“He’s Finally Taking It To Heart”

May 21st, 2024

Quite a revealing one-liner today from head coach Todd Bowles.

Perhaps Bowles’ mind, for a moment, was more on his new knee than on corporate coachspeak.

It was revealed weeks ago that the Bucs are preparing for a new Vita Vea, a leaner and meaner monstrous nose tackle. Two years ago, Vea told NFL Network voice Rich Eisen that he was playing at 360 or so pounds. And Vea seemed to look a little bigger last season.

Joe has heard Vea now looks more like the guy who weighed in at 347 pounds at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. Vea did not attend today’s voluntary OTA practice at One Buc Palace.

Today, Bowles addresed Vea’s enhanced fitness and how much he likes it, and Bowles acknowledged it is part of a commitment the Bucs would have liked to see earlier.

“I think he’s having a great offseason with what he’s doing right now and we look for him to come back stronger and faster and quicker and help us win,” Bowles said of Vea.

“We’ve talked about it for a long time. He’s finally taking it to heart to where he’s really making the strides and the changes necessary.”

Hmmm, “finally taking it to heart.”

Joe is not about to slap Vea for failing to be a picture of fitness in past years. Joe’s had too many campouts at Sweet Tomatoes and at Crazy Buffet (R.I.P) to go there. But Joe has been a lone voice moaning for years about Vea not playing enough snaps — and being taken off the field in too many key situations.

Regardless, Joe is fired up to see the impact Vea’s makeover might have.

The timing sure is right for Vea, who turns 30 in February. The guaranteed cash in his long-term contract fades away after this season.

39 Responses to ““He’s Finally Taking It To Heart””

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Kenneth Grant 2025

  2. BucsFan55 Says:

    ^not a bad pick

  3. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Dave Pear with a bad take in 3, 2, 1…

    Just giving you a hard time man. Some of your comments have actually been less negative as of late. Hoping that continues.

  4. Boss Says:

    did not realise he was so highly paid. need more than a part time player for that coin.

  5. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Only took him 6 years to figure it out. Maybe now he’ll play 60% of the snaps.

  6. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I want to see him catch another TD pass. It really is a distraction for the defense when he is in there. Makes a great decoy too.

  7. NJbucs23 Says:

    dude is a stud athlete…now we just him lean and mean and on the field for 60-75% snaps

  8. Mike Johnson Says:

    We’ve all known for the past 3 yrs or so Vita needed to drop a few pds. Lets hope he is even more quicker and deadlier than before. He can be a monster when he is healthy. Give’em Hell Vita!!

  9. Tucker Says:

    You have not been the lone voice come on Joe lol

  10. catcard202 Says:

    It’s pretty freaking sad that it’s only taken 6yrs for Vea to figure out that 370lbs was too big & his weigh limited him to being a 50% player.

    At 29, knowing he only has 2024 coin still guaranteed on his current contract…Now he wants to make a lifestyle commitment to getting into proper shape???

    Sounds like he knows the writing is on the wall & if he’s still a 50% player in 2024…He’s out of Tampa in the off-season & no one else will throw $20M+/yr at him. (Which was TOO MUCH to begin with. But at least the FO backload the schit out of his deal & gave themselves an out after only 1 big dollar year!)

    Too bad he wasn’t 100% committed to being the best he could be, when he signed the extension…

  11. SlyPirate Says:

    Vea and Kancey are going to wreck teams

  12. Florida made me Says:

    Changing composition to lengthen career prolly.

  13. stpetebucfan Says:

    Vea has been one of the best at his position. His availibility has been understandably questioned.

    He’s wealthy already, he has a SB ring, and nothing left to prove. If he comes in as reported I’m impressed. There are millions of Americans now ingesting drugs like Ozempic and it’s twin Wegovy for weight loss, which has been defined as a disease. Many people truly struggle with their weight due to genes and the way they were raised and what their parents fed them. I have a morbidly obese in law who was fed pastries from birth.

    I saw this in a Nutrionists office. The American Agriculture and food industry produces our food with no concern for health. Our health industry treats patients with little regard for food. Some at least pay lip service but lets be honest here…we are a FAT society for a LOT of reasons.

    Despite spending more money per capita on healthcare than any similarly large and wealthy nation, the United States has a lower life expectancy than peer nations and has seen worsening health outcomes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    IE for all the incredible amounts of $$$ we spend on our healthcare we get the least bang! Much of the blame goes to what we stuff in our pieholes.

    Good luck to Vita..if he comes to camp in the shape advertised it means he’s truly motivated!!!

  14. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I’d like to see Vea at 320. That would get him more snaps.

  15. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Stpete right because our well intended individuals like doctors nutritionists and other healthcare professionals are educated for the purpose of making money and not for the good of fellow man.

  16. Beeej Says:

    Well, you don’t see very many elderly obese people. Look at newsreel from the 60’s .. There were practically zero obese people back then. The easiest food to get is invariably the worst crap you can ingest

  17. Hodad Says:

    Might be time to look for the next NT high in next years draft.

  18. Bucnjim Says:

    Beej 100% correct! What used to be normal food is now called organic. Hard for most to afford regularly. Have to give Vea a huge break! Eating is a habit just like smoking, drinking, and gambling. Carbs and sugar will wreck your entire body and workout regime. Good for him though!

  19. Hankus Says:

    “Crazy Buffet” mmmmmmmmm!

  20. Gotti-Dog-05-20-84 Says:

    Now introducing the Bucs new full back and short yardage specialist….the lean….the mean….VITAAAAA VEAAAA!!!!

    Just kidding……

  21. Booger Says:

    Deone Walker. Kentucky.

  22. Booger Says:

    There was only one fat girl in my elementary school in the 80’s… Now, I bet 80% of the entire school is overweight and miserably out of shape. It is a total disgrace what they have allowed these food (and drink) companies to put in our food and have been allowed to market as being “healthy.” It’s all a SCAM. Everything. All of it.

  23. Dude Says:

    Saw pictures of him at the UDub spring game and he looked like Cam Heyward 😂

  24. TampabayDJ Says:

    Some of you people are truly the worst fans in the world ! All you do is complain, complain, or jump on and off the bandwagon. Last time I checked, Vita had how many sacks, forced fumbles, and TFL last year ?? He’s a nose tackle, not supposed to be the pass rushing monster that he is ! You people know nothing … Go Bucs and real Bucs fans

  25. Show Me the TDs Says:

    I’m 64 and weigh the same as high-school. I have never been skinny. Just normal. Obesity is not a disease. Quit eating so much junk and move more. Simple. If your pants get tight, lay off the calories for a few days.

  26. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @TampabayDJ – Most fans know how good Vita is. The problem is he could have been one of the GREATS. Seriously, Vita Vea is a HOF talent who has devalued his own career by not taking care of his weight/body. Period.

  27. Citrus County Says:

    Let’s think this through;
    Win a Super Bowl…everything is great.
    QB#12 has marital strife and voices displeasure about head coach and abandons team to attend a wedding.
    Follow up year after SB win not so hot.
    Uncertainty sets in…#45 gets an attitude.
    Lot’s more uncertainty.
    Baker Mayfield shows up… immediately commands locker room.
    Still some uncertainty.
    Baker exudes leadership…uncertainty starts to fade.
    Front office doing a great job…Head Coach settles in.
    Team plays pretty well, overcomes adversity and unites around Baker.
    Stability and optimism take hold.
    Whitehead returns.
    Competition increases…Baker firmly in charge
    Contract years approach for some.
    Arrow pointing UP !
    That’s what I call a “franchise quarterback”.
    Teams with franchise QB’s win big prizes.
    Drew Brees 2.0 ? I think so.

  28. ManzielMadness Says:

    I wouldn’t say Vea is overpaid, DT’s make a lot nowadays. Chris Jones just signed for around 31mil per year. Derrick Brown just signed for around 24mil per year and doesn’t rush the passer as well as Vea. According to Over the Cap Vea is ranked 13th in total value for his contract and ranked 15th in average per year.

  29. BillyBucco Says:

    Man I really thought we would see a bad take from Dave Pear as well.
    There is still time don’t give up Hope.

  30. toad bowels Says:

    I’d love to see Vita Vea as a FB in the Bucs short yardage and 2-point conversion packages. Just like the way the Bucs used to line Sapp up

  31. Drunkinybor Says:

    It’s true that Joe has pointed out Vita’s low snap count. It’s a great nugget he found looking into the hidden stats he often refers too Hed not wstren sapp he could ball out as a fat boy. I feel his pain though. If I don’t workout for a couple months I blow up to 330 lbs. I’m 285 feeling good right now. Once the fat really starts melting big dudes like us can lose weight fast.

  32. heyjude Says:

    Well said Joe, stpetebucfan, Beeej, and others.

    Very happy that Vea is taking his health seriously now. He is only 29 years old and it is so true about all our health and food, exercise, genes, and what is in the food.

    Years ago we didn’t have all the fast food places everywhere either. Yes, many of us try to eat mostly organic and plant based, which is pretty much what it was years ago. But now is expensive for many to eat the right foods.

  33. Jmarkbuc Says:

    “ But Joe has been a lone voice moaning for years about Vea not playing enough snaps — and being taken off the field in too many key situations”

    Seriously?. Do you read your own website?

    You’re certainly not the Lone Ranger on this one.

  34. The daily corner Says:

    Joe. What are the percentage of snaps that Chris Jones plays for the Chiefs?

  35. geno711 Says:

    Chris Jones was a late signee last year for the Chiefs. Did not play in game 1 and had less snaps in game 2 and 3,

    Vita Vea
    2023 54% of snaps.
    2022 48% of snaps.

    Chris Jones
    2022 68% of snaps (76% after games 1 thru 3).
    2022 80% of snaps.

  36. unbelievable Says:

    The timing sure is right for Vea, who turns 30 in February. The guaranteed cash in his long-term contract fades away after this season.

    Ding. Ding. Ding.

    I love me some Vea, but he’s been underwhelming the past 2 seasons. Being out of shape was definitely part of it. He makes too much money to only play on 50% of the snaps.

  37. Fred McNeil Says:

    I am happy to hear that he is losing weight. Mike Ditka was always harping on The Fridge to slim down. Not because he thought it might make him a better football player. But because it would help him live a good long time after he retired. That’s a great coach.

  38. David Says:

    They needed a weight clause in his contract. Hard to be a pro-bowler when you play 50% of the time.
    Hopefully this is the start of something that enables him to play 75%

  39. gp Says:

    Personally hopeful that his new training regimen is actually in preparation for taking a few snaps as fullback on offense!