A common practice following NFL games sees players exchanging jerseys with their opponents. Players will pop off their shoulder pads and pull off the jersey to exchange it. It’s generally a pretty straight-forward exchange. Unless you’re Vita Vea.
The massive Bucs defensive tackle had a phenomenal game, as usual, and after the game went to exchange jerseys with Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata. I imagine it was a sign of respect between the two after a busy evening doing battle. Mailata got his pads off with relative ease, but Vea had some issues.
October 15, 2021
Michael Bennett is known in part for his decision to go with super small pads. It makes it harder for an offensive lineman to grab and hold, and potentially makes him just a little bit quicker. It would appear Vea might follow that practice, and while it works well when battling an offensive lineman, it does not work so well when it comes time to get the pads off.
Thankfully, he had someone there to assist him because those pads absolutely were not coming off without some assistance!