Part-Time But Big Time

September 29th, 2020

The No. 12 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft had a strong game Sunday in Denver.

Defensive tackle Vita Vea was showcasing his manbeast status, but he’s still not getting a ton of playing time.
Joe’s not quite sure why Vea logged just 59 percent of the defensive snaps after taking only 56 percent against Carolina.

“He got the sack [in Denver]. He had two more really good pressures, where he just really forced the quarterback,” Arians said of Vea’s showing on Sunday, via

“The quarterback knows when Vita’s coming up the middle. You know, he walked that center back into him a couple times and really disrupted him and got him off his spot.”

It was a strong day for Vea as the run defense was smothering again. The Broncos handed off 11 times for 28 yards. Vea rushed the passer well and helped anchor that elite Bucs run defense, yet he’s not getting the full-time workload you’d think a top draft pick would command.

And Joe isn’t buying it’s because journeyman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches had such a great training camp.

Is Vea’s old hand injury holding him back? It didn’t look that way on Sunday.

Is it stamina? Joe’s not sure.

Joe will be very interested to see how much Vea plays Sunday and in Chicago four days later on Thursday Night Football.

31 Responses to “Part-Time But Big Time”

  1. Va buc Says:

    So what jesus christ dude you been crying since hes been drafted about him not playing alot. Maybe we love to rotate our lineman to keep him fresh at all times. Why play him as much as you want n tire him out when we have fresh bodies isnt that what depth is all about. you really cry over this like a baby dude. And if its cause he gets tired easily it is what it is hes here now jjust thank god he not injured

  2. Bird Says:

    Punishment for penalties
    Jumping offsides so many times in key situations

    He will get more as season goes on …and he continues to be more dominant

  3. Captain Stagger Says:

    I agree with VA, your narrative is getting worn out Joe. He was drafted to be a 4-3 nose, now playing a 3-4 nose with a lot less help holding the center of the line. And he is doing a great job at it. Find a new story

  4. Jason Says:

    I’d like to see some comparison with other nose tackles playing time.
    What percentage of plays did Wilfork and Cortez Kennedy have for their careers?

  5. Says:

    We need him to be fresh in December and beyond!

  6. Look at my stats, I'm ballin Says:

    I’m a ok with the limited time. We have depth on the d line and there is no need to unnecessarily wear out the manbeast. Long season and this is how you keep everyone fresh.

  7. Miller5252 Says:

    It would’ve nice if the Bucs would just say why. Does he gets tired and is not as effective? This year was supposed to be Vita’s break out year getting after the QB. Denver was his best game so far with him getting 1 sack. I’m with Joe on this one, I read all offseason that he was going to be the second coming of Ngata and maybe even more like Donald with rushing the passer, then he sits for almost half the game. You can’t be a game wrecker if you’re not on the field all the time. UW fan and really liked this pick for the Bucs. I do think he can be a game wrecker if he spends more time on the field.

  8. Bobby M. Says:

    As long as he’s executing what Bowles needs, I’m not overly concerned with his “stats”. We have plenty of playmakers, if everyone plays their role, the plays will happen. What we dont need is a diva DT freelancing for stats.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    A great part time player. Speaking of part time players where’s Cameron Brate I guess I might as well say where’s Waldo.

  10. Danny C Says:

    He’s 347 pounds man, you can’t honestly think he can play every down like a 300 pounder can. I’m good with him sharing snaps and keeping him fresh. Anthony Nelson played a lot on Sunday too while JPP was sitting down. I like that too, improve your depth by giving them playing time. This can only help us as we head further down the season and injuries come into play.

  11. Hodad Says:

    He’s never going to be like A. Donald, one’s a nose tackle the other a 3 tech. He’s been good when he’s in there. Last week was his best game, he looked like a wrecking ball. I’d rather see him play at a high level for 59% of the time, then to be average 70% of the time. Whatever the rotation it’s working, so be happy Joe.

  12. Bradinator Says:

    Hand set him back. Plus why not give him some rest during the game? This is a very big dude, and it makes no sense not to rest him during the game. I expect an increase once he comes back up to speed from the hand surgery.

  13. ocala Says:

    I am not with JoeBucsFan on this One.
    I am sure he is still not 100% with his hand(he is wearing a brace on it), but I am also confident each day that goes by it is getting better.

    Really good defensive lines rotate their defensive linemen especially when it’s a lineman that weighs 340 pounds and you are playing at altitude.

  14. m0j0 Says:

    He’s no longer sporting the club and played much better as a result. Whether he’s playing 60% or 80% of the snaps, I don’t care, as long as the defense is doing their job. They seem to have good depth so good to spread things out a bit if the backups can handle the work. I’m sure his usage will go up as the season progresses. Remember, we didn’t have much offseason to speak of, so it’s still early.

  15. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    “It would’ve nice if the Bucs would just say why.” Miller, coaches don’t owe anybody an explanation! Their priority is winning, not explaining!

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    i have no problem with VV playing “part-time”….gholston and Nuñez-Roches are playing well…..defense playing well….

    joe trying to turn a pebble into a mountain….talk about brate being a part time player….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  17. Miller5252 Says:

    Fair enough Chesapeake, but he’s a high draft pick that’s supposed to be the center of that D. Since Arians has arrived I’ve heard all this sports science crap that’s supposed to work and I saw how good the Bucs looked in London and every week it seems someone has pulled a hammy. Suh is 10 years older, 30lbs lighter and plays 25% more then Vita and never missed a game. No they don’t owe an explanation, but come on man let the man beast play!

  18. BucinMagicFan Says:

    The coaches don’t need to let us know why he only played 59% of the snaps. Keep the other teams offensive coordinators guessing! It’s working and it’s also giving the backups some much needed experience. I see no problem with this because come December our starters will be a little more fresh and the backups will have more playing experience. I think that’s a win win, especially if we keep winning.

  19. buc15 Says:

    this is a good thing. As a D line coach you dream of having enough depth to rotate players & keep everyone fresh. I guess Joe is so beaten down over the past decade that he forgot what good complimentary football looks like

  20. BuucccNASTY Says:

    It’s called not needing coasting to the finish line against a bad team. Not to say the Godwin injury wasn’t necessary but up 2 scores with the defense playing on fire, we shoulda ran Fournette all 4th quarter to close out the game

  21. SB Says:

    And to think of how many of you guys wanted Derwin James instead.
    Guess who is riding the pine again with injuries?

  22. bojim Says:

    As long as we win.

  23. hammerhead Says:

    Perhaps part of the effectiveness of the D line is keeping guys fresh with a rotation. It’s not an unheard of strategy.

  24. SlyPirate541 Says:

    In the last 2 games the defense had 11 sacks, 17 QB hits, 4 INTs, and 2 FF.

    Ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.

    (If you need to criticize, ask why can’t we get a consistent run game?)

  25. Fernando Diaz Says:

    If you noticed was wearing some kind of brace on hand that might be why
    He missed snaps before season.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Todd Bowles schemes are VERY creative, and he does a great job IMO of creating mismatches. Key though is that several guys have stepped up on defense in the past couple of weeks.

    Against the Saints, Bucs defenders had 68 snaps. A total of FIVE players had 100% of those snaps: White, Davis, Winfield, SMB & LVD. Our other safety (Whitehead) had 62 snaps (91%). IOW, very little rotation on the back end. Even the beasts upfront had a ton of snaps: JPP (65 snaps/96%); Shaq (60 snaps/88%); Vea (57 snaps/84%); Suh (56 snaps/82%); Gholston (34 snaps/50%) and RNR (25 snaps/37%). So 12 defenders got 699 total snaps; or 93.4% of the 748 total defensive snaps in the game for 11 defenders. And oh ya, we lost. Got a hunch at least some of the guys were pooped.

    Against the Panthers, Bucs defenders had 73 snaps. A total of THREE players had 100% of those snaps: White, LVD & Whitehead. SMB, Davis & Winfield each had 72 snaps (99%). IOW, again, very little rotation on the back end. But the beasts upfront got a little more of a break: Shaq (69 snaps/95%); JPP (65 snaps/89%); Suh (55 snaps/75%); Vea (41 snaps/56%); Gholston (37 snaps/51%); and RNR (34 snaps/47%). So 12 defenders got 736 total snaps; or 91.7% of the 803 total defensive snaps in the game for 11 defenders. And yes, we won that one. Looks like the back end was once again out there for the whole game, but that RNR was able to up his snaps & keep Vea a little fresher. Everything else was about the same.

    Against the Broncos, Bucs defenders had 63 snaps. As in the first game, a total of FIVE players had 100% of those snaps: White, LVD, Whitehead, Davis & Winfield. Dean (55 snaps/87%) and Edwards (42 snaps/67%) both got a lot of play when SMB went down (19 snaps/30%). Yet again, very little rotation on the back end. But the beasts upfront got even more of a break: JPP (49 snaps/78%); Shaq (47 snaps/75%); Suh (45 snaps/71%); Vea (37 snaps/59%); Gholston (28 snaps/44%); and RNR (29 snaps/46%). What’s different is that Nelson finally broke into the lineup (27 snaps/43%). So now 15 defenders (counting SMB & Nelson) got 693 total snaps; or 100% of the 693 total defensive snaps in the game for 11 defenders. The big difference? RNR & Nelson are really stepping up upfront, and Dean & Edwards were able to work into the Secondary when SMB went down. So everyone upfront got fewer snaps & stayed fresher. That’s a good thing IMO.

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    Something else that’s interesting IMO is that our TOP for the 1st 2 games averaged 27:02, but in the Broncos game our TOP was 33:02 … our offense held the ball for a full 6 mins longer in the game. And our defense was only out there for 63 snaps against the Broncos versus 68 against the Saints & 73 against the Panthers. TOP typically makes a big difference to the defense.

  28. Brandon Says:

    Maybe because he is most effective taking 35-40 snaps a game. The dude is 350. You get people over tired and they get hurt. Not sure why this is such a difficult thing to comprehend. They want him to stay fresh for 1st and 2nd downs, and they want him to be healthy. Simple stuff.

  29. ocala Says:

    Gerald McCoy would play a ton of snaps and would wilt in the 4th quarter.

  30. Buczilla Says:

    I find it odd that he’s not getting more snaps as well, but I’m not about to complain about the results for him or the defense. If team’s were gutting us for huge gains up the middle when Vea was on the sidelines, I’d be worried.

  31. JameisAlmighty Says:

    Vea doesn’t deserve playing time. He’s a bust. It’s sickening to know that the Bucs could’ve had Derwin James Jr. instead of the human reincarnation of Homer Simpson In Vita Vea..