from his starting area….a pleasure to watch !

  8. Slugglife Says:

    Belly aching that they didn’t get the pick they wanted.

    Is that like a trend here Joe? Devin Whote anyone? Some people have really short memories.

  9. Joe Says:

    The guy has great effort until the whistle , often chasing down plays far from his starting area….a pleasure to watch !

    Yeah he does. And he’s much quicker than ever thought.

    Is that like a trend here Joe? Devin Whote anyone? Some people have really short memories.

    Short memories? How about no memories?

    Once White was signed, Joe welcomed him and wanted him to succeed. Feel free to search the (free) archives to find the last reference to one of the pass rushers Joe wanted the Bucs to draft.

    Just is just guessing within the past week, someone in the comments has pined for Derwin James.

  10. Steven007 Says:

    Vea is great and yes, far more active than I would have thought. James is great too but as we now see often injured. The moment we drafted Vea he was my guy as most draft picks are. I have no control so I don’t waste my time with what ifs.

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    VV is lichts best defensive pick….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Best D-Line the Bucs have had for many, many years.

    I was a fan of Vea even in college. He is a once-a-decade interior DL. Tampa is fortunate to have him.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Now he’s finally showing why i wanted him the whole time 🙂

    Guys, anytime you see a big strong young man like that with that kind of speed, you draft him….unless theres just no need, but we needed him badly.


    If we have a chance for DE Chase Young, I’d rather go after him, especially if we dont re-sign JPP or Barret…and yeah, Burrow is gone. Try to pick up Jalen Hurts in the 3rd and let him sit behind JW. (Ive got a feeling JW will get signed to a 3 year $20-23 mill a year deal) But we need that beast Mekhi Becton 6’7 360 to play RT, he can also play LT if ever needed. Wouldnt mind Delpit either if Young is off the board…..or CB Okudah.

    Some great D talent coming out next draft.

  14. Bradinator Says:

    Love watching the guy shoving 300lb+ dudes around like they were little kids. His push up the middle, sometimes against double teams is ridiculous. OLs, league wide, are starting to dread spending Sunday afternoons against this kid.

  15. doctor_berto Says:

    Would love me some delpit but Bucs need o line and pass rushers more. Seriously doubt they have chance at Chase Young as he will probably go top 3.

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    Lamarcus Says:
    November 13th, 2019 at 12:17 am

    Like I said ,. Dline will be better without GMC.
    Really? Suh sure isn’t any better than GMC was. Shame GMC missed out on being coached by a very smart DC named Bowles.

  17. Buczilla Says:

    Dude, Vea is fun to watch and is a true difference maker. James what hurt in college and now he’s hurt in the pros. Licht made a rare good decision, but he still needs to go if we have any hope of fixing our secondary. He can’t evaluate defensive backs worth a damn.

  18. Bill Gootee Says:

    Meanwhile, the Carolina McCoys lead the league in the most 10+ yard runs given up.

  19. BucsBandit Says:

    Enough comparison to Derwin-I-Am-Injury-Prone-James. There’s a reason he was passed over by 20+ teams. He was far too risky.

  20. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Bill Gootee Says:
    “Meanwhile, the Carolina McCoys lead the league in the most 10+ yard runs given up.”

    Just like the Bucs’ defense the past few years. What a coincidence.