Polarized Bucs Fans

November 23rd, 2021

Vita Vea on the sidelines last night.

Damn, Joe fired off a Tweet late in yesterday’s game that elicited a wide variety of responses from Bucs fans.

Joe even got two emails on the subject during the game.

One email called Joe a d-bag and the other went exactly the other way.

Here’s the offending Tweet:

Joe was not throwing shade at Vita Vea, just noting what seemed to be playing out before the eyes of every Bucs fan.

While Vea is an incredibly special talent, the Bucs have proven they can win without him. They went 10-3 last season, including two playoff wins, while Vea rehabbed his broken ankle. The Bucs also maintained one of the great run defenses in NFL history during Vea’s absence.

Simply stated, the Bucs’ depth at nose tackle, combined with Vea playing less than 60 percent of the defensive snaps when healthy, makes Vea a less valuable cog in the defensive machine than Sean Murphy-Bunting.

Murphy-Bunting appeared to single-handedly restore order and decency to the Bucs’ defensive backfield last night. And man, how the Bucs suffered mightily without him, turning to washed out Richard Sherman, third-stringer Dee Delaney and the fragrant one, Pierre Desir.

What a difference the return of a legitimate starting NFL corner made on the field. It was eye-opening.

Anyone think the Bucs defense has been better this year with the return of Vea?

So yes, Joe thinks Murphy-Bunting is more valuable to this Bucs roster. It’s an interesting barroom discussion, not Joe trashing a defensive tackle.

50 Responses to “Polarized Bucs Fans”

  1. BucBrady Says:


  2. Winny Testaverde Says:

    It’s an interesting take…Nacho-Librè & McClendon more than hold their own.

  3. BuccaneerButters Says:

    It is a good point Joe. Nacho is probably a starter on most teams in the league. I think this has more to do with finally having coverage for the pass rush to affect the qb, like BA has alluded to. So perhaps you’re correct. I think the defense will start looking like the SB Champs when everyone gets back, including Vea.

  4. ATLBuc Says:

    SMB made a considerable difference last night. Danny Dimes was forced to hold the ball on several occasions because of good coverage in our defensive backfield

  5. Anonymous Says:

    They both excel at their respected positions, but a madden rating for Vita, to me, would be like a 95. and SMB would be like an 85. Both starters, both very important. But our DT backups are very capable. Corner is a very important position, probably more so now that in the past. So this is a hard question to answer. Corner has shown to be hard to replace, and we have very capable DT reserves

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One of those somewhat irrelevant arguments…but, I’ll bite….think Vea has comparable backups & SMB doesn’t so edge goes to SMB

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    Open thread last night peeps were trashing SMB early on.

    You know who you are.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    Giants offensive line is a dumpster fire. Don’t base too much on that game. Gerald McCoy may have had a chance to have an impact on a game had he been out there.

    Yes, SMB looks all world compared to who we were trotting out there, but that isn’t saying a whole lot.

  9. Nathen Warden Says:

    I noticed this too. SMB might not be the number 1 corner but that crack you heard in the second quarter on one of his tackles has been missing all season and the secondary looked like the SB secondary from last year. He may not be as good as Davis but if I’m Licht, I’m payin the man at all cost…not the same for Vea. 100% with Joe on this one.

  10. Mort Says:

    It’s the difference in the delta between starter and backup. Meaning it’s not a reflection of SMB> Vea, but Nacho >>> Desir / Delaney and Injured Sherman

  11. PhillyBuc Says:

    Should hold this debate until after next weeks game. Colts will look to brawl our d-line. Will be tough game regardless of which Wentz shows up.

  12. Coburn Says:

    Nothing is ever quite that simple and it’s almost always a combination of many factors. SMB being back definitely helped, but so did playing Edwards at nickel (Cockrell was holding up ok, but Edwards is a ball hawk). Still I’d say nacho is better at his position than Cockrell is. Also while I give credit to our defense it tough to say how we would have done against a better team.

  13. Leighroy Says:

    It’s only the Giants.

  14. Sparky Says:

    When you consider the.dropoff between them and their backups, then yes SMB is the more valuable of the two. But Vita is something special. He’s the best NT in the NFL. I’m just glad we don’t have to choose between them.

  15. SC_BUCS_FAN Says:

    There are plenty of big men in the league that can pass rush/defend the run. There are not many defensive backs that can make eliminate one side of the field. I would put the overall value of Bunting ahead of the value of Vea. We have been successful w/o him. Know this is all hypothetical and no one should get their thongs in a wod over the tweet.

  16. PassingThru Says:

    It isn’t a matter of talent alone. Vita Vea is worth far, far more than SMB. The question is the quality of the NT backups versus the CB backups. Vita Vea’s backups (Nachos, McLendon) are pretty good players. SMB’s backups are slim pickings (career special teamers/street free agents). SMB is an average quality CB, but that’s miles and miles above the quality of his backups.

  17. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @”…So yes, Joe thinks Murphy-Bunting is more valuable to this Bucs roster…”
    The key fraze here is “Bucs roster” and the play calling. And Yes, when you compare these two positions, with DC Tooodd schemes, the secondary player become more valuable, if you lose one.
    But by no means the return of SMB can fix our D. The offence we beat last night, was a joke.
    Our D will have a chance to show “greatness” @ Indi, and then @ Falcons.
    Falcons had score 3 (THREE) points in last two games, let see how many they can score to our D!
    .. and you can’t compare apples to oranges, and if you want to: then Vita is a beast that can’t be found in the league right now.

  18. VSyl Says:

    Vita Vea is certainly better as a player, but SMB was just more needed with all our CB lack of depth

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Irrelevant comparison of 2 totally different positions. It’s like comparing a QB to a receiver (1 can’t excel without the other). Without a decent pass rush, Secondaries struggle. Without a competent Secondary, even outstanding DLines can’t get to a quick-release QB fast enough to prevent completions (we’ve kinda seen that already this season?).

    In any event, super glad to have SMB back. Hurry back Vea; we’ll need ya for sure against the Colts & Bills … and in the playoffs.

  20. Kentucky Buc Says:

    He won’t be more valuable against the Colts. Stop their run game and they are a below average team.

  21. Robert Says:

    I’ve said it a few times, and I’ll say it again.

    Nacho looks good!….

    Oh, love ya JPP, but time to turn over the reigns to JTS.

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    I agree Joe. I hope we don’t overpay for Vita when his next contract roles around. It would be sad to lose him but If he doesn’t give us a hometown discount let another team overpay for him.

    He has missed 19 games so far in 3.5 seasons. I would rather give big money to a better #1 corner plus keep Davis, SMB and Dean on the team.

  23. zzbuc Says:

    IMO is comparing apples with peaches…..Doesn’t make any sense……two different positions……Vita is extraordinary player SMB is not, average….But when you secondary is bad when SMB is back he shines….. Not because he is great is because the players who replaced him are bad…. And always will be an upgrade….

    I keep on saying despite yesterday’s good game our secondary is by far the weakest part of our roster….
    I will change my opinion when I see consistency and our secondary is not…..Good games and bad games…..

  24. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, correct, no story here!

  25. DoooshLaRue Says:

    It was the Giants.

    Let’s see what happens next week.

  26. Bobby M. Says:

    Is Vea the more effective run stopper?…..Definitely, but Suh in Vea’s position is a better pass rusher which seemed to create more havoc than we’ve seen the past few games. I don’t think SMB was that drastic of an upgrade, I think our d-line was more effective which makes the secondary’s job much easier.

    With all that said, it was Daniel Jones who was an incredible reach when he was drafted, hasn’t developed, is a turnover machine and simply isn’t a good starting QB. The Colts will be a great test for us…..Wentz can be very effective with a good running game which they have.

  27. Unmediated Pete Says:

    In the era that the NFL is in, with teams passing the ball more and more, I agree with joe. A good corner is just worth more that a great DT, like how a good QB (Derek Carr) is just more essential to a team than a great o lineman (Quenton Nelson). Although the better player is Aaron Donald, the more impactful/valuable player on the Rams defensive is Ramsey, being able to essentially get rid of WR1 or any area of the field. With Donald, you would obviously not want to run the ball in his direction or have him blocked 1v1 against a standard NFL o-lineman, but you can alleviate some of that pressure by calling things like RPOs and types of quick passing concepts or just run the ball away from Donald. Replace Donald with vea and Ramsey with SMB.

  28. buc15 Says:

    no Joe, nobody with any sense believes that.

  29. tampabuscsbro Says:

    I mean, at the position Vita is a better player. But this is the modern NFL where cornerback play matters much more then defensive tackle. So that is why SMB being back made that much of an impact. l

  30. Bucamania Says:

    Vea is special. SMB definitely helped though. Carlton would’ve been even better.

    JTS was wreaking havoc from the inside last night. Interesting move.

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It might only be the Giants but they did something we couldn’t do…beat the Saints in New Orleans

  32. Swampbuc Says:

    Joe has the results on his side. And let’s not say “oh it was only the Giants.”

    In the NFL, any team and show up and win a game over any other team. It’s happened all season. This Giants team came within a picked up PI call of beating us last season. It was relieving and heart warming to watch a thorough domination. Finally.

  33. PSL Bob Says:

    Not saying SMB’s return didn’t make a huge difference in the secondary, particularly with Davis still out. But as I recall Joe, you commented on several occasions last year that Vea’s return in the playoffs was probably responsible for our successful SB run. That seems pretty important.

  34. Joe Says:

    Vea’s return in the playoffs was probably responsible for our successful SB run.

    It was. Remember, there are two Joes here. 🙂

  35. DingleBerry Says:

    Everyone that has frequented this website knows that one of the Joes, almost assuredly the one who wrote this article and that tweet, has had a weird mental hang-up about Vita Vea pretty much ever since he was drafted.

    Nothing has changed.

  36. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    If everyone is healthy then Vea is more important than SMB …. But with how depleted the secondary is then yes SMB return was very much needed over Vea!! But all in all Vea makes a bigger impact and he makes the secondary look better because of the pressure he creates … Remember they were playing the GIANTS last night!! Not the Cardinals!!

  37. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @”…Remember they were playing the GIANTS last night!! Not the Cardinals!!…”
    Not the Rams!!
    Not the Cowboys!!
    Not the Packers!!
    Not the Saints!!
    and Not the Colts!!
    .. we going to play them this week.
    ..there is no logical reason for excitement on the D part, none so far.
    on the other side, the return of Gronk showed a big change on TB12 mood.

  38. RPK Says:

    “Some Bucs D-lineman can take double teams. Vea beats them.”

    That being said, this is a passing league. SMB is more important IMO. I can’t wait for Carlton Davis (playing in a contract year) to come back. All of a sudden, our secondary looks deep if Jamal Dean keeps improving. Praying Ali Marpet will be okay. He was playing at a Pro Bowl level, again. Go Bucs!

  39. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Exhibit A : Vita was out last night, SMB was in. The Bucs defense looked better.

    It’s common knowledge, 4 outta 3 people, struggle math, lol

  40. Buc king Says:

    Personally I think if you look at the current roster and depth we have I would agree with this Joe…we have 2 serviceable do that can do a good job in the middle are they world beaters like vea no.. is there a drop not much.. when you look at the back ups for the secondary it’s ugly when the bottle of cologne sherman and the other guy who name isn’t worth remembering are on the field all together it’s just atrocious.
    The bucs gambled and never try to aquire a dB other then sherman with all the secondary drama taking place…so yes smb value now to the team is more important for the regular season just off depth and his snap counts compared to veas…but vea is prob are top defender competing with white lvd Shaq n jpp.

  41. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    This isn’t really a good comparison because the rest of the d-line has been intact, whereas the secondary has had to play (and even start) 4th, 5th, 6th, and practice squad guys for much of this season.

  42. Bucsfanman Says:

    We’re deeper at DT than CB. The statement that SMB is “more valuable” than Vea is relative. For the sake of this discussion, I rate Joe’s statement “mostly true”!

  43. Destinjohnny Says:

    VV is top 5 at his position
    SMB is prob 40th

  44. cmurda Says:

    More importantly did anyone notice McClendon’s INT. Are we going to gloss over the fact that DT’s never catch picks. Ever. It’s so rare that I can almost defend Joe’s claim….Almost

  45. PSL Bob Says:

    SorryJack – I was going to make that same exact point. When you’ve got one position group that’s totally depleted, getting one of the starters back is going to have more of an impact than if you lose a starter in a group that’s otherwise healthy and pretty much in tact.

  46. 2020 The Year of The GOAT Says:

    We obviously have more depth on the dline… Than the secondary… Good to see SMB back … Stay healthy

  47. Buczilla Says:

    Cool argument Joes with some merit and I like SMB, but c’mon man. Vita is unique in the same way that Alstott was unique back in the day. Neither is a hall of fame player, but no one in the league smashes through double teams like Vea and no one trucked folks like Mike did during his playing days.

    SMB is a nice player and still growing, so maybe down the road this argument will be silly, but right now Vita is easily more valuable to us. Nacho is a solid player who would probably start on a bunch of teams, but he can’t do what Vita can. In the broadcast last night it was mentioned that our backup defensive tackles take on double teams, whereas Vea defeats them.

  48. Ash Says:


  49. Eddie Marz Says:

    Ok Joe think. It isn’t that SMB is move valuable but their thin in depth at that position. Vita Vea has better back ups so his absence is less noticeable. Their both needed and glad their on THE BUCS!

  50. Chris Says:

    It’s a different game with him out there. Lately, just about anyone seems to march down the field on us. Bend, don’t break. SMB reduced some of the bending. Imagine if Davis was back, and JPP not injured.

    This is what sustains my faith in the bucs this year. That same defense that dominated that superbowl is still on the roster.