Will Gholston Dares Opponents Not To Double-Team Akiem Hicks And Vita Vea

August 10th, 2022

“Ira, the d-line can be magic. Just like you had with Muriel Burkowitz.”

It sounds like Bucs veteran defensive lineman Will Gholston is Dallas-ready.

Or at least, he’s ready for the Cowboys offensive line to try a stupid stunt.

Gholston spoke after practice yesterday and was asked about the heavyweight WWE tag-team of Akiem Hicks and Vita Vea tangling with opponents’ offensive lines. Gholston basically dared teams try to cover these guys one-on-one.

If some team is foolish enough to do that, he said, he Bucs will make “magic” on the defensive front.

“I’m excited about it because that’s a heavy load, [Hicks] and Vita [Vea] for sure,” Gholston said. “I know they have to double them, and if they don’t double them, it’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be magic – going to make some magic out there.

“[Those] guys are huge, and I love it. It helps you bring a bit of tenaciousness to your game – add a little bit – because you see how physically dominating those guys are, so you want to do the same thing. I see it down the line now and so does everybody in that room.”

This just gets Joe absolutely fired up. If Hicks and Vea are getting teammates foaming at the mouth, Sundays should be damn fun and opposing quarterbacks are going to be sore as hell the next day.

Remember how choke artist Aaron Rodgers damn near quit when he was being abused by Ndamukong Suh in a home game against the Packers in 2020? That’s what Joe envisions here when teams think they can get away with single coverage on Hicks and/or Vea.

After those quarterbacks take a few beatings to the ribs, they’ll stop wanting to line up behind center

Enjoy the latest Ira Kaufman Podcast. Ira shares all kinds of quality nuggets from One Buc Palace and more.

25 Responses to “Will Gholston Dares Opponents Not To Double-Team Akiem Hicks And Vita Vea”

  1. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Hmm… Could it be Hicks gets beat up and Vea to a lesser degree and his limited snap count be a by product of them constantly being doubled and sometimes triple teamed? And could it possibly imply they expect them to stay healthier because there is no way you can commit five guys to just Hicks & Vea?

  2. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    Please explain your caption, Joe.

    After a cursory search, I’m no closer to understanding your reference.


    p.s. Your training camp coverage has never been better, thanks a ton!👍👍

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Sounds like both Vea and Hicks have been on the DLine at the same time during practices. And in those instances, it’s easy to agree with Will … you can’t run against those two & you can’t block them unless you double-team them.

    That’s fine in practice, but once we get down to 53 man roster, getting the 2 of them on the field at the SAME TIME in games will be a lot harder. Bucs’ defense was on the field for 1093 def plays last season, and it’ll probably be about the same this year. So even if Vea & Hicks EACH got say 700 def snaps this season, that’d only cover roughly 60% of the defensive plays. Seems illogical that Todd Bowles would accept 40% of the plays with NEITHER one of them on the field.

    Personally I’d expect that they’d BOTH be on the field for someplace between 25%-50% of the defensive plays in any particular game (situation dependent?). And that’s IF they can BOTH stay healthy and get the assumed 700 def snaps each this season. Last season Vea was healthy for 16 games & got 607 def snaps. Hicks only got into 9 games for 304 def snaps, although the year before he did MUCH better (15 games for 795 df snaps). Here’s hoping we see the 2020 Akiem Hicks this season & that Vea can add another 100 or more def snaps.

  4. Buc4evr Says:


  5. Beeej Says:

    SOUNDS like Gholston is implying Hicks provides a huge upgrade over LAST year’s model

  6. Ausgust 1976 Buc Says:

    Sounds great, but Hicks has to be able to stay on the field, injuries have derailed him a lot the last couple of years. He is older, so it is likely that he will miss games again. But I hope Hicks can somehow stay on the field, he is needed.

  7. Ausgust 1976 Buc Says:

    As of right now

    SUH > Hicks until Hicks proves he can at least stay on the field.

    SUH has never missed a game.

    Hopefully Hicks is an upgrade, but that is a BIG MAYBE. lol

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  8. Hodad Says:

    So if Hainsey and whoever has been lining up at LG are holding their own against these two I guess our O line is something special too. Hard to find a D line better to get these guys ready. The games should seem easy.

  9. Bird Says:


    Have you not been reading camp summaries. The defense is giving it to the offense most days and multiple sacks confirmed each day if guys were actually allowed to sack brady and company

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … Also sounds like it’s hard to block 2 behemoths like Vea & Hicks, much less run against them. That’s not the issue; the issue is that they won’t both be on the field at the same time every play. Not even close to that. And if I were an OC and saw them both on the DLine at the same time, I’d be running a hurry-up offense to wear them both out quickly & keep the Bucs from substituting.

    And as far as Hicks being a HUGE upgrade over Suh goes, sorry but their career stats don’t bear that out. Hicks had 3 excellent years (all in Chicago) where he got over 6 sacks per year (2016-2018). Every other year in his 11-year career he got 4.5 sacks or less (he now has 40.5 sacks in 11 years). Those 3 years were also his best (by far) in terms of QB Hits, and the reason is that he was HEALTHY (he got a bunch of def snaps each year, and didn’t miss any games). He also got his most QB Hits in those 3 years (he has 111 QB Hits in his 11-year career). Oh and Chicago had some pretty good DLineman for him to work with in those years (Mack, Goldman, Floyd among others). That helps too.

    Suh’s had 6 or more sacks in 6 of his 12 years (he has 70.5 sacks in his career). He’s also got almost DOUBLE the QB Hits that Akiem has (212 vs 111, even though their careers are almost as long). I think the difference has been that Suh is an Ironman who stays healthy (only missed 2 games in his entire 12-year career, versus Hicks who’s missed 22 games in his 11-year career, the vast majority of them in the past 3 years.

    HUGE upgrade? I guess it would be … to those who keep spouting the same tired line that Suh’s performance fell dramatically last season, and who rely on sourced like PFF grades to prove their point (unless it doesn’t of course, which is often the case). But then again, in today’s world if you say something loud enough and often enough, it seemingly becomes the truth (especially to those who aren’t willing to do their own searching for the truth).

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    Hicks has proven that he is injury prone and can’t stay on the field. I understand that the Bucs don’t want to pay Suh, but they don’t need make up stories that Hicks is a better player because if he is anything like the last couple of years he is not better than Suh. I would be surprised if Hicks makes it past 6 games. Coupled with Vea’s injury history we could be in trouble by mid season.

  12. #8 Says:

    Depth. Rotate. Its a circle, not a triangle.

  13. TBChucky Says:

    Use Nacho and Hall and rotate the hell out of the DTs. Hopefully that’ll help keep them all fresh and healthy.

  14. AlvaFan Says:

    I replayed the opener against Dallas last year and you know who really saved Dak Prescott time and again? Elliot!! He picked off every blitzer that made it through the line. I hope the coaches have an answer for him cause our DB’s got toasted. Especially Dean who was picked on repeatedly after SMB left with the dislocated elbow. We had numerous players with shots at Prescott who was hampered by his ankle injury but Elliot stood by Dak’s side like a bodyguard. Maybe that’s his true value now cause he didn’t do much in the run game

  15. mark2001 Says:

    Sad to say it, but at this point in time in our lives, the biggest double team concern Ira and I likely have is someone double teaming our sandwich while we are trying to eat it or our Big Storm beers.

  16. mark2001 Says:

    Don’t you think if Suh were willing to sign for rotational player money, that he could easily be two or three places by now?

    I honestly think he is waiting for some starting DT to go down among the 32 teams, and then step in for starter money. He has always been somewhat of a mercenary when it comes to such things. Why think of him someone other than what he has always been?

  17. D-Rok Says:

    It seems to me the most value of having Hicks and Vea together on the field is during short-yardage and goal-line situations. Good luck trying to move 700 pounds of man-meat 1 yard off the line to get a TD.

  18. Joe Says:

    Please explain your caption, Joe.

    Ah, you don’t listen to Ira’s pod, do you? 🙂

    Regular listeners to Ira’s pod know the reference well.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Mark2001 … Suh has played for 4 teams in 12 years & Hicks has played for 4 teams in 11 years. Guess they’re both ‘mercenaries’. OR they’re both pretty good businessmen. Whatever.

    And you may be right about his waiting. At 35 I wouldn’t want to go through another training camp either. I still remember when we picked up Steve McLendon from NY midway in 2020 when Vea went down. He didn’t get a bunch of stats but he did fill a need.

  20. Goatfarmer Says:


    Depth good, Injuries common.

    Vea plays less than half the snaps.

    Hicks is moody.


    My haiku for the day.

  21. mark2001 Says:

    Sure HIcks has such a history as well, Defense. And you know being a mercenary and good business can go hand in hand. Right?

    BTW, I reiterate. Hicks may end up hurt and be a poor choice, accordingly. I think the thought was that they just needed to increase the pressure inside with a guy Licht though could do it. And if we weren’t all in this year, I think we maybe would have looked at another young guy on the rise. I like Suh. But Licht rolled the dice. I hope he is right.

  22. 813bucboi Says:


    Let it go lol

    VV & AH will be on the field together more than you’ve been claiming lol….

    IMO that’s a good thing….gholston, nachos and the rookie can rotate inside….that’ll keep everyone fresh….

    Who do you want getting more snaps with VV?…nachos?….lol…


  23. Leighroy Says:

    This again huh…. The decision was made and working yourselves up in a froth over it day in and day out is tiring. Suh obviously wants too much money, so Hicks was signed and a rookie DT was drafted instead. Nacho is here for depth, for better or for worse.

    If further depth should be needed in the future, then they’ll just have to cross that bridge when they come to it. But fear and panic is not required in early August to over pay for diminishing returns from a 35 year old DT.

    If Suh is still so special as everyone claims he is, and willing to play for agreeable cost, then he’d be signed on any of the 12-15 contenders in this league and not still on the street.

  24. Goatfarmer Says:

    It shouldn’t be Hicks instead of Suh.

    It should be Hicks AND Suh.

  25. OBVIOUS Says:

    Bottom line we need the depth of a “first string” PRO if we can get it. There IS smoke concerning VV and Hicks and their CONSTANT injury problems. It’s absolutely Foolish to “HOPE” that one of them if not both of them stay out of the medical tent and be carted off the field on a cart waiving goodbye to the fans as they head into the locker room AGAIN…… It sure feels like “HOPING” that your knife that the handle keeps falling off, year after year is going to be enough to stop my shot gun that I’m bringing to this fight that has “never once” let me down, is just far better than “hoping” it gets you through “this fight” much less an ENTIRE season of battles. Point is clear but also hiring Suh while we still can, is a close analogy of the knife vs the gun because hiring Suh would make us TRULY unstoppable vs hoping that we don’t break down, while guaranteeing that we won’t break down!
    Isn’t that better? Far better? I mean, THAT’S EXACTLY what we’ve done for our receiving core is it not? Why stop there? Let’s do this thing right! For a few dollars more we pretty much GUARANTEE a spot in the BIG SHOW! Now isn’t the time to get cheap and it CERTAINLY isn’t the time to get cute! Only one PRO left out there that we KNOW that he’ll be STANDING when All is said and done.


    GO BUCS!