Vita Vea continues to make waves for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a Pro Bowl 2021 season for the 27-year-old defensive tackle, Vea has now earned the honor of being named as the squad’s team captain ahead of the new campaign — a first for the incoming fifth-year DT.

The best part about this is that team captaincy is voted upon by the players on the squad. The fact that his teammates believe that Vea is the right man to lead the group speaks volumes of how much respect the former 12th overall pick has earned among his peers. This is exactly what Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles had in mind as he heaped praise on Vea (h/t Mike Florio of PFT):

“The players vote on it, so that’s a plus and that’s a feather in those guys’ cap,” Bowles told reporters. “To have the respect of the players is more important than anything else. When your peers vote on you being a captain, it means a lot for them.”

Vea joins the great Tom Brady as the Bucs captain, along with Mike Evans, Lavonte David, and Devin White. Bowles noted that the captain for the special teams shall be “named on a later date.”

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According to Bowles, Vita Vea has been putting the work in this offseason. He’s not the type to rest on his laurels, and this is something his teammates have taken notice of:

“Vita got a lot of votes,” Bowles said. “He prepared very well, he had a good offseason, he came back in shape, he shed some weight. He’s been leading the film-room charges and he’s become a leader on this team. I think that speaks a lot about him.”

Tampa Bay kicks its season off on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys and it will be Vea’s first opportunity to showcase his leadership both on and off the field.