The Buccaneers knew coming into the 2018 offseason that something needed to be done along the defensive line. They addressed it by bringing in some heavy hitters the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Mitch Unrein, and Beau Allen. They also drafted Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea in April’s draft.
While the secondary was not addressed — a unit many felt needed upgrading — hope is the upgraded defensive front will make everything behind them better. Previewing the upcoming Buccaneers season, USA Today’s Jim Reineking previews different part of Tampa Bay’s roster including their rebuilt defensive line.
After a 2-1 start, the Bucs lost five games in a row and couldn’t keep up in a division that featured three playoff teams. A major culprit for the regression was the defense, which allowed the most yards (6,049) and produced the fewest sacks (22) in the league. This offseason, the Bucs added defensive linemen Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein.
The Buccaneers used the No. 7 overall pick in April’s draft on 6-4, 350-pound defensive tackle Vita Vea from Washington in the draft. Vea has the potential to be a massive and powerful presence in the middle of a defensive front. It seems that the Buccaneers are borrowing a page from the Eagles’ defensive playbook by building a strong rotation of players along the defensive line.
It’ll be exciting to see what the Bucs’ revamped defensive line looks like. Their true test will be on the field of play. And they’ll be tested early and often in the first three weeks of the season.