Vita Vea Makeover –

Vita Vea Makeover

September 6, 2022

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vita Vea.

For the past three years, Joe has been tripped up by Vita Vea’s instant count, or lack thereof.

Last year, after hitting a knee in a loss to Washington and missing the Giants game in Week 12, he was truly a part-timer. Still, he is well paid as a full-time star player.

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

But the numbers are numbers. And for the Bucs defense to play the lights, Vea just needs to play more.

Yesterday, when discussing the captains of the 2022 team, Todd Bowles announced that Vea was captain and perhaps explained why Vea was a limit part-timer. You are the judge.

“He’s prepared really well, he’s had a good offseason,” Bowles said. “He got back in shape, he lost weight. He led the movie theater charges and he became a leader in that team. I think that says a lot about him.

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

Wasn’t Vea in good shape in 2021? Remember how Bucco coach Bruce Arians, then the Bucs’ Super Bowl winner, angrily called out Tyler Johnson for being out of shape in training camp? The Arians have 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?

Although it’s never said, Joe believes Vea’s knee injury has affected his snap count. 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 court more than he was last season.

About Jimmie P. Ricks

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