What Happened To Vita Vea?

May 5th, 2024

New Vita Vea. But improved?

Kacy Rodgers warned us.

Last week when Bucs defensive coaches were made available to the local pen and mic club, the subject of Bucs beastly Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vita Vea and playing time came up.

Per the Bucs’ official roster, Vea was 6-4, 347 pounds. Joe doesn’t know about the 6-4 part but the 347 part was hardly believable. That was Vea’s official weight at the NFL Scouting Combine six years ago. He’s clearly been larger than he was in those days. In 2022, NFL Network voice Rich Eisen said Vea told him he weighed 360 pounds.

Vea has been a horse in the middle for the Bucs’ defensive line. Borderline unmovable. But that came with a price, his stamina. Vea played in a little more than half of the snap counts last season, 62 percent.

Yeah, part of that was he was in a rotation but also stamina was an issue. Only once has Vea played 70 percent of his snaps in a season.

If Vea played more, well, he became a shell of his normal self. So the Bucs really monitored him on his workload.

So last week Rodgers, the Bucs’ defensive line coach, teased that a new Vea would appear this spring at One Buc Palace.

Rodgers offered no detail, saying he “didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag.” Well, Vea’a alma mater let the cat out of the bag.

Friday night, the University of Washington, brand new to the B1G this fall, held its spring game. Vea was a guest and video and photos were released by Washington’s social media team.

Vea looks great, but does this slimmed-down version mean Vea can still manhandle double-teams? Or does it just mean he can just log more snaps?

So what’s more important, Vea clogging up the middle and dominating for half a game or Vea being just OK for 75 percent of a game? It’s an interesting discussion.

Or is Vea going to play more edge rusher? (Joe’s half-serious.)

Maybe it’s just Joe but damnit, Joe wants to see Vea and the rest of the Bucs in pads. Three more months and the Bucs will be hitting in practice, man.

45 Responses to “What Happened To Vita Vea?”

  1. WillieG Says:

    Sapp lost a lot of weight once, how did that work out? I seriously don’t remember. I do remember his lady friend saying he lost “a fifth grader “.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Vea doesn’t exactly look skinny in those 2 photos, just not quite as heavy as he was last season. Assuming that his trainers knew what they were doing, I’d bet that he lost fat but added muscle. He’ll be fine.

  3. BillyBucco Says:

    Yeah the stomach weight was the biggest issue. You are NOT losing muscle by getting rid of stomach fat. He is probably stronger again.
    Really hope this translates.

  4. J Says:

    He looks similar to when he was being drafted to me. At least he doesn’t look like he’s about to give birth anymore.

  5. Drunkinybor Says:

    Wow he’s looking great. His gut has disappeared. That takes alot of work and pride. Can’t wait to see how it translates. I lost 80 lbs when I was 24. I was 340lbs and got down to 260 I’m about 290 now but I’m 43 and.gained some dad weight over the years. I’m still healthy and in decent shape. I can tell.you. I didn’t lose any strength at 260 but I couldn’t lean on people and.push them like I was used to. I suspect he will be surprised by being moved a bit more than usual but will adjust very very well.

  6. capnhowdy Says:

    Big V str8 up looks like Haloti Ngata in that video, and when it came to running up the middle during his tenure in Baltimore, Ngata =’d NADA. GO BUCS!!

  7. Dadgumit Says:

    I will go with the very half serious side and want to see “V” on the edge. Carolina sack anyone?

  8. Haleywould Says:

    I’d take a slimmed down Vea at EDGE! Dude is a beast. I was thinking the last two years he needed to lose some weight and I didn’t think that when he came out. He’s now, or going to be 29yo this season and he’s already had lower leg injuries from carrying that weight you have to think (Not like when dumb ass White broke his leg.. Smh). I think if he got to the same weight he was at leaving Washington, or 10-15lbs less, he is still gonna be over 330-350lbs which is still massive. He’s nimble for a huge guy, but looked sluggish last year comparatively.

  9. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Sapp was the Defensive Player of the Year in 99, the season he lost weight.

  10. Pink Says:

    I don’t know about edge, but a slimmer Vita could be a real pass rushing threat. He was third last year on the team. Even without moving his position, Vita getting off the line with more speed could post 6 or 7 sacks easily, on a team desperate for sacks

  11. heyjude Says:

    Good for Vita! He looks so much healthier too. Life changing.

  12. LetsBucs Says:

    Honestly the most important thing is Vita’s health. It got dangerous.

    *Just Ok* Vea is also still going to be an all-pro nosetackle in the NFL.

  13. Fred McNeil Says:

    I remember reading a conversation Gruden had with Sapp. He showed him film from the two different weights. The next year he was beastly again. I think Dungy got on him once also about weight with great results, but I don’t remember if that convo was published like Gruden’s was.

  14. A Bucs Fan Says:

    If I’m not mistaken he looks about 30lbs slimmer to me and still strong! It’ll be exciting to see the year he has. Hopefully it helps him stay healthy.

  15. Allen Lofton Says:

    Being Overweight is not only unhealthy, it effects one’s ability to get around in normal – everyday – activities.

    It was really evident last season where Veta didn’t have his normal PUSH of the offensive lines like previous seasons.

    A slim down Veta could have the old beast pushing linemen into the Quarterback.

  16. BucsFan Says:

    LOVE me some VV.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Still a pretty damn big dude…..I suspect he’ll be OK…..lets have the better Vita for more snaps….

  18. Todd Says:

    He just lost his “puffy”.

    My wife hit me right between the eyes once when picking me up at the airport after a week-long business trip (where I definitely ate and drank way too much). As I came in for a hug, she had a stunned look on her face and exclaimed, “Wow! You look so…PUFFY!”

    So now when anyone in our family needs to loose some weight, the running joke is that, “It’s time to lose my puffy!”

    Vita just lost his puffy.

    Good on him.

  19. JustVisiting Says:

    I don’t know how the increased snaps will balance against the lost mass, but he’ll live longer. Glad to see it.

  20. SB~LV Says:

    Good for him and the team!

  21. garro Says:

    Hmm… If it keeps him healthy it is a plus. We struggle when he’s out.
    If it deminishes his ability to handle the doubles it could be a problem though.

    Go Bucs!

  22. Pablothepoolboy Says:

    Kudo’s to everyone remembering the Sapp weight loss and how he returned to beast mode afterwards. It really effects his lateral movement, his quickness, which is more effective, will return, and his overall health and availability will improve. That translates to more snaps and more big plays.

  23. adam from ny Says:

    he’s a big dude…

    what if he joins the wwe after he retires and becomes a heel 🙂

  24. Beeej Says:

    Brad Culpeper played at 310, within 2 years of his retirement was down to 180. Amazing

  25. Marky Mark Says:

    American football is weird in that each position is so specialized. Basketball is positionless now. Except goalies Ice Hockey and Soccer are positionless. Baseball is divided evenly between pitchers and hitters but only at the pro level. Everywhere else pitchers hit and field. What that means is you have vastly different body types on the roster. The lineman are Sumo wrestlers and everyone else are somewhere between that and 100 yard dash Runners. Place kickers and punters are the other exception and more like soccer keepers who punt and kick the ball off the turf. Sumo wrestlers are just fat and unhealthy.

  26. Capt.Tim Says:

    Great for Vea.
    Now he’ll be able to jump from the pool, all the way to his lounger!

  27. Brandon Says:

    Beeej. Brad Culpepper was 277.

    For the rest of the weight room savants… fellas don’t just magically lose weight in year five plus in the NFL and get stronger. It is quite literally, the opposite. Welcome to the world of strength sports where weight always equals strength.

  28. Mike Says:

    He’s still a big, strong human.

  29. BucsfaninOregon Says:

    Capt. Tim, that was Wirfs that jumped out of the pool.

  30. Toad Bowels Says:

    Healthy is good. Does Vita have a wife? If not he will be attracting the ladies.now.

  31. Pewter Power Says:

    At at 29 I doubt he can get below his draft weight of 247 . If that’s the case he’ll be what he’s always been, he’s a nose tackle and not supposed at rack up big sack numbers. His job is to clog up the middle and draw double teams

  32. Buccaneer rick Says:

    It’s gonna be skinny vea with more speed watch he is gonna have same if not more strength with more speed he is gonna destroy mf with Kancey this year they are about to disrespect every offensive line along with yaya and Braswell I’m itching to see what watts does on the defensive line

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    If he can maintain 350, he will still be a serious load.

    He may have gotten close to 380-400lbs. He was certainly “puffy.”

  34. Cobraboy Says:

    Big guys will always be big guys. I’m at 240, was at 255. When I once got to 220, I looked like a Daucau inmate.

  35. Bucs Guy Says:

    Vita looked bored in the video. I think he’s ready to get bCk into pads also Joe.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    Vita has lost a good 30 to 45 pds. He looks good. Nobody can tell me he was not playing at 390 or so last season. He looks about 335 to 350. I don’t think he loses anything. Probably gonna have more enery to. I salute him.

  37. unbelievable Says:

    I dunno I’m used to seeing him with pads on, so hard to say how much he’s lost from those photos.

    I’d guess maybe 20 lbs? On a guy as big as him, I don’t think that will effect him too much. Now if it’s more like 50 lbs… well yeah I dunno, that is a lot of weight change for any human being.

  38. unbelievable Says:

    But honestly by the title of this article, I thought it was going to be about him being much less effective the past 2 seasons.

    That’s the real ‘what happened to Vita Vea’ question that I’d like the answer too.
    (Perhaps it was as simple as losing Suh next to him?)

  39. stpetebucfan Says:


    “He just lost his “puffy”.”

    I hear ya!! Just finished a week long visit from my sister and two favorite cousins. Diet went out the window, workouts as well.

    At NorthShore Pool when you finish your swim and hit the locker room you pass a full length mirror. Nothing looks worse than “puffy” in Speedos. LOL

    Already dropped five now another ten in the next two months and I’m good to go. I hate nauseating myself when I look in the mirror.

  40. heyjude Says:

    @Beeej, agree with the mention of Brad Culpepper.’s weight loss. Fun fact about Brad’s son Judge. He is now an unsigned free agent for the Bucs! Wishing him the best too.

  41. Cobraboy Says:

    “Puffy in Speedos!”

    My mind-eye, my mind-eye! Send eye bleach!

  42. Capt.Tim Says:

    I know. Wirfs is our athletic freak on Offense. Trying to get him some competition from the defensive linemen’s room. Vea is our Athletic freak from the defensive line!

    Sounds like the beginning of a TV show! “ Nfl pool Jump out!”.

  43. Half_Sac Says:

    I think the size definitely helps. But the loss of weight doesn’t necessarily mean he will be pushed around. At the end of the day it’s about whose stronger and more disciplined and the extra weight just gives you an advantage in situations

  44. Mark A Swygert Says:

    Saw a short profile of Judge Culpepper. Brad’s son. 6′ 4″ 294. Played at Toledo. His athletic traits were promising. Benched 28 reps. That was more than a lot of DL who got drafted. Many who got drafted did not even do the benchpress drill. I don’t get that. Some of the athletic testing may be less than relevant for lineman, but raw strength always matters in the trenches.

  45. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t know how I missed this – fantastic!

    Just remember Suh had no issues against the run and he was 330. Losing 30 pounds of blubber isn’t going to hurt his ability to stop the run.