Bucs DT Vita Vea is always going to be one of the biggest human beings on a football field. At nearly 350 pounds, Vea can look lethargic at times when he’s moving – until the whistle blows. Then he’s a whirlwind of devastating power and shocking agility for a mega-sized defensive tackle.
Still, head coach Bruce Arians said Vea’s weight is close, but not quite where the team wants it to be. Following Monday’s practice, Arians detailed Vea’s training camp plan to reach his expected weight.
“He looks good,” Arians said. “He’s almost got his weight where it needs to be. We had a nice target date of next Saturday, so I think he’ll hit it.”
Vea has had a solid, yet unspectacular camp. Given his role in the Bucs defensive line, that’s not all that surprising. He’s a run-plugging nose tackle who plays bully ball in the passing game. Vea will likely never be a splash play defensive tackle, but he can provide value on all three downs due to his physical dominance. Teams must respect him with double teams or he will smash most offensive linemen with raw power.
Although the Bucs wants Vea to watch his weight carefully, Arians made it clear that he’s close to his target goal for the season already.
“[He has] Only about three or four [pounds to lose],” Arians said. “He probably sweat it out today, so if he’s smart he’ll go jump on the scale now.”
Vea enters his fourth NFL season looking for his first Pro Bowl. After two sacks in his first five games last year, a broken ankle sideline Vea until the NFC Championship Game. He returned to dominance quickly while helping the Bucs to a Super Bowl Championship, but the Washington product should have his eye on some individual accolades this season too.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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