Could Vita Vea Become “Defensive Player Of The Year?”

October 8th, 2021


The Bucs once had a defensive tackle who was the best defender in the NFL for 1999.

The Bucs may have his successor in Vita Vea.

That seems to be the case made by Emmanuel Morgan of the New York Times. In the piece on Vea, Morgan details that one could make a very good argument that no one impacts the Bucs’ front-seven the way Vea does.

Vea simply plugs running lanes inside. No dice for opposing backs. And he eats up blockers so Lavonte David and Devin White can feast on running backs, quarterbacks and tight ends.

And Vea draws so much attention inside on pass plays, it helps spring Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to hassle quarterbacks.

Since Sapp was named “Defensive Player of the Year” in 1999, only one other tackle has earned the honor. Aaron Donald. Morgan thinks Vea is next in line.

Choose any Bucs game this season — the opener against the Dallas Cowboys, their demolition of the Atlanta Falcons or a narrow victory over the New England Patriots — and there is footage of Vea forcibly moving another grown man from one area to another.

That production does not create distinctive statistics: In four games, Vea has only seven tackles and has yet to record a sack. But the havoc an elite interior lineman causes by attracting double teams and clogging gaps often provides their teammates clear paths to ball carriers and quarterbacks, for the stats that garner paydays and hardware.

What Vea excels at, and the outsized effect it has on a Bucs defense that ranks first in the league in rushing defense, can go unrecognized by casual observers. To the coaches and players who study him, though, his value is clear.

Well, for Vea to win “Defensive Player of the Year,” Joe would have to guess the Bucs would at least have to win the NFC South. And Vea would need to collect a lot of stats.

But Joe likes where Morgan is going. Watching Vea manhandle very large men is fun as hell. This dude is just a plowhorse and per Morgan, only Donald is his superior.

27 Responses to “Could Vita Vea Become “Defensive Player Of The Year?””

  1. Robert Says:

    I don’t know about tackles, but this dude blows up the entire interior of the O line!

    now, if he can only play CB.

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    Nope, brain-dead writers need to see standout stats to make their decisions for them. They don’t watch the games. They like to gossip like school girls 24/7

  3. Todd Says:

    Speaking of cornerback, if the proverbial injury bug hits the fan, and we were grasping at straws in the secondary, I hope Todd Bowels has installed some “Break Glass In Emergency” packages for Mike Evan’s to kill it!!!

    I’d bet on him any day!!!

  4. Buc4evr Says:

    Unfortunately I think for a Defensive Lineman will play a huge part in deciding a DPOTY.

  5. Posey99 Says:

    I’ll be paying close attention to Washington game when he goes against Brandon Scherff, pro bowler. If he gets lined up against him, it will be fun to watch. Assuming Scherff is back from his injury by then

  6. Buc4evr Says:

    Fixed last post: Sacks will play a huge role for a DL to become DPOTY.

  7. Steven007 Says:

    The simple answer is no. Due to his lack of statistics obviously. Myies Garrett is the current obvious leader. Due to his sacks. Chandler Jones might get back to the conversation for the same reasons. D p o y is largely a beauty contest, and nothing that Vea does however impactful is beautiful. Either in general or on the stat sheet. So while I love the guy, and he’s obviously very impactful, I don’t see it.

  8. SB Says:

    Just ask Shaq how important Vea is.
    Shaq had more sacks in the 7 games that Vea played in than the 13 games that he was out.

  9. SB~LV Says:

    No !

  10. Duane Says:

    Not sure about DPOY, but Vea appears to be ascending. Not sure where his ceiling is, but I feel as if we will see him push the center into the QB and tackle both of them, and likely more than once this season. That is a problem for any team.

  11. SlyPirate Says:

    DPOY, OPOY, ROTY, MVP all come down to stats. Pro Bowls go to performers.

    Trevon Diggs has 5 INTs
    Miles Garret has 6 Sacks

    Vea will make the Pro Bowl and possibly NFL 1st Team.

  12. Buczilla Says:

    Vita is easily in the top five of all defensive players when it comes to wrecking game plans, but useful idiots like pff have made the game even more stat focused recently with their nonsense. Since Vita doesn’t rack up stats, that’s a huge disadvantage. He also plays for us, so in order to be considered for DPOY he would need to play well above and beyond his peers to even get a glance from the doorknobs in the northeast. It ain’t happening. I also said that Brady wasn’t coming here and that we should have taken Allen over White, so wtf do I know? 😛

  13. webster Says:

    I read this article and not once did i see the author make a case for him being dpoy. He did title the article that vea may be the bucs mvp. When he reference sapp and donald, he was pointing out that the defensive tackle position is mostly overlooked.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    This is the type of sh!t gets said from one highlight watcher. Bucs had 3 sacks in 3 games before they played a weak NE Oline. They smarter ones will say this to gain Pats ratings if you can believe it.

  15. August 1976 Buc Says:

    # of Snaps needs to increase for the Vita “The Tsunami” Vea can even begin to be considered for DPY. Like Baldy said NO ONE can handle Vita one on one, let alone Vita moving double teams into the next area code.

    BTW Vita > Carl Nix


  16. Mike Says:

    To be Defensive Player of the Year, you need sacks, not snacks! And anyway, Aaron Donald doesn’t even know who he is… 🙂

  17. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Their demolition of the Atlanta Falcons? LOL. I could have SWORN it was 28-25 with like 9 minutes left in the game.

  18. Listnfrmafar Says:

    There probably not a lot of offensive linemen raising their hands to take him on.

  19. Leighroy Says:

    If VV isn’t getting the stats, wouldn’t everyone else have to be racking up eye-poppers to make this case a viable argument? VV is my boy though, but they don’t pass these types of awards out as participation trophies.

  20. D-Rome Says:

    Vita Vea is in the top 5 for most dominant players in the NFL. He won’t get DPOY because he doesn’t put up the stats but anyone that watches him play knows he’s special even if he doesn’t log a statistic. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka doesn’t get 2 sacks if it wasn’t for Vea’s work.

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    I really do like Vita, but people are nuts in how they overvalue him. The guy is only playing just over half of the defensive snaps – a MVP candidate should be more than a 2-down player. To compare him to Sapp in any way is completely is completely ridiculous. Sapp was a generational, a 1st ballot HOFer, who anchored the best defense in NFL history in 2002 (yes, they were the best defense in the history of the NFL) and had one of the best defensive runs ever as a team.

    Vita is a guy who has only played one full season without being injured, and when he does play, is mostly a 2-down run stuffer. Yes, I know he has some highlight plays where he doesn’t actually get a sack or anything, but opens up an area for another player, that’s great and all, but calm down people, that doesn’t make you MVP.

    Also here’s his stats on the season..

    7 tackles, 3 missed tackles, or a 30% missed tackle rate. 0 sacks.

    Again, I really do like Vita, but people are just insane over a guy who is barely more than a part-time player and how has a very long injury history. Before people talk about him being MVP, lets get him to be a 3-down player who isn’t missing 10-games a year in injuries.

  22. Goatheadsoup Says:

    “Whatever happens, do NOT let the 350 lb monster be the one who sacks me”- every quarterback ever

  23. Bojim Says:

    Unfortunately, they don’t watch what goes on in the middle unless there’s sacks involved.

  24. Bucschamp Says:

    sadly there’s no stat for throwing people

  25. lambchop Says:

    Unfortunately, no. He doesn’t get on the stat sheet. And that’s all that anyone voting for this cares about. Frankly, I’m still peeved that Shaq got robbed of DPOY.

  26. Tim R. Says:

    As a run stopper he is as good as anyone. As a pass rusher he needs to get deeper into the backfield. If his pass rushing skills improve then let’s start taking about him as one of the best of not the very best. Regardless he is awesome!

  27. unbelievable Says:

    I think the pass defense would have to rank a little higher than bottom third of the league lol. And he’ll need some sacks.