TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea is lifting some serious weighs at Yo Murphy's Performance now that restrictions due to COVID-19 have been lifted.
The 2018 first-round pick says he is physically in the best shape of his NFL career by working out with his cousins and some Buccaneer teammates thanks to virtual workouts under the direction of former Buccaneer wide receiver Yo Murphy.
It's been a different offseason.
"It really has been really weird I think for everybody," Vea told FOX 13 Sports. "Around this time of the year we're with the coaches and the team. It feels kind of off, but at the same time, we're kind of use to it now. Just because we've been quarantined so long."
Vita is working out alongside linemate Patrick O'Connor. The two push each other through a daily grind awaiting the call to return to team headquarters.
"No word yet," said O'Connor. "Your best guess is my best guess. So we'll figure it out."
Even with all of the workouts in local training centers and conditioning sessions on the field, the lost time together during team OTAs can't be duplicated.
"I think mentally as far as the game goes everyone is going to be a step back on that because we haven't had this time to practice," said Vea.
Bucs wide-receiver Bryant Mitchell is fully recovered from a torn Achilles tendon that cost him last season. Along with these workouts, he's been catching passes from Bucs quarterback Blaine Gabbert and Jamies Winston.
A session with Tom Brady is next on the schedule.
"He's come out here and he's put his nose to the grind immediately," said Mitchell. "I think that in itself speaks volumes about the kind of leader he is."
The NCAA is pitching a 6-week practice schedule leading up the college football season, but these Bucs think the NFL needs a longer plan.
"I feel like we need every day, every week, every preseason game, all the training camp time going to practice," said O'Connor. "We play at the highest level. We need the most out of it."