More Vita Vea At Defensive End, Please

November 15th, 2023

Future defensive end?

Joe already typed yesterday about how one of the coolest formations Bucs coach Todd Bowles (defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers?) used Sunday against Tennessee was a formation rarely seen.

How often do you see a 280-pound defensive end off the edge much less a 347-pound (365?) dude rolling in from the corner? Not often.

But on a clear passing down on third down in the first quarter of the Bucs’ win, Bowles (Rodgers?) had rookie defensive tackle Calijah Kancey lined up at left end, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Shaq Barrett both at tackle and Vita Vea at right defensive end.

The Titans were expecting Kancey and Vea to crash inside while Shaq and JTS would loop outside. But the opposite happened.

Vea got a sack on Will Levis, in part because Tennessee left tackle Andre Dillard was not fully prepared to tangle with a quick beast. Too often the Bucs are predictable, at least to Joe. Not on defense (though they can get that way) but certainly on offense.

Bowles seemed like he wanted to mix things up against the Titans. Why not? The Bucs were on a four-game losing streak. A loss might toasted Bowles days as head coach come January.

Joe loved seeing rookie edge rushers Markees Watts and YaYa Diaby getting snaps.

We all know by now what the Bucs have in JTS. Nice guy. Hustles. But he just isn’t it. In a very small sample size, Diaby and Watts have shown more promise. Get them on the field.

And yes, Joe would pay to watch Vea and Kancey line up more at defensive end and use their insane athletic abilities to confuse and outflank opposing tackles.

Joe’s of the mind that losing teams (the Bucs are 4-5) shouldn’t deviate much from things that actually work. If a losing team needs to steer clear of something, it’s players and plays that don’t get the job done.

22 Responses to “More Vita Vea At Defensive End, Please”

  1. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    And there you have the answer to the next simian rice. Who cares if it looks like a Sherman tank. As long as the qb hits the dirt it doesn’t matter now does it?

  2. mat Says:

    Unfortunately Vita Vea isn’t going to face Andre Dillard every game. He’s one of the worst LTs in football this season. That said I am a fan of crazy alignments on occasion.

    Remember when Vea and Suh were on the outside in 2020 as a changeup in the Super Bowl?

    It was cool to see. Also remarkable how effortlessly Vea sacked Levis (who’s a mountain of a man for a QB and jacked) with just one hand.

  3. rickym Says:

    I like it but it almost invites a run up the middle when the offense sees this formation in the future

  4. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Sign me up for Vita vs Trent Williams!

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    He should have stripped him.

    Playing DE will give him the chance to be blocked by 1 man instead of 2.

    The poor guy faces double teams all game.

    Playing DE is something he enjoys. And he deserves it for all the sacrifices he makes getting double teamed for 5 years!

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    Any new alignments where the Offense looks up after breaking huddle and says WTF? Plus new alignments fire up the synapses in the Defense’s brains. They play hungrier.

  7. Topcoach_78 Says:

    That’s an every once in a while thing, teams already scheming for that it’ll blow up in our faces next time! Smh

  8. Front Four Says:

    Snap count v Titans had Diaby getting more reps than JTS. Throw in a handful from Watts, Kancey getting into a rhythm and a few surprise formations and the speed of the D might surprise some people.

  9. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I agree with you Joe. That front can do many things. Let’s keep the opposing oline off balance.

  10. Boss Says:

    I want VV on the field not in the tub. Let’s not let a dumb OL man cause us to make dumb moves.

  11. Bucs13 Says:

    The Titans have the worse OL in the league next to the Giants

  12. Smashsquatch Says:

    Kancey did crash the inside on a stunt…

  13. Tim Says:

    More vea at rb fb te as well

  14. Fred McNeil Says:

    That’s an interesting idea. However, there’s a reason defenses align the way they do. Like all new tricks in the Not For Long, it will only work for a little while. If anyone can make it work Via and Kancey have the exceptional quickness and speed to do it.

  15. realistic-optimistic Says:

    There’s no reason this can’t be done multiple times every game. Either have him rush the edge or stunt inside. And when they double him on the edge, overload blitzers on the opposite side. Get creative!

  16. Fred McNeil Says:

    That one-armed sling-down was pretty to watch, wasn’t it?

  17. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Always a good thing to mix it up a bit. Gholston can help stuff up the interior if Vea moves to the end on occasion. You see guys like Mxxx Crosby and others line up all over the place looking for a weakness to take advantage of. Not a new thing or a crazy idea.

    I’m all in on doing some outside-of-the-box thinking. I still want to see Vea tote the rock on those must-have 3rd and 1s or goal-line plays. If you want that yard and NEED that yard, what are you willing to do to get it? 1st quarter, late in the game, whenever. Keep every drive alive.

    “Bbbbbut that’s a running backs job”. Baloney. Hooey. Hogwash. Fiddle faddle. How many guys would it take to stop him when he hits the line with a 3 to 4 yard running start? It’s practically unfair. Lol

  18. SlyPirate Says:

    OMG, that’s funny! The OT thought he could assist the OG with Vea running right at him. Vea just casually pushed him aside.

    I agree with Joe. Play Vea at DE.

  19. Mike Johnson Says:

    All I know is,Somebody else needs to play DE. Because Joe Tryon has been a failure.

  20. Fred McNeil Says:

    The idea of putting Via at running back sounds good on the surface. The Bears used to do that with Refrigerator Perry. Trouble was…they went “to the well” a few too many times. I forget what year it was. Probably 1985. (AD. I’m not THAT old.) They were playing the Cowboys. Up until that game the Bears were pretty much 100% with getting one yard with The Fridge back there. Tom Landry said “I’m not afraid of him. You hit him REAL hard and real low he WILL go down”. Not only did the Cowboys stop him, they knocked the ball out of his hands for a killer fumble on what was to be the last time Ditka ever ran The Fridge back there. It’s just not deeply ingrained in a DT to hold onto that ball so intensely.

  21. Larrd Says:

    I am not sure how you’d scheme away his running start off the edge. Gaines and Hall inside with those two outside would be interesting to see for a whole game. Reggie White was overpowering like that.

  22. Debbie Says:

    Am I mistaken, but wasn’t Vita a running back in high school? Perhaps he can play offense once or twice and show how it gets done. I would love to see him score a few times. Tristan is not the only multifunctional player.