Photo credit: Icon Sportwire
Author: Jon Kuzma
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The defensive line position is so important in the sport of football. By controlling the line of scrimmage teams can win in both phases of the game (against the run and the pass). It also helps the back seven do their jobs more effectively because everything starts up front.
That’s why it’s imperative that Vita Vea gets back on track and fulfills his potential. Last year the 2018 first round pick only started in eight games but he still racked up 3 sacks. There’s never been any doubts about Vea’s ability to produce it was more about his health. After suffering a calf injury in training camp it took Vea a little bit before he was able to get up to speed. When you’re 346 pounds that’s a tough setback to overcome because there’s so much weight on his legs. The good news is those struggles appear to be in the rear-view mirror and now the Buccaneers are upbeat about what the future holds. In fact during the second half of last season Vita Vea started to turn it on and showed what he can do. Perhaps the most impressive skill is his bull rushing ability. Offensive linemen have their hands full going head-to-head with the former Washington Husky and Vea blows up blockers with ease. That’s not a problem for him because he’s usually the biggest guy on the field. Getting after the quarterback doesn’t seem to be an issue either and it’s huge when you can get pressure from your interior defensive linemen. Those players can disrupt the play faster than an edge defender who has to get around an offensive tackle and turn the corner. Vita Vea is also the perfect nose tackle for Todd Bowles’ system because he can take on double teams and swallow up both “A-gaps.” Meaning the Buccaneers could finally get the stops they’ve been lacking for the past three years.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will benefit from a health Vita Vea. Don’t be surprised if he takes the next step: