Vita Vea Is A Monster But Was It Ndamukong Suh Who Transformed The Bucs’ Defense?

May 29th, 2022

“Damn Vea, remind those bums on radio I played too.”

Yesterday, Joe brought details of a man’s grade of the Bucs’ 2018 draft.

And that man is SiriusXM Radio personality and former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik.

Dominik, co-hosting “The Blitz” with Bruce Murray, went over various 2018 drafts including the Bucs’. And while Dominik gave it an “A-” grade, he added maybe he was being “too nice.”

Murray scoffed at Dominik’s confession. Murray thought Dominik’s grade should have been higher.

“You think you are being generous?” Murray began. “I think you are being tough. I gave them an ‘A.’ Vita Vea, the No. 12 overall pick, steps in and transforms this defense into one of the best run defenses in the National Football League, when he is on the football field. They have gotten to the point that nobody tries to run against this team.

“Now, I know that the second pick didn’t work out (Ronald Jones). For a little while it looked like it would as he was sharing the backfield duties in 2020 and kind of fell off a cliff in 2021. And I know that M.J. Stewart doesn’t get the big deal.

“You get Carlton Davis with the 63rd pick. You get Alex Cappa who becomes a fixture on the offensive line getting paid in Cincinnati and you get a guy [Jordan Whitehead] who gets a multi-year deal.

“Seven guys are getting paid and one guy retired. Maybe he would be getting paid if he didn’t retire from the National Football League? And you have [four] guys with multi-year deals. To me, this is an “A” Mark.”

Joe likes Vita Vea a whole lot and doesn’t dismiss his impact on the defense. But Joe thinks Murray needs to pull back on the reins a bit here. Slow down.

Yes, Vea is dominant when on the field. Joe is glad Murray qualified that statement. But let’s not dismiss a guy who Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht signed to help transform the Bucs defense. That was Ndamukong Suh.

Former Bucs guard and current popular local sports radio personality Ian Beckles swears that it was Suh who transformed this defense. Of course, Joe is convinced Suh replacing long-time Beckles’ piñata Gerald McCoy heavily influences Beckles’ belief. But it is true. Suh was a big factor.

In the Super Bowl-winning season of 2020, Vea was knocked out against the Bears with a broken ankle the fifth game of the season.. He didn’t return until the NFC Championship. The Bucs led the NFL in rushing yards allowed (1,289) and yards per carry (3.6). And 11 of those games were without Vea, or nearly 70 percent of the season.

While Vea is a monster, no question. But Joe thinks Murray is really overlooking Suh.

And currently, Suh is unsigned. That worries Joe.

38 Responses to “Vita Vea Is A Monster But Was It Ndamukong Suh Who Transformed The Bucs’ Defense?”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:


  2. Buczilla Says:

    I agree and we need Suh.

  3. Dman Says:

    – VV was a great pick and is a dominant player.
    – Suh transformed the defense.
    – VV back for the Super Bowl run elevated the D and helped Shaq get sacks.
    – Suh needs to resigned for this season.
    – GMC was a puss.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    They needed to play with each other

  5. OBVIOUS Says:

    If you’re a guy whom IS KNOWN by one name in a legendary sport such as football, , then you Are, without a doubt, a Legend. Before there was a Vea,

    “There was SUH!”



  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It took two to tango…..

  7. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    IMHO, we need BOTH of them~!

  8. Cobraboy Says:


    It’s a team sport.

    Need both.

  9. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Replacing Suh with a rookie seems dangerous.

  10. ModHairKen Says:

    Vita Vea Is A Monster But Was It Ndamukong Suh Who Transformed The Bucs’ Defense?


  11. ModHairKen Says:

    Pay the man.

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    Josh Allen bills qb is in the conversation

  13. MadMax Says:

    We actually traded down about 5 spots and stil landed him (Vea).

  14. Dooley Says:

    Overlooking Suh, Devin White, LVD, Barrett, Gholston, Nacho, a healthier JPP, and anybody else who contributed on the front 7. I get we’re talking about individuals, but it’s the sum of different parts of the defense that made them so formidable against the run.

  15. K2 Says:

    I agree we need another monster in the middle. Hopefully, Hall will do his part..but we need another solid guy. I still think we will have a late addition…just not sure it’s Suh.

  16. ChiBuc Says:

    Joe, great take. A true fan’s perspective, not just the blathering of yet another talking head. It also pleases me to realize that Dominik’s name/voice doesn’t completely put you under his glad-hand dart-throwing dice rolling decision making spell. I know you are a strong proponent of listening to the past to gain insight into the present/future. I can appreciate that since you chop sentences from the wood of NFL lies and deception, but you will never convince me that Domonik (and likely Christensen) have been anything more than the entitled benefactors of proximity, charm, and luck…(and possibly the owners of some compromising pictures of ownership and the commish)

  17. Wild Bill Says:

    Vea is a force against the run. His weakness is his endurance. Definitely an impact player but needs a good backup guy to spell him. Suh would be ideal at the right price. Great rotation pair. Bucs should offer Suh a 2 year deal at a reduced price and less work load.

  18. ChiBuc Says:

    Vea’s “weakness” is small joints and a large weight load. Compare to Suh’s cankles, gauntlets, and hint of a neck.

  19. Hail2dabucs Says:

    Man , do you guys remember the $HIT show of a player that wore #93 that suh replaced on our dline? Suh came in and immediately showed how that number is supposed to look like . Guys , re watch games , focus on suh , guy is a monster and we could still use what he brings to the table . Geraldine was the face of the den of depression , the boy named suh makes other teams depressed.

  20. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Someone has to play the other 50% of snaps

  21. SOEbuc Says:

    Team sport.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Currently, Suh is unsigned. That worries Joe’.

    Worries me too Joe. No question that Vea is a force in the middle, but he’s not nearly the force that Suh is. In his 4 years, Vea has played in 50 out of 65 games (77%) and has been on the field for a tad less than 50% of the Bucs’ defensive snaps in that timeframe. He has 106 combined tackles in those 4 years (roughly 2 per game), and a grand total of 50 pressures (1 per game).

    In his 3 years with us, Suh has played in all 49 games (100% availability) and has been on the field for just a tad less than 75% of the Bucs’ defensive snaps in that timeframe. He has 112 combined tackles (2.3 per game), and a grand total of 72 pressures (1.5 per game). Those seem like the better stats to me, mostly because of Suh’s better availability. Re-sign Suh; his physical presence, leadership & attitude set the tone for this DLine.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    SUH. SUH.


  24. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Vea needs to be able to play a greater majority of the snaps to be considered as changing a defense. He’s good, but clearly carrying too much weight, imho.

  25. Mike Johnson Says:

    Suh will be missed greatly. He did a lot of things that the stat sheet does not show. Who will replace his attitude which makes us tough? Every team needs a Suh.

  26. Bucaroo Says:

    How can Suh miss out on a chance to take it to the Rams?

  27. Goatfarmer Says:


  28. Bojim Says:

    Yep. It was Suh.

  29. #8 Says:

    Goatfarmer is a genius!


  30. Bob in valrico Says:

    SUH has knack for being around the ball. He has one forced fumble, 5 fumble recoveries, and the instincts to rumble for 43 yards and two TD’s .

  31. steele Says:

    The answer is yes. But past tense. Suh’s effectiveness has markedly decreased with injuries and age.

    Who is going to transform this season’s pass rush? Crickets so far.

    Big new additions needed.

  32. PassingThru Says:

    SEC Rule 156: “Past Performance Is Not Indicative Of Future Results” which is the phrase that qualifies every mutual fund solicitation.

    To be fair, if the Bucs don’t sign Hicks, I hope they grab Suh, or a capable vet. I don’t trust a developmental rookie at DE.

  33. adam from ny Says:

    yes it was kong suh…

    get him back…

    he is the man

  34. ChiBuc Says:

    @steele, wtf are you talking about? What injury? Sure his snap-on has diminished some with age, but not at the expense of production. The guy has been a rock of health and consistency his entire career. Don’t fall into the lazy age evaluation trap. Surely, Brady has already debunked that fallacious argument for you.

  35. ChiBuc Says:

    Snap count*

  36. Dooley Says:

    Both played their part, but there are so many other factors that come into making our defense so stout against the run and a lot of it has to do with the collective more than it is any singular player. Suh’s probably one of the more cerebral DLmen we’ve had in awhile and Vea has been a force since day 1. So, I wouldn’t jump head long into playing the “who’s more important” game when both played their respective roles properly when they were available. Pretty well documented how close the two were since Vita was drafted, and I think it’s like asking who’s more important between the Sensei & pupil.

  37. Goatfarmer Says:


  38. ChiBuc Says:

    “both played their respective roles properly when they were available.” Indeed grasshopper, one cannot climb a mountain if they cannot get to a mountain. Suh has planted atop that peak for 12 yrs