Less Is More

May 4th, 2021

Getting old.

Joe had stated (quite a few times) a desire for the Bucs to draft a linebacker on the first or second day of the draft in an effort to save Lavonte David some snaps.

Joe loves David but to ignore that he is 31 and just played 99 percent of the team’s defensive snaps during a 20-game season (ending with a Super Bowl win), and not expect that to catch up to him a short time later in a 17-game season plus-playoffs is a lot of wishful thinking.

Two years ago, Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians began holding David out of practice when the team used the Glazer Shed. Arians noted the astroturf is bad on David’s knees.

Well, it seems Jenna Laine of ESPN is using the same thought process with the Bucs’ defensive line. She correctly notes the Bucs have an aging line and wonders if those guys will hold up for a 17-game season plus-playoffs this fall.

Do the Bucs have enough youth along the defensive line?

Tampa Bay addressed just about every goal it had for the draft: a rotational pass-rusher, a developmental quarterback, a versatile backup offensive lineman who can line up in jumbo packages and speed on special teams. Defensive line is the one position that wasn’t strengthened. The Bucs acknowledged it was a weaker defensive line class this year. But Ndamukong Suh is 34, Steve McLendon is 35 and William Gholston will be 30 in July. They do have Jeremiah Ledbetter and Khalil Davis, but they’re unproven players at this point.

The key here is for Vita Vea to stay healthy. We tend to overlook that Vea, as dominant as he is, has only had one full season in his three-year career. A healthy Vea will go a long way to keeping those old graybeards from wearing down.

If anything is going to stop the Bucs from Going for Two, it will be stamina, especially on defense.

30 Responses to “Less Is More”

  1. Mitch Says:

    I am anticipating Khalil Davis to make a big jump this year.

  2. David Says:

    Nacho is 27-28. They definitely need youth there though.

  3. SB~LV Says:

    The players union needs to push for an expanded roster with all active on game day, for the good of their careers and the good of the game. I have seen a ton of changes in the game in my lifetime. It would not be surprised to see, overtime, much more playing time spread around the roster, similar to baseball.

  4. MadMax Says:

    Gholston, Suh, Vea, Nacho….they got this. Dont get me wrong, I wanted at least one, Stills, but it can wait. We’ve got a dominating D line 🙂

  5. Baby Grace Says:

    Darius Stills signed with Vegas as an UDFA. Nobody picked him in the draft and we didn’t think enough of him to offer him a UDFA contract.

  6. JimmyJack Says:

    A big benefit for the Bucs is how good we have been at bringing in quality players where and when we need them. I dont know if we been lucky or good or if good players just wanna play for BA/Tom but it dont matter. It works.

    A few off the top of my head is McClendon, Stinnie and Cockrell.

    Im totally fine going into camp with who we got knowing our scouting department is capable of finding solid players when the need arises.

  7. CChead Says:

    There are always camp casualties who will become available.

  8. catcard202 Says:

    Not worried about DL at the moment…Next yrs draft may bring more focus on that area, but w/ the guys on roster (from Practice Squad / UDFA types)…Back Up’s will be found.

  9. SlyPirate Says:

    I’m a little shocked about Darius Stills, too.

    Good tape. Probably a little undersized for a 3-4 DL.

  10. Mike Says:

    There will likely be a vet signing at some point. Shouldn’t be an issue. I too am high on Davis in his 2nd year and Nacho will be a super sub as well.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    This year I’m convinced that we’re in good hands with Vea, Suh & Gholston, then McLendon, Nacho & Davis to rotate in there also. We also used other DLinemen (Ledbetter, O’Connor & Potoa’e) at various times in the playoffs, and all 3 of them are still on our roster.

    Davis got very little work last year (2 games with 37 total defensive snaps all season), but he’s got some nice measurables (6’1″ & 308 lbs … similar size to Warren Sapp … and ran a 4.75 sec 40-yd with 32 bench press). Really hopeful that he’ll get more work this year & show some solid progress in year 2.

  12. Casual Observer Says:

    I wanted a DL pick as well. But you can’t draft everything. Those who think a good vet DL will become available are probably right. And Davis may get (and take) his chance to shine. Not too worried about the DL.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Yeah I know Grace…i dropped the ball this year in my research, was working too much….all good, I’ll get back on it. He’s a solid undrafted though.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    Can’t stand this over thirty bullspit. You would think about taking a hint from this 2020 team. Suh and McClendon will be done, but Gholston, “who WILL BE 30” (smh) had his best year in 2020. A large, long armed vet run stopper would be nice to still have with the kid. I think we’re solid enough to draft an iffy DT year. But we got Trask so what the hell do I know.

    Mitch…Same. Khalil Davis bust out of a shell with his speed and power off the snap would be sweet. See potential year two.

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    * I think we’re solid enough NOT to draft an iffy DT year

  16. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I think the plan is to restock the DL next draft.
    The plan is in place.

  17. Leighroy Says:

    Isn’t Joe Tryon supposed to have potential to rotate to the interior on passing 3rd downs too?

  18. Stanglassman Says:

    UFA signing

    Elijah Ponder, DL, Cincinnati Bearcats

    The skinny: The former Bearcat played on the interior of the Bearcats defensive line, but at 6-foot-3, 275-pounds, that won’t happen in the NFL. Ponder has decent strength and is very agile, which is why he’ll convert to OLB/EDGE at the next level.

    Interesting fact: He earned First-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors in 2019 and was also named to the 2019 AAC All-Academic Team.

    Worth mentioning. Credit:Bucs report.

  19. Mike28277 Says:

    What Mitch said… agreed

  20. All lives matter Says:

    We’ll be fine. We have
    Nelson He can be used inside as well
    Kobe Smith
    to go along with Vea, Gholston, Suh

  21. Capt.Tim Says:

    I would rather have seen a young DT, instead of a Qb who will spend his career on the bench.
    Hopefully, we can pick up a young DT after the cuts.
    But we do have some youth- And Tryon will help too.?

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    Gholston has changed so much since he was drafted. He was slender but strong and now he’s power packed. He’s been hammering the weights and his arms show. It’s something I always wanted GMC to do, increase his strength, but the drive never was there. Gholston manhandles many an offensive lineman and there’s the reason, pure bull strength.

  23. #1bucsfan Says:

    Agreed joe I was looking for us to draft LVD ,JPP, SUH and TB12. Cant get everything in one draft and I do like who we selected so maybe next year we go DLINE, RB , DB and prob should just get a few more pass rushers lol can never have to many

  24. #1bucsfan Says:


  25. Colin in Canada Says:

    We have two old guys… not an issue

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    So far in his career, when he’s not injured, here’s the number of defensive snaps where Vita’s been on the field. Again, this is NOT including games he missed.

    2018: 47%
    2019: 66%
    2020: 21%

    You’re not dominate when you spend most of your time on the bench.

    For example, All-Pro Gerald McCoy played around 70-75% of snaps, which is what you expect from a dominate DT. Another example, Vita Vea has a total of 11 TFL in his entire career, that’s less than McCoy averaged per year.

    The hype on Vita is out of control. I like the kid, I think he shows promise, but you dolts pretend like he’s the best DT in football. He’s not. He’s at most a 2-down run stuffer. I hope he takes a huge leap this year, but as Sapp said, you can’t play in the FL heat when you’re 350+lbs, and every year Vita is injured in camp, then gets injured in the season. It’s almost like Sapp knows what he’s talking about. Tell Vita to lose about 30lbs and I think he’d be a lot more useful since he might be able to stay on the field.

  27. Hodad Says:

    Get off the shoulda taken a crappy DT instead of a QB. In case you hadn’t noticed, we only had Tom, and Ryan on the roster, nothing lined up for the most important position on the team.

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    They pull Vea on passing downs. They ho to a 4 man front. Sliding Suh to DT, and JPP to DE
    Although last year, they started leaving him on the field more often.

    They didnt Draft Vea to be a pass Rusher. They drafted him to be a run stopper- and he is the Best NT in the league at it.

  29. unbelievable Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    May 4th, 2021 at 1:21 pm
    The players union needs to push for an expanded roster with all active on game day, for the good of their careers and the good of the game.


    I never understand why the league always seems so vehemently against doing things that would actually improve the quality of the game.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    Capt.Tim – Yeah, I know, and I agree with that, he’s a good 2-down run stuffer. That doesn’t make you a dominate DT and one of the best in the game. If people kept their hype in check, then I wouldn’t be saying anything, but just read all the slobbering nonsense posted here. People literally think he was the difference in the SB when he did nothing all game. I literally have nothing against Vita, I think he’s good for what he is, but people think the entire defense runs through him – which is nonsense when he’s not even on the field most of the time.