Is Something Wrong With Vita Vea?

January 11th, 2024

In his last five games, manbeast defensive tackle Vita Vea has no quarterback hits, no sacks and no tackles for loss.

Only in his first five games as a rookie (2018) has Vea been so quiet.

So Joe has to wonder what’s going on with Vea.

He has been playing, 195 snaps during this latest five-game stretch. And two of those games were against the miserable Panthers’ offensive line.

Yes, Vea has battled toe, foot and groin injuries this season. Joe doesn’t know what might be lingering. But Vea is a tough dude — remember, he came back for the Super Bowl postseason run from a badly broken leg in October of the 2020 season. He’s thrived through injury at other times, too.

A healthy Vea is a game-changing player, someone offensive coordinators twitch about leading up to a game.

Hopefully, Vea’s production decline is all a big nothing and definitely not tied to him being worn down or turning 29 next month.

49 Responses to “Is Something Wrong With Vita Vea?”

  1. Logged In To Says:

    He was responsible for Diaby’s sack against the Panthers on a twist move as he wiped two offensive linemen out of the play. So there’s that at least. But he has been nowhere near as dominant in the second half of the season as he was in the first half.

  2. ElioT Says:

    I think Vea is an overrated player.

    He’s not and never has been a game wrecker, and fades down the stretch during the whole season.

  3. Boss Says:

    those who remember Sapp have a hard time seeing greatness in other DT’s. Vea has shining moments, but he is not the game wrecker Sapp was. Same for Rice and our DE’s.

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I believe it was Jonathan Vilma that was singing the praises of DT Derrick Brown during the Panthers game and talking about how he plays nearly every snap and is a game changer.
    That of course, reminded me of VV and how little he plays by comparison.
    He’s done some incredible things for us at times but I don’t see the value for his compensation.

  5. Cobraboy Says:

    Until this team produces a DL that also needs to be doubled, Vea will get slowed down.

    Fact in the interior D is not much beyond Vea.

  6. DS Says:

    Quiet year from him tbh sometimes I don’t know when he is on the field

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    All that weight/conditioning is taking its toll the older you get the motor needs a tune-up( off season ). I would not be surprised if when his contract is up he retires.

  8. SlyPirate Says:

    Give the man some help. It’s too easy to gameplan for VV.

  9. johnnymoon Says:

    Would like to move on from him till before it is too late ..Sapp always said he would not make it long in Florida.

  10. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    He shouldn’t have cut his hair.

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    Vea is a good player. Not a great player. Sapp was a great player. See the difference? And with his weight, Vea is slowed down by multiple injuries. I’d like to see him come in about 25 to 30 pounds lighter next year. Think it may improve his quickness.

  12. bucnjim Says:

    One could only guess he’s being doubled on most plays. That would leave the other D lineman one on one. Someone else brought up Derrick Brown. He was in our backfield on just about every play. That guy is a beast and looks the part too. Plus he never came off the field was in for like 95% of plays.

  13. Boge Says:

    I think people are expecting too many stats from a nose tackle. He’s the one aways getting doubled, what’s he supposed to do? Given his recent injuries, I’d say he’s playing hurt, but he’s still helping the run d. We have two rookies leading in tackles for loss and that’s from Vea doing the dirty work.

    I put the lack of snaps on coaches. I’d like to give the coaches the benefit of the doubt but this is the same staff that kept Yaya on the bench.

  14. T. McGee Says:

    Sapp has been so overrated, so long around here that Bucs fans will never appreciate how good other DTs have been – including Culpepper lining up next to him. Just like Ray Lewis, Sapp understood that you talk loud and dance and you’ll be remembered.

  15. TonySoprano Says:

    Vea is simply too heavy. And he seems to get heavier every year. I partially blame the coaching staff for not putting more pressure on him to keep his weight down.

  16. SufferingSince76 Says:

    T. McGee, Sapp is in the Hall of Fame and rightly so. He’s hardly overrated.

  17. NFC South Rules Says:

    Hey Joe….my little birds tell me that Bill Belichick is coming to Atlanta to coach the Falcons.


  18. Jmarkbuc Says:


    That is a RIDICULOUS take.

    Sap was an a$$hole and a game wrecker.

    Usually at the same time.

  19. Bobby M. Says:

    He’s neutered no different than our press CBs playing zone coverage or our passing game being trumped by Bowles instance on mediocre rushing. Bowles has no idea how to maximize the talent he has but instead focuses on his fascination with clock management. It’s embarrassing how we get out coached every other week.

  20. Jack Sparrow Says:

    he is overrated and overpaid.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Vea has 2 years left under his current contract, and I expect that the Bucs will keep him for both years (Dead CAP too high). BTW he’s got the 2nd highest CAP hit on the Bucs at $21.0 mil, and next year that increases even more to $22.0 mil. I doubt that the Bucs will want to restructure that to extend it further though, because Vea will be 31 at the end of those 2 years. That’s probably the best time to draft his replacement.

    Vita will continue to draw big bucks for minimal snaps for those 2 years. In the meantime, we need another big body to spell him periodically. Gaines did OK this year, but nothing exceptional. Got a hunch the Bucs will move on from him & test the waters with another DT.

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    If the coaching staff would make Big Vita lose about 30 or 40 pounds? The guy recovers from injuries very slow. Thats because of all them pounds he carries on his frame. Seems like to me, he gets bigger every year. Is that true?

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Vita Vea, when fully healthy, stands out as one of the most dominant nose tackles in the game.

  24. Steven007 Says:

    Doosh, Derrick Brown having 100 tackles as an interior lineman is an astounding stat. Most interior lineman, even decent ones, usually have 30 to 40 and occasionally 50 or perhaps 60 tackles per season. What Brown has done is special. He doesn’t get the gaudy sack numbers that everybody loves, but he’s a very very good player.

  25. Boss Says:

    in VV’s defense, they have the big man coming around like a DE to try and get the qb. thats a lot of running for a man his size. He needs a collapsable chair on his back to take a break. Who in their right mind would think a man his size can run like a DE?

  26. Dom Says:

    Vita Vea is never going to be a big box score guy. He’s a NT. His impact is in making everyone else’s job on the defense easier, which he does very well. I bet LVD and Devin White are appreciative of how he takes up blockers and let’s them run free to the ball carrier. He is one of the key reasons why the Bucs have had one of the best run defenses in the league for the last 4-5 years. It’s not surprising though that we got a bunch of box score watchers in the comments. Explains all the Baker hype on this site

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Take a look at the insights from hardcore film analysts like Brian Ballinger, Kris Kocurek, and Ronde Barber on Vita Vea. It’s all about no-nonsense, straight-shooting evaluations from those deeply immersed in the game.

    Everyone agrees that when this dude is healthy, he’s a game-wrecker.

    It sounds like a bunch of dudes are still butt hurt because we didn’t select Derwin James.

  28. SteveK Says:

    Amen, LuvMyBucs!

    Amen, brother, always love your pre-draft posts and all the time you put into it.

    The FSU Honks are ridiculous. Probably still defending the uncoachable Jameis Winston.

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    With the hopeful acquisition of a player like DT Jonathan Allen, whose skills mirror those of Ndamukong Suh, our defensive line will be poised to make a significant leap forward.

  30. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    get off VV’s back, when he’s 100 pct he’s a destructive force, it’s our own fault for failing to put depth around him. he’ll be fine. this is why i’d draft edge in the first round if it makes sense at the time. by the way, some of the best NTs in college have practically zero statistics but are the top rated NT prospects. it’s the nature of the position

  31. BucEmUp Says:

    Maybe he’s just been waiting to explode against the eagles and charging up!!!

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Heyy SteveK,

    I trust that you and your family are in great health.

    I’m gearing up to release a more in-depth analysis this year. I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on things too, Bredren.

  33. Erik The Viking Says:

    If he had a competent HC, perhaps a better defensive game plan would help.

    TB zero has 4 more days left in his tenor as the top dog.

    I suspect on Monday he’ll be on the unemployment line.

    And should never be handed the top spot again.

    But he will based on racial politics.

  34. adam from ny Says:

    i’m a man who loves to eat, but vita has seemed to gain way to much weight during the season…he’s out there with a big santa claus belly – that simply can’t benefit his game…

    love vita – def one of my favorites on the team, but imho he needs to keep the weight in check…

    sheesh, if i had a contract like him, man…i’d be eatin’ lovely too lol

  35. adam from ny Says:

    when vita is terrorizing and running thru double teams, that front line looks completely phenomenal

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Here’s to Coach Todd Bowles and his team, gearing up for Monday night to beat the Eagles.


  37. Fansince76 Says:

    VEA is not the dominant tackle he once was. He is too complacent, has his money and ring.

  38. Fansince76 Says:

    Apparently doesn’t care if he gets another ring which he should for the money he is making.

  39. D Cone Says:

    NFC South Rules Says:
    January 11th, 2024 at 12:41 pm
    Hey Joe….my little birds tell me that Bill Belichick is coming to Atlanta to coach the Falcons.


    Adam Schefter may have heard the same Bird. Perhaps he’ll come to set the Football Universe right for 28-3.

  40. SteveK Says:

    It’s hard to keep that big body healthy. He’s a force. As Joe stated, he doesn’t comeback to bully Corey Linsley in the 2020 NFC C Game, we don’t get our chip. He’s just too much, too sudden, too strong.

    I hope the big man is feeling fresh on Monday. He’s like having Sasquatch on your team.

  41. Dave Pear Says:

    Todd probably told him to take care of the football.

  42. unbelievable Says:

    He’s turning 29 already?

    Man, time really does fly…

  43. DoooshLaRue Says:

    TonySoprano Says:
    January 11th, 2024 at 12:28 pm
    Vea is simply too heavy. And he seems to get heavier every year. I partially blame the coaching staff for not putting more pressure on him to keep his weight down.

    Probably why he cut his hair.
    Easy way to drop 4lbs.

  44. Stanglassman Says:

    T. Mcgee wins the stupidest take on the JBF commit board possibly ever. I’m hoping he’s just a pre-teen wanting attention.

    Sapp was def player of the year twice, six time all pro, 96.5 sacks and was a great leader who made players around him better. Sure he was an A-hole but he was our A-hole.

  45. orlbucfan Says:

    Sapp is from Plymouth. What do you expect from a HOFame rube from the sticks? 🙂 🙂

  46. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    When did he get that old!?

  47. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I’ve known a few Samoan/Tonga guys and they do seem to age early.

  48. garro Says:

    “Yes, Vea has battled toe, foot and groin injuries this season. Joe doesn’t know what might be lingering.”

    There is your answer Joe. Hope he is feeling close to 100% this week.

    He is a big man and has sore wheels. Not a good combo.

    Go bucs!

  49. BillyBucco Says:

    Vea gets doubled almost every play.
    He is one of the beat NT in n the game. Period.
    One of the least to be concerned about.