Vita Vea Talks Tom Brady, Pro Bowl And Playing Running Back

October 28th, 2021

Podcast appearance.

Smacktalk and food were among the many subjects Bucs defensive tackle Vita Vea discussed when he appeared on the “Adam Schefter Podcast” this week.

Schefter introduced Vea as, “dominant a defensive lineman as there is in the league. Someone who doesn’t get the attention he deserves.”

On playing running back with the Bucs at times, he was surprised it’s similar to playing running back in high school. Vea, when Vea was a full-time running back.

“I knew it going to be fun because I did in high school,” Vea said. “I thought it would change at this level for me. I thought it was going to be different. But it is still the same for me.”

When it came to food, Vea was surprised Bucs defensive tackle/end Pat O’Connor likes his mother’s South Pacific cooking.

“Pat O’Conner is a picky eater,” Vea said. Vea added O’Conner orders everything from burgers to sandwiches plain with no condiments. But O’Connor wolfed down Vea’s mother’s cooking.

* Vea’s nickname for Ndamukong Suh is “Big Girl,” which Suh doesn’t like.

On Tom Brady coming to the Bucs, Vea said it wasn’t what he expected. Vea thought a superstar like Brady would want everything done his way, just so. The opposite is true he said.

“He didn’t come here and [make] changes things like most expected,” Vea said. Folks at One Buc thought Brady would “come up here and change … everything so that it would cater to him. He’s not that type of guy. He’s a very humble guy.

“He came up here and he knew everybody on the team. I’m walking around the locker room and he says, ‘What’s up Vita?’ and I’m like, ‘I never met you yet. I never introduced myself to you. How does he know my name?'”

Vea admitted he and Rakeem “Nacho” Nuñez-Roches like to run smack on Brady and both the offense and the defense are always chirping at each other in practice.

One practice Vea found himself with Nacho on the sidelines in goal-line practice and they were giving it to Brady really good.

“We’re talking smack to try to throw him off and annoy him,” Vea said.

Vea then explained once in practice the defense was getting after the offense and on third-and-goal Brady overthrew a receiver. Vea and Nacho jumped all over Brady. Loudly.

“On the very next play, Tom Brady throws a freaking touchdown” and Brady turned to them and said, “‘Why don’t we just quiet down a little bit over here?'”


Overall Vea said Brady carries himself like a regular guy, despite being an international superstar with a supermodel wife.

“He’s very competitive,” Vea said. “He’s really humble. You would never think that coming from a guy like that. But he’s very humble, even with all the accolades that he doesn’t have to be humble. But it is cool to see a guy still that humble but still competitive.”

As for Vea not yet making a Pro Bowl, Vea said that’s squarely on him.

“This is a production-based business,” Vea said. “You have to be producing. People say the things I do help out the team.

“But at the end of the day, for myself at least, when I think about it, I think there are a lot of plays I leave out there. there’s a lot more meat on the bone or making plays rather than taking double-teams.”

As for often getting double-teamed, Vea said in so many words, bring it on.

“I feel like I can beat double-teams.”

Schefter then said one reason Vea has yet to be in a Pro Bowl is he is too humble and he needs to predict on his podcast that the Bucs will repeat. Or at least beat New Orleans.

Vea said no way would he do that. The Bucs first have to beat the Saints on Sunday before they can think of anything in the future, he said.

Good answer!

20 Responses to “Vita Vea Talks Tom Brady, Pro Bowl And Playing Running Back”

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Next time we’re on the 2 yard line, they should pitch it to Vita and let him run it in who’s going to stop him with a head of steam?

  2. Sparky Says:

    Love that he didn’t take Schefter’s bait. Although Schefter was right. BUt obviously Vita is more worried about winning Super Bowls than Pro Bowls.

  3. Leighroy Says:

    Agreed jmark. Less VV the blocker and more VV the runner. I think we’ll see it eventually when the opposition ramps up, but not yet.

  4. CharlieB Says:

    Love that take about Brady. How can anyone on the team truly let their ego get in the way when the greatest QB to ever play is humble and hungry?

  5. David Says:

    Vea is a beast.

    The problem is too many people voting for D lineman look at Saks and nothing else.
    Vita opens the middle up for the linebackers to get more tackles.
    He takes double team so the edge rushers get sacks.
    He completely stuffs the run anywhere near him.
    He consistently pushes the pocket into the QBs face so they’re flushed towards the edge rushers.

    He absolutely should make the pro bowl

  6. Miller5252 Says:

    Big Vita is going to be one of those very rare talents. He has fun but know when it’s time to ruin the offenses day. Hope he can find a way to stay healthy and increase his work load. I’m really looking forward to see him against the colts lineman, should be a really good indicator where Vea is at.

  7. AL121976 Says:

    Good read. I am surprised the medicated “realist” hasn’t chimed in w his/her negative words yet.

  8. ModHairKen Says:

    Big Girl?

  9. webster Says:

    So joe you are telling me thats another player INSIDE the bucs locker room who says that Brady did not come in changing things? I mean what will some of these posters do who continuously say that Brady told BA to get out of the way etc. During the interview Vea said “I know many on the outside thinks he just came in changing things but it is not like that.” You mean to tell me licht and BA and BL etc know what they are doing all along? I mean I am shocked after only hearing it for oh a million times now.

  10. Joe Says:


    As always, if you don’t want to read a story, no one is forcing you to. There are literally tens of thousands of other stories you can read on this site. Not sure what you’re trying to stir up with this.

    Joe thought Vea was clear in saying he (and possibly others) thought and expected Brady wanted to be coddled and everyone had to honor every wish and demand. That didn’t happen and he’s not like that.

    Not sure why this disturbed you?

  11. HC Grover Says:

    Zonk and Gronk. Yes, put him in at Fullback.

  12. Buczilla Says:

    Great story, thnx Joe’s.

  13. Listnfrmafar Says:

    After seeing Vea in high school I want to see him run one in to. Even if he gets stopped someone on the opposing side will wish they didn’t hit him. I know Vea is big but Bog Girl, Suh has arms like tree trunks, I may have to give it to Suh in a fisty cuffs match.

  14. gp Says:

    He who plays in “super bowls” doesn’t “play” in pro bowls eh?
    Who want’s to be ‘second runner up’?

  15. gp Says:

    I think you’re describing the ‘irresistible force’ -vs- ‘immovable object’ argument.
    I know I wouldn’t put money on it!

  16. webster Says:

    Joe you TOTALLY misunderstood what i was saying. Im fully aware that brady does not want to be coddled or have his every demand met. My point was to all of the posters who continuosly come on this site and say brady came in here and started dictating to licht and BA and BL what to do is false as vea pointed out and how lesean mccoy pointed out a couple weeks ago ie people within the walls of one buc place. These posters belittle the what Licht and BA has done as if the ONLY reason why the bucs win is because brady is running everything. THAT WOULD BE FALSE!!!! Sorry you did not get the sarcasm.

  17. Mike from Japan Says:

    Webster, those posters are not wrong. Tom completely changes the Bucs in a subtle and respectful way, that is why other players are surprised.

    Joe posted several changes in this site such as
    -less penalty
    -increase plus TO
    -more presnap moving
    -lesser risk when receivers are covered
    -more throws to the TE and the backs
    -strictly buy in the coach even he does not like that play much. He only changes at some critical time
    -giving technical tips to teammates even for defenders

  18. webster Says:

    Mike from japan you can play dumb if you like or you can read my comments. I am talking about the posters who says brady tells arians and licht what to do. Those posters who say BL is not the play caller when all interviews from inside the locker room says otherwise. So you can miss me with all the “intangibles” brady brings etc. This story is about brady and his “demands” and not intangibles. Try to keep up BTW….Suh and jpp and sherman, gronk, ab etc have all brought intangibles to the table for the rest of the team to feed off of too

  19. E.V. Says:


  20. Mike from Japan Says:

    Webster, why are you angry? I don’t know where you read. BA does not micromanage the team, so I think that those posters are not completely wrong. Byron even told that he did not know why he could not use play actions, however, he is honest and humble to learn from TB.