Will the heat block Vea’s progress?

by Gary Shelton on May 12, 2018 · 2 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Vea must battle opponents, heat./CARMEN MANDATO

Vea must battle opponents, heat./CARMEN MANDATO

Saturday, 2 a.m.

One day in, and already, the heat is on Vita Vea.

So far, Vea is a cool customer./CARMEN MANDATO

So far, Vea is a cool customer./CARMEN MANDATO

Vea, the massive defensive tackle drafted by the Bucs in the first round of the NFL, had criticism waiting on him when he stepped onto the field for the first time Friday afternoon at Tampa Bay's rookie mini-camp.

Already, former Bucs' great Warren Sapp has had skepticism over whether Vea can maintain his weight in the Florida heat.

"I don’t think about it," said Bucs' coach Dirk Koetter. "If we thought it was a thing, we wouldn’t have picked him. Again, everybody is entitled to their own opinion and Warren definitely is a guy that’s proved what it takes to play in this league, but we did our homework on that sort of thing and everybody’s got an opinion on it. We’ll see.”

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Jones should make an immediate impact on the running game./CARMEN MANDATO

Jones should make an immediate impact on the running game./CARMEN MANDATO

Vea wasn't making proclamations.

“It’s kind of hard to tell right now," Vea said. "We’re just in helmets, not in full pads, so it’s kind of hard to tell where I am with that. We haven’t really talked about (his weight) a bunch. (The team wants me) definitely around that weight because I played in college with that weight. So, definitely we’ll see how it goes from here and as camp goes along.”

Vea said it was vital for a defensive tackle to use his hands.

Licht looks at the Bucs' new toys./CARMEN MANDATO

Licht looks at the Bucs' new toys./CARMEN MANDATO

“Being a defensive lineman, or a lineman in general, you have to use your hands and in this sport alone," Vea said. "There was always that coach that said, ‘If you’re not going to use your hands, you might as well just cut them off,’ because you need them to make the tackles, get off blocks and stuff like that.”

The rookie minicamp is designed to help pare the team's roster.

"You have a mixture of guys out here," Koetter said. "I think we have six guys who are already on our roster, you’ve got our eight draft picks, you’ve got your undrafted guys that we signed and we have some tryout guys and we’ve also got three guys that were in the league last year on other teams. So, at the end of the weekend, you’re just trying to finish up with the best 90-man roster that you can have because these guys are going to stay here and work with us for five more

Cappa goes through his paces for Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Cappa goes through his paces for Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

weeks of OTAs. Every year, we’ve found a couple guys here that we didn’t know about coming in and we may make some roster moves at the end of the weekend just to try to get that best 90 moving forward.”

For the Bucs', Friday was the first day of their journey. Running back Ronald Jones II, however, will be asked to take a lot of steps in a hurry.

"(The playbook) is a lot bigger," Jones said. "We put in a lot of plays for Day One. At SC, we were going two or three plays at a time. It's definitely more fast-paced but that's what we expected, so it's good."

Koetter likes the sight of Jones.

“Ronald is what we thought," Koetter said. "You can see that the guy has juice. I’m sure everybody out here saw that when he touches the ball, he’s got a gear

Stewart will complete in secondary./CARMEN MANDATO

Stewart will complete in secondary./CARMEN MANDATO

that we don’t have on our team right now. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a lot to learn, but you can definitely see – you can see that from his USC tape, but it’s great to see him out here and see him in our colors.”

Jones said he wants to impact early,

"I'm definitely coming in (and) hitting it right off the bat, like you said – Rookie of the Year, things like that, taking the team to the next level, winning the division and ultimately going deep in the playoffs," Jones said. "Just making that spark."

Jones said the Bucs' can have a good rookie class.

"I think it can be great. We had three second-round picks. Obviously Vita [Vea], I played against him. We just addressed positions that we needed, that the staff thought we needed. We're all going to come in and do our parts."

The rookie camp continues through the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick May 31, 2018 at 12:28 am

Gary will you be out in the heat of training camp getting us the truth about this team?

Reply

Gary Shelton May 31, 2018 at 12:31 am

I will. lol. I may have a soft drink, tho.

Reply

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