One of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defenders Patrick Mahomes says he’ll be keying on on Sunday might not be who you expect.
As a quarterback, you’d think Mahomes would be eyeing Tampa Bay’s secondary and even linebackers like Devin White and Lavonte David. However, he’s also going to be paying some attention to defensive tackle Vita Vea.
Vea, who was injured in Week 5 and missed the rest of the regular season plus the Bucs’ first two playoff games, returned for the NFC Championship. The massive interior lineman is a force against the run, but can also affect the passing game, as Mahomes noted on Wednesday.
“He’s a guy that you’ve got to know where he’s at every single play,” Mahomes said, via Pro Football Talk. “He obviously is super disruptive in the run game, but he’s just as good as a pass rusher. You don’t see guys like that — playing that position, that can rush the passer like that — that much. For him, he’s a special talent and I’ll have to know where he’s at every single play in order to not let him disrupt the entire game.”
Mahomes on Vita Vea again: “You don’t see guys at that position who can rush the passer that much.”
— Koki Riley (@KokiRiley) February 3, 2021
Vea played 33 snaps in the NFC title game win over the Green Bay Packers, and while he didn’t record any stats, he made his presence felt.
Vita Vea suffered a nasty ankle break in October that was thought to keep him out for the year. Yesterday he returned, played 33 snaps and did Vita Vea things: make life miserable for interior OL with his power.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 25, 2021
Elgton is becoming a premier player in the NFL, and Vea clubs him aside in an instant. His power is just on a different level, even in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/iplfUGWP1D
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 26, 2021
We’ll see what he can bring to the table in the Super Bowl this weekend.