“Vea Is Probably, If Not The Best, Is One Of The Best Nose Tackles In Football Right Now”

March 5th, 2020

A Bucs legend weighs in

Vita Vea stayed healthy last season and played just two-thirds of all defense snaps for the Bucs.

That snap total still makes Joe take pause.

Why couldn’t he got on the field more? Old man Ndamukong Suh played 77 percent of the defensive snaps. Gerald McCoy routinely played 85 percent of the snaps.

The math feels odd because Vea appeared to be the better pass rusher than Suh. However, reality revealed neither Suh nor Vea were consistent or productive pass rushers. They weren’t stiffs, but they didn’t win enough 1-on-1 battles.

Regardless, Vea is a heck of a player, a critical cog on the NFL’s best run defense. Bucs icon Rondé Barber seems to think that’s enough to make Vea a superstar.

“Vea is probably, if not the best, is one of the best nose tackles in football right now,” Barber told The JP Show on 820 AM last week.

Barber breaks down Bucs film every week for the team’s official website, plus he’s all over One Buc Palace every summer. So he is paying attention. Bucco Bruce Arians also will tell you that Vea played at a Pro Bowl level last season.

Joe wants to be giddy about Vea, but that snap count total keeps Joe wondering why, during a season in which the Bucs had zero playoff hopes down the stretch, that Vea couldn’t get more snaps, aka experience.

46 Responses to ““Vea Is Probably, If Not The Best, Is One Of The Best Nose Tackles In Football Right Now””

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

    VV needs a playmate !

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    relax joe….

    no need wonder or pause….

    TB is doing whats best for the players which in turn is best for the defense…..

    you want VV to take plays off like the media claimed SUH did?….lol….

    if VV is a beast all 4Qs playing 2/3s of the snaps then so be it…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. DBS Says:

    Try asking the coach. But Vea did a great job on this defense.

  4. LazyMoak Says:

    He can thank Jameis for the extra reps

  5. LaMarcus Says:

    I never heard anyone say “I’m the best nose tackle in the NFL” before

    Here we go crowning Bucs players after a few good games. What’s next HOF?

  6. gbobucsfan Says:

    Well played LazyMoak…..

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    LazyMoak Says:
    March 5th, 2020 at 4:52 pm
    He can thank Jameis for the extra reps


    POST OF THE DAY!!!!!!


    you can say the same about the secondary…lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!

  8. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Vea is playing exactly how we drafted him for. He wasn’t drafted to be Aaron Donald, he was a Haloti Ngata type of guy. Extremely hard to move and just messes up the entire run game. He does have pass rushing skills but he’s not gonna get many sacks in his current position.
    Haloti Ngata played 180 games and has 32.5 sacks in his career.

  9. 813bucboi Says:

    you a str8 clown!!!!!….lol….

    you put JW in the HOF when he came back from London…..lol….

    or was it after he went 30 4 30?…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    Gotta rotate the Big Uglies to keep their legs for crunch time in the 4th Q.

    Vea and Suh and GFholson and Allen and the Nacho-Roches-guy freed up JPP, Barrett and Nassib to do their thang.

    McCoy played many snaps because the D-line depth sucked.

  11. Slugglife Says:

    Maybe a better metric would be what percentage of plays was Vea on the field when Shaq or other lineman recorded a sack. All players are instrumental in a sack and Vea takes up a hell of a lot of space in the middle.

  12. JGhoti86 Says:


  13. Leighroy Says:

    Slugglife is on to something, just a hunch….

  14. bojim Says:

    Big dude. Gotta keep him fresh.

  15. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    I’m always amazed that you have this web site after reading your stories ?!
    The free agents and draft picks you cry for and wanting to keep America’s turnover machine? Always amazed that you continue to keep reading here. What does that say? Second, Joe has made it very clear, multiple times, that Joe just wants the Bucs to have a strong plan. If that’s Brady or Rivers and drafting a QB in Round 1, that sounds good to Joe, if that’s how the coaching staff has evaluated what’s best. But if the Bucs just swap Jameis for another guy who’s team let him walk? Well, Joe won’t be doing cartwheels right away. –Joe
    Who do you have pictures of ?

  16. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Buccaneerscotty Says:
    March 5th, 2020 at 6:05 pm
    I’m always amazed that you have this web site after reading your stories ?! The free agents and draft picks you cry for and wanting to keep America’s turnover machine? Who do you have pictures of ?
    Bold face type reply coming for that 🙂

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Tampa plays a 3/4
    Suh and Gholsten at De, Vea at nose tackle
    Jpp, Nassib, David, and White at Lb

    On passing downs, they play a 4-2-5
    Vea come of the field
    Jpp drops to DE,Nassi drops to DDT, with Suh, and Gholsten at De
    White and David stay at Lb.

    Mystery solved?

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Vita Vea is good, yet some fans cry for Derwin James.
    Sean Murphy Bunting is good, yet some fans cry for Greedy Williams.
    For some reason, I don’t trust some of the fans that want to replace Jameis with anybody who isn’t Jameis.

  19. CPN Says:

    If there is a bright spot on the Buccaneers defense, it’s Vea =D

  20. BucAllNight Says:


    EXACTLY!! Nail on head. Or Marriotta, Or Johnny “OUT OF” Football. This site aint what it used to be. Fans don’t know spit and we keep getting quotable from over the hill Bill Polian (who had MVP Lamar Jackson as a WR) or Pat Kiwin who only repeats the National narrative cus he doesn’t really watch the Bucs.

    I can wait till we re-sign JW so all the “know-it-alls” can go to JoeVIPERS.com

    Go Bucs!!

  21. D-Rome Says:

    I said it during the season and I’ll say it again now. I truly believe that when it’s all said and done Vita Vea will be in the Hall of Fame. Vea was a game wrecker last season. He reminds me of Vince Wilfork. Wilfork used to be the most dominant player on the defensive side of the ball and he never had to register a single statistic. Vea is the same way. That guy will be in the Hall of Fame one day.

    I have bashed, and will continue to bash, Jason Licht’s draft and free agency decisions but drafting Vita Vea was a home run.

  22. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Lamarcus says: “I never heard anyone say “I’m the best nose tackle in the NFL” before“

    I’ve also never heard a qb say “I’m ballin” after throwing 30 ints in a season.

  23. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I like Vita and happy hes on the team but Derwin James was clearly the better pick I mean who can even argue?

    And thats not Vitas fault its based on the position he plays. James is a rare lights out saftey and when was the last time the Bucs had a great safety? Those are rare to find when good defensive tackles are all over the league.

    And again, I like Vita love his attitude and glad he’s on the team.

  24. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    To be fair Derwin was an injury prone FSU safety. It’s not as bad as dalvin cook don’t get me wrong at least there is a reason for people to shill for derwin. 9/10 times you take the D lineman over a skill position. I still think we made the right call. FSU homers may not they can go pound sand and worship their winston shrine.

  25. LazyMoak Says:

    Kinlaw or Brown along side Vita Vea would be unstoppable , like baseball you build strenght up the middle

  26. Mort Says:

    Why didn’t you ask BA when you had the chance last week then?

  27. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Vea is a beast. If you can’t see that you don’t know football. He needs to wrap up the QB on some of those sacks he let slip out of his grasp. He should have had at least 3 more sacks but it was almost like he was afraid to get a roughing call and the QB got away.

  28. Tbbucs3 Says:


    9 time out of 10 you take a *pass rusher* over a skill position player.

    Vita had 2.5 sacks last year and you should never take an elite run stuffer (which is what Vita is) over a pro bowl DB in a passing leauge.

  29. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Safety, TE, and RB, and sam linebacker are the least important positions. Sure it helps to have good players at those positions but they are luxuries. If you look at salaries it bears this out. QB, T, CB, DT, Edge are the most important and highest paid positions. Good young players at the highest salary positions allowed for salary cap flexibility due to their discount over veterans of the same position. Basically what I’m getting at is that a good DT is always more valuable than a safety. You can actually sign a vet safety with the money we are saving having Vea compared to an equally talented vet DT. That will be hard for some of you to follow I’m sure.

  30. Dom>Licht Says:

    Only in Tampa …. good player not GREAT yet let’s not put him in HOF yet… heard a bunch of clowns call GMC great also

  31. Tampabuscsbro Says:


    So you knew Derwin would be that good? Wow glad you knew ahead of time. Also if you haven’t noticed safeties are less valuable then they used to be cause they aren’t allowed to hit people.only the FSU homers were mad at the draft. Also he was a guaranteed pro now DB that’s why he fell to 18

  32. geno711 Says:

    Gerald McCoy snap count:
    2019 – 63%
    2018 – 70%
    2017 – 76%
    2016 – 75%

    Suh snap count:
    2019 – 77%
    2018 – 88% – 5th highest defensive line in NFL
    2017 – 84% – 7th highest defensive line in NFL
    2016 – 84% – 8th highest for defensive lineman in the NFL

    JPP snap count:
    2019 – Injury – 83% after injury
    2018 – 89% – 3rd highest for defensive lineman in the NFL
    2017 – 92% – 2nd highest NFL for defensive line.
    2016 – 71%

    The reason you need to get JPP and Suh back in the fold is that they are not only just that good but they play year in and year out a higher majority of snaps than other defensive lineman. You need that 5th/6th defensive lineman much less when you have those studs playing almost every down.

    Vea’s 66% was 30th of all defensive lineman last year according to football outsiders and more than McCoy’s snap count last year.

  33. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Derwin was an elite NFL prospect and yes I knew at the time he would be good. And its nonsense to undermine the safety position especially as a Bucs fan who have watched crap safeties for over 15 years now.

    I could care less what college he went to unlike you clearly. UF or FSU or Miami or Fort Hayes State. Do. Not. Care.

  34. Joe in Michigan Says:

    One of the mistakes the Bucs have made (along with the Cleveland Browns), is trying to build their teams from the outside in, instead of inside out (drafting guys from both offensive and defensive lines). We FINALLY draft on the line, get a good INSIDE player, and some fans want a SAFETY, to this day?
    This is all just my opinion, of course, and I could be wrong.

  35. BucEmUp Says:

    Vea was being held constantly.They cannot block the guy but he doesnt get any calls.Dude is a beast.Can you find out what percentage of.snaps.vea played in the first half of the season vs.the last? My money would say he played a higher snap percentage the final 8 games

  36. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Only keep reading because your ignorance amuses me! Your comments and stories are the dumbest one flying around the web ! Your basically a troll with a website who has no clue at all! Thank you for your patronage. –Joe

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    Who cares about Derwin James? What’s the point? We got Vita V and he is a danged good football player. That’s all that matters. And it’s really useless to try and compare the two. The positions are completely different. It’s like compared a snicker to some Skittles or runts(Vita would be the snickers BTW)

    Big part of the top run defense in all of football. And a big part of opening the edges for passrush. Can build around that guy. Oh he can play a little O too.

  38. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Amen, JimmyJack!

  39. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Your welcome..

  40. Buczilla Says:

    I was spoiled watching Sapp destroy game plans practically by himself on plenty of Sundays. Vea is not that type of player and he isn’t asked to be. He’s dominant against the run, helps prevent the opposing qb’s from stepping up in the pocket, and makes life easier for the true pass rushers on the team. He’ll probably never have more than 3-4 sacks in a season, but he is an awesome fit for our defense.

  41. Adrnagy Says:

    Off topic.

    Watch the titans a real possibility to snag jameis. Pair him with Henry and that oline.
    Why ?
    Jon Robinson
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013–2015)
    Director of player personnel

  42. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Lol buccaneerscotty over here paying the bills with 50 visits a day. The irony.

  43. catcard202 Says:

    ^^^^ G>O>I…I agree. Non-Issue really.

    Bowles asked Suh to be a run stuffer & double team magnet…A plugger to hold the line & let LB’s split seems/make plays. Vea & Suh were a major reason the run DEF was exceptional, most of the season. And assisted in Shaq getting off… Have no problems w/ the fantasy guys take, but the eye test & review of the TEAM DEF 2018 vs 2019 comparison tell the story.

    RUN DEF major improvement…(PASSING / SCORING DEF not so much.)

    Suh was good for the locker room. Good for Vea. Good for the RUN DEF.
    He’s a guy I want back. A minor bump in coin should be offered & if he’s game, all’s good.

    If he wants more than $10M (w/ play incentives), then it gets a little tricky.

    Can only slot so much for him to come back. That really moves a guy like Jordan Phillips (BUF) or Leonard Williams(NYG) to the forefront as soon as the dinner bell rings…vs over paying for Suh. (We’ll see if a deal gets done before FA or after he feels out the market.)

    I’ve been pretty open about hoping that the FO finds way to get L.Williams signed on a multi-yr deal & keep Suh for 2020, so overpaying Suh on another 1yr deal doesn’t help that cause. But a modest bump seems appropriate.

    IMO, if you can keep Suh – JPP – Shaq & add L.Williams in FA…It allows the FO to take a OLB or DE before DT & maybe allow them to wait until the middle rounds to do so…Late Day2- early Day3.

    Might allow FO to cover RT & RB early, then go after guys like DE /IDL in the middle rounds…where DE’s Jason Strowbridge (UNC) & Darrel Taylor (UT) + DT’s like Leki Fotu (Utah) & R. Lawrence (LSU) are slotted to fall in the draft.

    (W/ big picture plan for JPP & Suh would be to depart after 2020…The time to go get their 2021 replacements is now. )

    Quality depth = OPTIONS & scheme flexibility

  44. BucsFIRE Says:

    Buccaneerscotty Says:
    “Your comments and stories are the dumbest one”

    Nice grammar. LOL
    Do you understand what plural means?
    You are calling others “dumb”, right?

  45. Cobraboy Says:

    Buczilla gets it.

    Stuffing the middle preventing the QB from stepping up into the pocket to avoid the edge rush is a HUGE dealio, and who in the NFL does this better than the Vea/Suh combo?

  46. MadMax Says:

    Big V!!!!!!!!!!

    Told ya!