Lighter Load

September 20th, 2021

Ndamukong Suh

Now that Tampa Bay is a dominant force in the NFL, Joe’s very interested in how Bucco Bruce Arians plays the preservation game with his veteran roster.

A first-round bye in the playoffs would be an incredible healing tonic, but that can’t be counted on. Arians has to keep an eye on usage all year.

Inside the snaps counts from yesterday’s game were a few nuggets that interested Joe. Ndamukong Suh played 41 snaps, which represented 57 percent of the defensive plays. In Week 1, he was at 53 snaps (63 percent).

Suh played 74 percent of the Bucs’ regular-season snaps last year.

It’s a beautiful thing when the Bucs can pay a guy like Suh top dollar and not overwork him because they have capable veteran defensive tackles like Rakeem Nuñez-Roches and Steve McClendon making peanuts by NFL standards.

McLendon, the oldest defensive player in the NFL at 35, got 20 snaps yesterday in the win against Atlanta.

Vita Vea also got a lighter load, logging 42 defensive snaps against Atlanta (58 percent) after 54 snaps against the Cowboys (64 percent). Vea does play special teams, unlike Suh and McClendon, and he snagged two snaps on offense.

Jason Pierre-Paul, for the second consecutive week, had more snaps that Shaq Barrett (61 to 52). JPP had six more than Shaq in Week 1.

Barrett looks a little fresher than JPP, so maybe it’s tied to balling in in the extreme heat.

It was a quiet day for Antonio Brown, who got just 44 percent of the offensive snaps. But he was inserted for a critical fourth-quarter punt return that was the second shank job of the day by the Falcons.

Joe loves how the Bucs have so much flexibility, aka the ability to have everyone fresh for January.

30 Responses to “Lighter Load”

  1. Mort Says:

    Really like to see Vita play more than that tbh.

  2. NashvilleBuc Says:

    Is it possible that the Bucs (especially the defensive line) do not play 100% on every down, even at the risk of allowing yards/points as long as the game is under control? Could it be strategy? Could they be saving their strength for the last quarter, and if not needed in the 4th quarter, for the long-haul of the season? I ask this because they consistently seem to have another gear in the 4th Q when they’ve needed it. Either that, or their conditioning and/or raw athleticism is constantly winning out late in every recent game.

  3. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Bucs have very good back ups. Early line Rams -2.5 , love it Brady is the underdog AGAIN!

  4. TBSwarm Says:

    Also its really hot out …

  5. EA Says:

    Vita has been playing some snaps on offense as well.

  6. Coburn Says:

    Need to get Tryon developed a bit more. Jpp was gassed on second half or at least that’s what it looked like.

  7. Robert Says:

    NACHO showed up tp play!!!!!!!!

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Luxuries so many luxuries…
    Enjoy them while they last
    Tormenting twists of fate in the long grueling season

  9. Swampbuc Says:

    And unlike some posters with brain injuries claim, nary a diva in sight.

  10. Canuck Buc Says:

    Have to agree with @NashvilleBuc – I felt throughout the whole game that Atl was completely overmatched, even as they drew closer towards the 4th quarter. I’m not saying it is a great idea to “take snaps off” but I do believe that there is some self-preservation going on, especially against some hapless teams.

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    The only notable 3rd down run stuff I can remember happened yesterday and Vita wasn’t even on the field. For all the hype he gets, he never seems to make any notable plays. I’m not down on him at all, to be clear, I just don’t think he’s nearly as good as people who seem to think he’s one of the best lineman in football. He’s a good lineman who has some serious stamina issues. As Sapp said, he’d never play in Florida at 350lb – he’d be injured and wouldn’t be able to stay on the field. He should have done what Sapp said and dropped 30lbs, if he was around 320lb, could play 3 downs, he’d be a lot more valuable than the part time player he currently is. But, at 350, he is a very good run stuffer, when he’s out there.

  12. Mort Says:

    Rod Munch showing again how much he doesn’t know. You just hate to see folks embarrass themselves so badly.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Shout-out to Carson Tinker, who the Bucs signed to at least temporarily replace Zach Triner who got dinged up in the Dallas game. Looks like Tinker hasn’t played in the NFL since 2018 but he filled in nicely against Atlanta.

  14. adam from ny Says:

    roddy rug muncher, what are you talking about…???

    vita has been one of brighter spots on a struggling defense…

    he gets a steady push, and clogs the middle to the point that we are still number 1 against the rush…


  15. Casual Observer Says:

    DR – Nice point. Tinker handled his role perfectly. Good substitute.

  16. adam from ny Says:


    i didn’t think once about carson tinker during the game…

    that means he did pretty well filling in…

    you never want to think or hear about your long snapper during a game…



  17. HC Grover Says:

    Our Qb is a natural born Pirate. Woe to his victims. He sees LA as a big fat galleon ripe for the plundering.

  18. adam from ny Says:

    what if:

    we play possum next week and take the loss and don’t show the rams anything, with the plan to throw the kitchen sink at them in the playoffs…

    meanwhile they plan for 2 whole weeks for the patriots and massacre them in bellicheat’s house…

    just a thought…lol

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    adam — yeah, the Bucs lose the game to the Rams on purpose… and Vita has been the highlight of the defense… with 5 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 pressures, 1 QB hit, and not on the field for a critical 3rd and 1 play.

    Again, I’m not down on Vita, but people think he’s some insane stud, a HOFer… He needs to play more than 62% of defensive snaps (meaning 62% of 3 downs, or a 2 down player) before he’s going to level up from being a good player to a great one.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    A couple of Bucs players tested positive for Covid-19:

    Kevin Minter from special teams
    Travis Jonsen from the practice squad

  21. PassingThru Says:

    A couple of Bucs players tested positive for Covid-19:

    Kevin Minter from special teams
    Travis Jonsen from the practice squad

  22. adam from ny Says:


    vita should be ok after the miami game…

    he’s a big man and ultra warm humid conditions could be tough on him…

    after the miami game he should be all good regarding heat – as i look at the schedule…

    and hopefully you know i was kinda kidding around to throw the rams game and ultra plan for the pats 🙂


  23. JimmyJack Says:

    Rod Munch Vita V created an interception yesterday. Seems pretty notable to me.

  24. Darin Says:

    The first round bye is good if it works. If not they all hate it. Worked out well without last year. On to the Rams

  25. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I’m impressed when I see Vea push a center into a QB and nearly tackle both. No stats for that. I’m impressed when I see Vea doubled teamed and Barrett, JPP or Suh gets home to the QB. No stats for that either.

  26. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    The offensive play is disrupted even if none of the four defensive guys I gets an actual sack on the situations I’ve mentioned.

  27. Hodad Says:

    61 snaps and no sacks for JPP against a bad Atl team. To much.Tryon 19 snaps. To little. I know Jpp never wants to come out of the game, but if you’re not coming out do something. All those plays against a statue QB against a bad O line with no sacks doesn’t cut it. K. Davis inactive, Suh on the field to much also. Davis,and Joe were drafted to replace Suh, and Jpp. Time to get them more snaps, and save our older players.

  28. Wild Bill Says:

    The big guy clogs the middle and usually occupies two blockers. He is force!

  29. jimm Says:

    how many times for each did vita, shaq, jpp have assignments that dropped them back to cover passes ?

    i think that happens more than we imagine

  30. JimBuc2 Says:

    @jimm Yeah, I noticed Suh in coverage, too. Why? For the second time this year our pass rush seems lacking, and Boles answer is to use manbeast Suh as a pass defender? Might be getting too cute there. Rush three, play cover three and stack the box. We got the players for that. If Boles put more emphasis on teaching proper tackling techniques we wouldn’t even have this discussion. Lastly, I’ll take a flyer on a rusty Sherman at this juncture. Cockrell clearly ineffective.
    LFG Bucs!