Three things Buccaneers can learn from Super Bowl LVI
The Buccaneers need to build their defense around Vita Vea, as the Rams did with Aaron Donald.
Aaron Donald is the best all-around defensive player we’ve seen in quite some time. Honestly, one can harken back to the days of Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White when it comes to a run of dominance at the top. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner, Donald is tied with the aforementioned Taylor and J.J. Watt for the most all-time for that award.
Donald also made the plays necessary to win Super Bowl LVI late in the game.
It’s honestly remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish considering he is primarily an interior defensive lineman despite his versatility allowing him to play all over the defensive line. The Bucs have a one-man wrecking crew themselves in their interior defensive line in the form of Vita Vea.
Games are won and lost in the trenches. When the Rams figured out what they had in Donald, they started building their defense around him with veteran pass-rushers and defensive backs to find the fountain of youth that is playing with Donald, along with younger players along the rest of the defense to be mentored and hone their craft with these players.
The Buccaneers have followed a similar blueprint in building their defense around Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau “Vita” Vea. The thing is, a lot of their defensive players are set to be free agents, particularly along the defensive front with veterans Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, William Gholston, Steve McLendon, and Pat O’Connor all set to hit the open market. So, just about everyone.
This being the case, the Bucs need to keep building their defensive front, both through the draft and with cheaper veteran free agents. They started this process with Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and should continue into this offseason. Vea can create gridlock along the line of scrimmage by taking on double teams and has the ability to collapse the pocket around the quarterback by himself. Vea will make the defense better as long as they build around him.
Speaking of free agency and the trenches…