Vita Vea: No Stats; Big Impact

September 11th, 2021


Joe is waiting for the box score/NFL app alert crowd to chime in.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to figure out if people watch games or just read stats and get notifications on their phone. Joe is convinced NFL stat queen Cynthia Frelund is in this crowd, unless NFL Network producers and editors deliberately paint her as a doesn’t-watch-games-but-reads-stats chick.

Thursday night, the way Dak Prescott was throwing the ball, if not for Vita Vea, who knows if the Bucs even win?

But wait Joe, Vea didn’t have one stat.

That’s true. Vea did not have one tackle or an assist. (On that number alone it tells Joe the Cowboys weren’t dumb enough to run at him.) But man, did Vea impact the game.

Vea was a wrecking crew on the defensive line interior and the Cowboys struggled big time to control him. Vea either flushed Prescott out of the pocket or just directly screwed up his throws due to pressure.

Former NFL offensive lineman and current NFL Network talking head Brian Baldinger sure saw Vea’s impact. And he loved it. Baldinger went so far as to wonder if there is another defensive tackle who wrecks plays from the interior more than Vea.

Enjoy this fun video from Baldinger. This Vea is just a monster.

41 Responses to “Vita Vea: No Stats; Big Impact”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    Pete will bet that Cynthia Frelund watches more games than Joe. Vita Vea had a coming out party last night.

  2. RioDeJaneiroBucsFan Says:

    VV is the best NT in the NFL. He’s unstoppable as an edge rusher too, so props to Licht for trading down to get him. The extra pick was wasted on MJ Stewart, but it allowed the Bucs to draft Carlton Davis, their best CB by far. Go Bucs!

  3. Swampbuc Says:

    Outstanding, Joes. The bull rush over the center that made Dak look like he may have fumbled but didn’t.

    Dak was very impressive, surprised all the defense. A brilliant game plan from the Cowboys that Lovie I mean Bowels never adjusted to.

    Guess what the Falcons will try?

  4. PassingThru Says:

    Vita Vea was a high-speed bulldozer. I just wonder how many holding penalties the refs missed.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I love Vita it is so encouraging listening to Baldy’s breakdowns. Especially for the stat watchers who didn’t watch the game or see/feel his impact. Baldy clearly has alot of respect for Vita. I wouldn’t mine ole Baldy becoming a assistant line coach.

  6. Bucschamp Says:

    There’s no stat for throwing people

  7. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Vita was repeatedly being held and they finally called one. The refs just were not willing to make the obvious calls to many times. I was watching Vita specifically multiple times and would be yelling as VV being held.

    Marcus Spears mentioned last week that Vita uses the offensive lineman to sack the QB, lol I could see what Marcus was saying as I was watching the manbeast ragdoll lineman.

    Glad he is on the Bucs.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  8. unbelievable Says:

    Mount Vea!

    He was beastin!

    D-line was getting some push but not enough to get to Dak often enough. 1 sack in 58 drop backs is unacceptable.

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Run Stuffer + Pocket Crusher.

    It is good to see Baldy highlight what others, for whatever reason have not realised about Vita.

    Plus the fact that the RUN iIS HISTORICALLY GOOD SINCE THE MERGER IN 1970 when Vita lines up next to Suh. They were good last year, but not HISTORICALLY GOOD without Vita.
    Vita Vea the Resident Rhino.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  10. August 1976 Buc Says:

    HISTORICALLY GOOD RUN DEFENSE SINCE THE MERGER IN 1970 when Vita lines up next to Suh.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  11. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Where was Suh? Was he weakened from the virus? One sack from this DL seems anemic.

  12. Stanglassman Says:

    First time since Sapp that I focus on DT at the snap. He a lot of fun to watch. His best game since the bears game last year where he was dominating til the injury.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    @Unbelievable … “D-line was getting some push but not enough to get to Dak often enough. 1 sack in 58 drop backs is unacceptable.”

    That was the bottom line to me about Thurs night’s game from a defensive standpoint, and it could very well have cost us the game. But it didn’t; we were lucky that Zuerlein missed on 2 of his FG attempts. Tom Brady bailed us out with that waning seconds drive to a FG to give us the 2-point victory.

    At the same time though, our defense did what they’ve become very good at doing over the past 2 years: they forced FG attempts on FIVE drives as opposed to giving up TDs. For example, our defense gave up a TD after RoJo’s fumble at our own 27-yd line, but it then held the Cowboys to a FG attempt after the Cowboys intercepted Brady at the Tampa 21-yd line (Zuerlein made that one). Later in the 2nd qtr, Shaq’s sack resulted in a 12-yd loss after Cowboys were threatening from our 21-yd line, and that together with a 10-yd holding penalty forced Zuerlein to attempt a 60-yd FG (he missed).

  14. Dreambig Says:

    I would love to see some stats on how fast Dak was getting rid of the ball. It looked like our D was doing good applying pressure, Dak did a better job with split second decisions to get rid of the ball. A big factor in our low stat count. Also the boys Oline was allowed a lot of holding. Very thankful we got out with a W.

  15. JA Says:

    There’s a hyperbolized scene in the movie, ‘The Blind Side’ where the Michael Oher character, played by Quinten Aaron, blocks his man clear off the football field.
    For obvious reasons that scene came to mind when Vea damn near blocked the Cowboy’s center into Dak’s legs. I believe it’s the third play in the video above.
    Imagine yourself going one-on-one against Vita for a single play? You, like me, would be laid to waste or swatted away like an annoying insect.
    Due to his size he’s not the fastest man on the field, but if he gets to you your time on your feet will come to an end.

  16. Howard Cosell Says:

    Other than Brady, he’s the reason the Bucs pulled off the ugly last second win. Without Vea that game goes down as a loss.

  17. mg Says:

    Such a force, so athletic for a big man. Want to see him pancake some qb’s.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Remember how casuals freaked out over drafting Vea, like they freaked drafting White and Wirfs?

  19. bucfanforever Says:

    What makes me smile is that the Cowboys o-line did a great job blocking Vea and the Bucs d-line. I doubt the rest of the season will have o-lines play so well.

  20. D-Rome Says:

    I saw Vita Vea all over the field being a dominant force on Thursday and this video above confirmed what I saw. That said, are pressures and hurries stats? I know people out there track that.

  21. Darin Says:

    Vea’s coming out party was years ago Pete. Been doing that a while. And they missed at least one hold on every play passingthru. Pretty sure dallas plan was to hold hold hold until they start calling it. They’re not gona call it anymore unless someone goes to the ground.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “But wait Joe, Vea didn’t have one stat.”

    Interesting observation Joe, knowing that you often imply that you’re not very much into stats. And I don’t disagree with you; the biggest plays of a game don’t always get reflected in the boxscore as ‘stats’.

    But to me, games are all about ‘making plays’. And usually, he who makes the most plays wins. The Bucs have a lot of playmakers, and IMO that was the key to last year: lots of guys stepping up at critical moments in the games to ‘make plays’ when they were really needed. Timing is everything?

    Just an opinion, but I thought that the Cowboys had more guys step up to ‘make plays’ Thurs night than the Bucs did … and yet they lost. Turnover Differential in that game grossly favored the Cowboys; 4 takeaways for the Cowboys versus only 1 takeaway for the Bucs. Those were all big plays because they ended drives & possibly kept us from scoring. Teams almost always lose then they have a MINUS 3 Turnover Differential like we had (lose over 91% of the time on average in that situation).

    Time of Possession also handily favored the Cowboys (34:27 to 25:33). That usually doesn’t bode well for the defense (too much time on the field?) and that was the case Thurs night.

    And yet we overcame both of those ‘stats’ and won. It was a nail-biter, but Tom Brady was very effective when it was REALLY needed, AND our defense was actually quite effective when they needed to be (holding the Cowboys to FG tries on 5 drives instead of allowing TDs).

  23. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree about the lack of holding calls. I saw quite few missed ones. Bad reffing. I wonder if the refs ever look at film to see their mistakes? Via was terrific.

  24. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs beat themselves with turnovers and penalties. Play a clean game and Bucs win 41-26 or more. Dak Prescott is great- probably better than Russell Wilson at this point in their careers. Vea is a force every game he plays.

  25. SB~LV Says:

    Lol… he peeled those double teams Up and Back like a old beer can pull tab …. Dallas OL is better than most the Bucs will play this year. Dallas is a Very good football team!

  26. Chris K Says:

    When stats actually do lie. He is an absolute force on the field!

  27. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    While most of you are beating up the Bucs D, I think you are greatly underestimating how good the Dallas Offense is. Yes, I am disappointed we did not get more pressure since the Cowgirls were without their All Pro guard. But Dak is a great QB. Then they line up Cooper, Lamb and Gallup. That lineup reminds me of the stars the Bucs have on offense.

    Our problem Thursday night was frigging drops and TOs. The fact that the Bucs won with a negative turnover margin of -3 (3 INTs + 1 Fmbl), shows how loaded we are. Many of you are beating up Lenny for his drop – he had 7 targets to 5 catches; not so bad. But Godwin!! 14 targets to 9 catches and ME, who was ghost most of the game, had 6 targets to 3 catches (one drop was right in the numbers).

    The Bucs should have put up more points Thurs against that putrid Dan Quinn Dallas D. That is more of the story than the Bucs having mediocre DBs or no pass rush, IMO.

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    Not like I don’t love Vea, but he didn’t get a tackle on a backup olinman on a pass rush that played like sh!t. Who the hell cares if you get pressure when the defense gets one sack and the other team put up 29 pts. Only people I’m giving credit for that win is Tom, Gronk, AB,Succop. Everyone else played far from their potential.

  29. SB~LV Says:

    SOE… you watch football like my wife

  30. SteveK Says:

    Vea is too much sexy for teams to handle. He collapses the line in front of him and is a remarkable athlete for his size. I hope we extend his contract this off-season and have the best NT in football locked in for 4-5 more years. Big boy wreaks havoc. He’s just too much and it’s beautiful.

  31. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Vita was outstanding. What about Suh?

  32. buxszntkt Says:

    i bet cynthia’s computer mouse is a vibrator as well

  33. Jim Says:

    Saw holding on all our linemen that wasn’tcalled called. Was pissing me off.

  34. DingleBerry Says:

    You could easily include yourself in the same category as Frelund if you go off a number of articles you’ve written in the past.

    After all was it not you last year who routinely complained about Shaq Barret and crew not getting enough sacks as well as arguing against the importance/impact of pressures?

  35. Joe Says:

    Who the hell cares if you get pressure when the defense gets one sack and the other team put up 29 pts.

    Might want to watch the video Joe embedded. Very, very confident the entire Bucs defense, Todd Bowles, Bruce Arians, Jason Licht and the Glazers very much care that Vita was collapsing the pocket on Prescott.

    And loving it.

  36. Joe Says:

    After all was it not you last year who routinely complained about Shaq Barret and crew not getting enough sacks as well as arguing against the importance/impact of pressures?

    They weren’t. Then they stepped it up late in the season and into the playoffs.

    If you don’t get a sack, you better get pressure like Vea did Thursday night (or Shaq in the Super Bowl).

    And yes, Joe will take a sack over pressure any day of the week.

  37. Buczilla Says:

    Vita is unique and his only weakness is his inability to stay healthy. If he’s over that, then he’ll be terrorizing offensive lines like that all year.

  38. stpetebucsfan Says:

    As guys have suggested Vea is just one sick athlete. Many of you have seen this video before but I rewatched it and I’m blown away.

    Most know he was a star RUNNING BACK in high school. Obviously playing at a different weight because of his position and age but the most impressive thing to me wasn’t the way he ran over guys…we expect that…but the way he outran DB’s to the endzone.

    It’s youtube Joe so I think it’s public…because we all have to eat their :15 commercial. LOL–ZYUOc2I

  39. David Says:

    As great as he was, did the Cowboys just show a blueprint?
    If you have a somewhat mobile QB, like Dak, double team Shaq, pick JPP with a back or TE as they go out for a route.
    If your QB is mobile that might be the way to go. It was easier for Dak to escape to the wings from Vea out the middle than it is to escape from Shaq’s or JPP’s speed off the edges.

    And Shaq was double teamed a lot.
    (I also saw him and JPP get held a lot but, whatever)

    With all the blitzing that was done in the first half, I will give credit to the cowboy line. They held up remarkably well. Most teams will not.

  40. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Errr…is this the Joe that values sacks over pressure?

  41. unbelievable Says:

    @DR – same thoughts for me. Yes it looked like the secondary had a rough night (and in many instances they did), but the d-line not being able to get home makes their job infinitely harder. Pressure and coverage go hand in hand. And of course it helps that Dak is mobile.

    Agree about holding them to FGs, that’s always better. Especially after a turnover in our own zone. But yes we are certainly lucky that Dallas’ kicker went all Gayagauyo that night and missed multiple Kicks.