Something Not Adding Up About Vita Vea’s Dropping Snap Counts

May 5th, 2022

Did an injury or conditioning limit Vita Vea’s snaps?

Joe understands folks want Vita Vea on the field more. You always want a guy that good on the field more.

There had to be a logical reason why Vea averaged 36 snaps a game in 2021. That’s barely over 50 percent. These Bucs coaches aren’t stupid and only stupid coaches don’t want good players on the field.

(Sorry, Joe will pass on using a cheap but accurate Lovie one-liner here.)

Joe is quite confident Team Glazer wants to know why they are paying Vea massive amounts of Team Glazer loot for working half the time.

So a couple of days ago, almost in a throwaway line, Bucs co-defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers admitted Vea needs to get on the field more and dropped the following.

“We’re on him about getting his condition a little better,” Rodgers said.

Say, what?

Now why exactly wasn’t Vea in better condition? That’s not just a little thing. Well, it could be that he wasn’t in condition because the same ankle he broke against Chicago in 2020 was barking.

Earlier in his press conference from One Buc Palace, Rodgers was speaking about Vea and how he battled back after his injury to return for the playoffs and had a monster postseason for the 2020 campaign. Then Rodgers added this about Vea’s play last year.

“You saw him get more and more confident as the season went on,” Rodgers said. “He was getting more and more confident. He was favoring it some. Coming back and knocking the rust off. But as the season finished I thought he was playing really well.”

Did you see any rust with Vea when he returned for the NFC Championship game for the 2020 season? He manhandled Packers All-Pro center Corey Linsley. And of course, Vea was part of that dominant Bucs defensive front that pummeled the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

This was after Vea missed 13 games including the playoff wins over Washington and the slimy Saints. Joe didn’t see rust.

In his two-game return fresh off a broken ankle in the 2020 postseason, Vea played 33 and 31 snaps, respectively. Last year in the playoffs, Vea played 28 and 34 snaps in the playoffs, respectively. The win over the Eagles was a blowout, so that’s likely why Vea’s snap count was so low.

Something tells Joe that Vea likely reinjured that ankle in some way. By Rodgers’ words, it would seem Vea reinjured it in preseason or very early in the season. However, Vea’s snap counts don’t suggest that.

Since he was inactive against the Giants in late-November, Vea had 40 snaps in a game just once the rest of the season. In the first four games of the regular season, Vea had over 40 snaps three times, including 54 against Dallas to start the season. You can see Vea’s game-by-game snap count breakdown here for last season.

Per archives, Vea was inactive for that Nov. 22 Giants game with a bum knee and he didn’t practice that week.

If you have an injured wheel, it’s kind of hard to stay in condition. There’s only so much you can do if you have to lay off your feet. Resistance swimming isn’t the same as tangling with a 300-pound guard play after play after play.

So was the ankle bothering Vea? Didn’t seem to early on just judging by the snap counts. His bum knee appears to have been a factor in dropped snap counts later in the season.

Rodgers added that he wants Vea to have more than four sacks each season.

“With his talent level, it should have easily been eight,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers also said that four sacks in a season for Vea should be the bare minimum for him.

26 Responses to “Something Not Adding Up About Vita Vea’s Dropping Snap Counts”

  1. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Let’s see.
    Is he kinda lazy? Is he just a bit overweight? 347 is a big, big load. Maybe 320 would work better? Maybe TB12 diet?

  2. HC Grover Says:

    These injuries will linger because of inflammation. It is not easy to rehab them to as good as new condition and some never totally heal.

  3. Tim Says:

    A big part of that inflammation is all that extra weight he carries around every day. Just like Bucfan said, losing some of that weight could work wonders for any rehab going forward.

  4. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Does he like avacados?

  5. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    The big green ones are good plain outta the skin with a spoon

  6. Dman Says:

    D line is the current hole on the team.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    To state the obvious, superstars making the big bucks don’t do you a bit of good sitting on the bench.

    Vea’s weight was listed as 347 lbs … when we drafted him. I’d bet anyone his weight has fluctuated by at least 20-25 lbs since he’s been a Buc. And yes Tim, inflammation can have a huge impact on breathing & endurance when you’re overweight. Losing 10% of his weight would work wonders for his ankle & knee injuries.

  8. Hodad Says:

    We’ll be drafting another NT next season. I like our second round guard, think he’s going to be a good player. When you take into consideration Vea’s injury history, and inability to play more than 40 snaps a game, maybe we should’ve doubled down on the D line, and taken the kid from U Conn.

  9. Biff Barker Says:

    Time to go back to the Suh chef and skip La Teresita.

  10. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Just part of life as a true NFL big man. A 100% healthy and in shape Vea is something we’ll probably see very little of. But the dude is still a beast and I’m certain he’s giving his all when on the field.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I believe he should have to run extra laps……knock off about 20 lbs….

    The avocados were a good idea…..big green ones with a bit of salt and pepper……breakfast, lunch and dinner……suck it up fat-boy.

  12. Beeej Says:

    He reminds me of that guy on the Replacements who ate the eggs

  13. Bucaroo Says:

    More “mystery” from One Buc Place. This might rank right up there with JR Sweezy.

  14. Cho Says:

    I think it’s a complex situation. You want your best guys healthy for the playoffs, so I agree on administrating their snaps throughout the season. In the playoffs, however, your best guys need to be playing at least 80% of the snaps.

    I think this can be extrapolated for Brady. I don’t know if he ever threw more passes in his career than he did last season. That’s why he was beat up. Our offseason moves on offense, especially in the draft, seem to revolve around running the ball more, which I like. Let’s also get Kyle Trask in there in garbage time, to prepare him and for the team to know if he can be starter. I don’t know why Brady was playing into the 4th in the games against Miami, Carolina, Philadelphia, and still throwing.

  15. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    More than likely while waiting for the ankle to heal Vea put on weight and lost muscle in his legs. It takes a long time to get that leg muscle back when babying an ankle.

    He may have came back to early and caused ligament damage. Or maybe Vea has some nerve damage. In personal experience I broke the Tibia and Fibula the doctor tells you the bones are healed. You can freely use the leg again. At the very least Soft tissue wise after being off the leg for so long the muscles are emaciated and the ligaments are tight. Very easy to reinjure and cause longterm or permanent damage.

  16. Lamarcus Says:

    Well maybe he’s not on his gam

  17. Joe Says:

    Time to go back to the Suh chef and skip La Teresita.

    Joe might want to try that himself. The No. 13 combo is sssooo good.

  18. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    This is why they should have picked Travis Jones at 33 or 57. Goedeke probably would have been there at 91, and White definitely would have been there at 133.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    I care about what Vea does this season. You can’t change the past and dwelling on it is futile. The defense had a ton of problems all season long.

  20. Cleanhouse Says:

    I hope these Vea articles are part of your campaign to bring back Suh- because in my opinion he is the heart and soul of our D Line and it is extremely shortsighted- (lost decade short sighted) to not move heaven and earth to bring him back

  21. SOEbuc Says:

    The site of Tristan Wirfs going back into the LAR playoffs on crutches was extremely stupid. That’s a site of how much lack of confidence they have in their backup oline.

  22. Aaron Says:

    He is a big fat lazy buc lol

  23. Jordan Says:

    The whole team except Brady and Gronk was kind of lazy last year

    Success is a horrible teacher in many ways. We will see a hungrier team this year again.

  24. MadMax Says:

    Lay off of Big V…he’s still dealing with his ankle….damn!

  25. MadMax Says:

    I hate you mf’rs trying to come down on him like that….yall dont know!!!!!

  26. steele Says:

    It’s always dicey relying on this kind of a lineman. Too heavy, too fat, massive risk to joints. They are going to have to make some moves to replace him, and get ready for it.