Vita Vea’s Makeover

September 6th, 2022

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vita Vea.

For the past three years, Joe has been triggered about Vita Vea’s snap counts, or lack thereof.

Last year, after he dinged a knee in a loss at Washington and missed the Giants game in Week 12, was very much a part-time player. Yet he’s being well-compensated as a star full-time player.

Joe is unhinged that Vea is not on the field more often. Vea is very sensitive to this issue and when Ira Kaufman asked him this spring about snap counts, Vea was defensive and pushed back.

But the numbers are the numbers. And for the Bucs defense to play lights out, Vea simply has to play more.

Yesterday when discussing the 2022 team captains, Todd Bowles announced Vea is a captain and possibly shed light on why Vea was a borderline part-time player. You be the judge.

“He prepared very well, he had a good offseason,” Bowles said. “He came back in shape, he shed some weight. He’s been leading the film room charges and he’s become a leader on this team. I think that speaks a lot about him.”

So Bowles included in Vea’s attributes that he is in shape and lost weight.

Was Vea out of shape in 2021? Remember how then-Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians angrily called out Tyler Johnson for being out of shape in training camp? Arians never said anything (at least publicly) about Vea.

Was Vea too heavy last year to withstand the rigors of a 17-game schedule, plus the playoffs?

Though it is never spoken, Joe thinks Vea’s knee injury affected his snap counts. After his knee injury, Vea played less. Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences.

No matter how you slice it, Vea needs to be on the field more than he was last season.

16 Responses to “Vita Vea’s Makeover”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    The resident “Charging Rhino” needs to be on the field more.
    Vita is a guy O lineman hate to have to play.
    But the greatest ability is still “availability”.
    We all saw the Rams game in week 3 last year, while late in the game, Vita was on the sideline for so many plays.
    People on the JBF Game day thread were like, ‘Where is Vita?” Again, and again, play after play Vita was watching from the sideline, and the Rams were just eating up the clock, dominating the line of Scrimmage. That is when it became obvious that something was amiss with Vita.
    Vita is definitely one of my favorite players, but if he is on the sideline, not a lot he can do to affect the game.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  2. Buc4evr Says:

    Not too late to sign Suh. Vita is injury prone and I don’t see him lasting 17 games, same with Hicks.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Can remember hearing ‘Suck it up Buttercup’ more than once over my lifetime; I’m sure we all have. And yet that’s not always the answer from a long-term perspective.

    No question in my mind that Vea wanted desperately to be on the field more during that Rams game. Also convinced though that he was hurting; most likely that knee that got banged up mid-season. We all saw how our ‘ultimate warrior’ JPP performed last season with a bum shoulder (it didn’t work out all that well IMO). Vea’s performance probably wouldn’t have been much different than JPP’s if he’d forced himself onto the field more often with a bum knee.

    HOPEFULLY both Vea & Hicks can stay healthy this season. Sure would be nice though to have Ndamukong Suh on this all-in team as ‘insurance’ and to take some of the game-to-game defensive snaps. Sure would be nice.

  4. Mike pizzoli Says:

    You guys are doing #8’s work for him, I love when he leaves at the end of his posts “Suh”

  5. George Says:

    Vita is in good shape and will be a force to reckoned with.

  6. Biff Barker Says:

    Didn’t Ira think Vea going to drop off this season due to durability issues? Thought I heard that from the last podcast.

  7. Dooley Says:

    Sustaining two serious leg injuries about a year apart from each other might make playing nose tackle in the NFL a little difficult. Who’s to say this may be the healthiest Vea has been since 2019. Also, the 2 games he’s been carted off the field were against opponents we played down to between the Bears & Commanders and we lost both games. Healing & Rehab takes time, believing you’re healed takes a little bit more time from my experience.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need the fat boys to stay on the field… Vea & Hicks……they will be the key to our defense…..will free up our speedy LBs……..and spare our DBs…..

  9. Buc king Says:

    Vea is the man..kick tires on suh n gmc..
    Get a lg

  10. Bucs Win Says:

    Vita’s awesome but he needs to be on the field for more snaps per game than in the past. IMO

  11. Wild Bill Says:

    Would really like to see Suh back with the Bucs to rotate with Vita and Hicks.

  12. Craig Says:

    I would like to see Vita get 55% of the snaps, with Hicks getting the other 45%.

    That will keep a monster in the middle all the time. That will cause runs to get outside, where our outside linebackers will stop them.

    As long as White stays in his designated lane it will be a better than average defense. Nothing record setting, but good.

  13. #8 Says:

    Rotate in the Suh!!!

  14. Brandon Says:

    He’s fat, Tampa’s hot, we are often playing to protect leads and rushing the passer which is harder than defending the run (on linemen). There’s a ton of reasons the dude isn’t on the field for 70% of the snaps like you want. Keep him effective and don’t wear him down. Worn down players are more likely for soft tissue injuries.

  15. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    When Vea first came to us he appeared to be an overgrown kid as far as his personality showed. He spoke and acted like a “Big ol’ Teddy Bear”.

    I assume he has now grown into a true NFL professional or he would not have been paid so well and thus also have become a team captain.

    Let’s look for the longstanding pro-bowl/all-pro to emerge now. He can finally be the “Vita-Man-Beast” that some of us hoped for when he was drafted as our Nose Tackle in 2018.

    Go Bucs!

  16. steele Says:

    If you are the lead NT, you should be on the field 70% of the time.