The Crazy-Good Facts On Vita Vea

August 11th, 2022

Hey Titus, how good is Vita Vea?

One reason Joe is not hyperventilating into a paper bag (yet) about Robert Hainsey possibly starting at center for Ryan Jensen is who the guy practiced against all last year.

Hainsey, the 2021 center on the Bucs’ scout team, went mano y mano in pads nearly every week facing the overgrown fire hydrant on two feet known as Vita Vea. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle is a monster.

Unfortunately, the Bucs close practices to media in the regular season aside from the first 30 minutes, which is dudes warming up and maybe some position drills. That’s it.

Joe suspects Hainsey must have shown the Bucs something facing Vea behind closed doors. Otherwise, coaches and suits wouldn’t be supporting Hainsey so vehemently now. And given that Hainsey will have to face Vea nearly every day for a month of training camp, that should get Hainsey as prepped as he can be for the regular season.

If Hainsey has drawbacks, Vea will find them.

So how good is Vea at rushing the passer? Bryan Knowles, typing in the Football Outsiders 2022 Almanac, makes the case that Vea may be the best pass-rushing tackle in the NFL.

Vita Vea’s 10.1% pressure rate was eighth among defensive tackles, and most of the people ahead of him were 3-techniques like Aaron Donald or Chris Jones, not nose tackles.

Yeah, banging heads with a center and likely getting double-teamed, that’s a bit different than buys who can attack a gap.

Joe can sum up feelings on Hainsey thusly: If Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht thinks he is ready and Bucs coach Todd Bowles thinks he is ready, and the assistant coaches think Hainsey is ready, then Joe is OK with it.

The Bucs have built quite a bit of street cred the past couple of years. When it comes to the offensive line, Joe trusts the Bucs.

18 Responses to “The Crazy-Good Facts On Vita Vea”

  1. WVBuc Says:

    Everything that is being reported about the Center position for Tampa Bay can be whittled down to one sentence.

    “The Bucs will plan on using Ron Hainsey at Center unless TB12 requests a change.”

    I still enjoy reading the updates and opinions realize there is exactly only one opinion that truly matters.

  2. Kody Says:

    The real question isn’t whether or not Hainsey should be the new starter, it’s what’s the contingency plan if he does and he gets hurt. What then!?

    If the Bucs are vulnerable anywhere it’s their interior OL. Really think they should be going after one or two vets like Tretter to provide depth so they have insurance against further injuries.

  3. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Past couple years joes. Ali marpet was more than a few years n same with Donny. These guys bin building a legit offensive line for awhile now. Hainsey will have his up n downs for sure but if they aren’t going out to get a replacement for Jensen then they feel like they can take care of this in house which is what good teams do

  4. Beeej Says:

    I’m thinking the plan is to hope Hainsey stays healthy until Jensen is back

  5. Georger Says:

    Does everyone forget that Hainsey was a 3rd round draft pick a day 2. The plan was for him to take over the center position. If Tom doesn’t come back the Bucs let Jensen walk. Hainsey is the center of the present and the future.

  6. DG060 Says:

    So who’s going to get carted off the practice field today? I didn’t hear of ANY dolphin injuries yesterday. It’s ALWAYS us. I think they should FIRE whoever the current health and conditioning coach is and hire Brady’s right hand man Alex Guerrero.

  7. BucsfanFred Says:

    Gage tweaked a hamstring and Hainsey got a cramp. Hardly MASH unit type stuff.

  8. Bird Says:

    Im glad vea got some better weight on him this year with dieting. Instead of 8 meals a day he dropped to 7 😂

    He just got the big contract so more snaps and more responsibility and higher expectations. Think he will have great year …if he stays healthy

    And Cant wait to see vea next to hicks in middle. I realize it wont be a ton of snaps a game but just think how opposing olines will handle?

  9. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    “If Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht thinks he is ready and Bucs coach Todd Bowles thinks he is ready, and the assistant coaches think Hainsey is ready, then Joe is OK with it.”

    Joe, are you sure you don’t want to listen to all the retired coaches and GMs who regularly opine on your website?

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    People really do need to calm down a bit. Sure, Hainsey is not Ryan Jensen. But, if memory serves, we had the human turnstile Kenyatta Walker at tackle and won a SB!
    The mere mention of Julius Peppers was enough to cause Walker to curl up in the fetal position. Memories!
    Hainsey starting? Not concerned.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All the coaches, Licht, Joe, you, me and Hainsey can all think he’s ready……what Brady thinks is what matters.

  12. #8 Says:

    Guys, in case you forget.


  13. lambeau Says:

    If going against Vita Vea hasn’t given them enough intel, I’m sure going against Miami this week will tell them whether they need to pick up a free agent.

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    It’s what Kody said. Losing Jensen might not be fatal with Hainsey stepping in, but if someone else goes down it’s 2014 Bucs offensive line all over again. Tretter or someone for depth.

  15. Infomeplease Says:

    Hainsey is “the man” until he’s not!! I can’t wait for Saturday! Any football us better than no football!

  16. IrishTony Says:

    Honestly I would be more concerned if we lost a tackle. I re-watched that Rams game and the pocket was constantly collapsing. All these experts talk about Brady’s susceptibility to pressure up the middle but he’s good at side stepping to where the protection happens to be. Plus they have Mason and Stinnie who’s also good in pass pro. Go back and watch Stinnie’s play in 2020. He was quite capable.

  17. Buczilla Says:

    I agree Joe. I fully trust the best gm in the league, who’s special ability is finding kick a$$ offensive linemen. Add to that our 75.2 trillion coaches, that also happen to be damn good and you’ve got one hell of a formula for success.

  18. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    Okay, but who is Hainsey’s backup?