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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs rookie DT Vita Vea ready for first NFL camp

Florida Football Insiders



Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

A season of uncertainty for the Buccaneers is about to get underway with their camp opening. Clearly, the story line of the summer that will dominate the headlines is QB Jameis Winston suspended for the opening three games for an NFL conduct violation.

However, as big as any key for Tampa Bay to try to turn it around is: their pass rush. And, specifically their completely overhauled defensive line. A big, and we emphasize “big,” part of that will be Washington rookie defensive tackle and last year’s Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Vita Vea.

Vea is listed at 340lbs. and is expected to line up side by side with veteran Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy to create an imposing middle to the Tampa Bay defense.

On Wednesday morning, Vea was a guest on Bucs flagship radio station WDAE 620-AM in Tampa Bay covering many subjects. Of course, his current poundage was a big topic:

Vea was also asked about dealing already with the Tampa heat for his first NFL training camp. He was a man of few words on his answer:

“You just gotta take it one day at a time….When you’re out there, focus on breathing.”

We wrote previously about Vea having to battle the heat and hydration, once camp got underway. This is especially because he trained and played his college games primarily in the cooler/no humidity Pacific Northwest. And no matter how much anyone has warned or coached him, it will be up to him to adjust.

Another subject covered was the influence of Bucs first year defensive line coach Brentson Buckner. The former veteran NFL defensive tackle has come to Tampa Bay from a very successful run in Arizona and he’s already having an impact on the rookie, in specific.

“He’s definitely someone who we know played, payed attention to detail, Vea said. “That’s someone we really need as a D-Line coach…someone you really need to critique you on how to be really precise…. Taking his coaching and learning from his experience in the NFL. It will be great.”

Vea can also learn from veteran free agent acquisitions like Beau Allen, Mitch Unrein and Vinny Curry, as well.

The good news in Tampa is that there is not one guy, including McCoy, that you can set out to double team and take that player out of the attack without freeing up others to succeed.

And Vea is expected to be a big part of that.

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