The QB Blast: Technology Can Help Bowers, BucsMay 3rd, 2011
Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes The QB Blast column here at JoeBucsFan.com. Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson is often seen as a color analyst on Bright House Sports Network, and he trains quarterbacks of all ages locally via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.
By JEFF CARLSON
Prospects falling down in the draft are nothing new for the NFL.
Warren Sapp fell significantly for rumored drug use. Aaron Rogers fell for no good reason. And now that Alex Smith is basically a bust for San Francisco and Rogers is hugging the Lombardi Trophy, we all know it was for no good reason.
There are plenty of those stories over the years, but maybe no other matches the fall of Da’Quan Bowers. Bowers was the early favorite at the top of most draft boards after Andrew Luck decided to stay in school. The question about the ACC Defensive Player of the Year falling from the top of the board to the middle of the second round, not because of drug use, which never became an issue for future Hall-of-Famer Sapp, is his physical health.
The most prominent or maybe the only issue is a surgically repaired knee that his college coach said didn’t respond as well as they had hoped to some kind of surgery.
The word on the street is that he has a degenerative arthritic knee and is “bone on bone.” If this turns out to be a single issue, I believe he will be able to overcome it through medical technology.
There are a number of products that “create” cartilage to give the knee back the cushiony space needed to have the joint move smoothly without the bone rubbing and wearing out on both the top and bottom of the knee. I actually work for the company (sanofi-aventis) that just bought the company (Genzyme) that is the leader in this kind of surgery called “Carticel.” I don’t know for sure if this is what he already had done, but it sounds like it may have been.
It is obvious that every team in the league saw more of an issue with his knee or other problems that made them pass on his outrageous potential, but the Buccaneers will not get any blame for giving this talented player a chance, even if he never becomes a significant contributor.
However, they will be given major credit if he turns out to be the player that was talented enough to be on top of draft boards, even if it was for only a short time and even if his career is shorter than it should be.
His highlights are more impressive than any other defensive lineman that went before him.
Every team in the league has missed on first-round picks and subsequent picks. Da’Quan Bowers’ role model was fellow Clemson DE Gaines Adams, a miss by the Buccaneers at No. 4 overall pick in 2007 and traded by 2009. Another recent miss was wide receiver Dexter Jackson, a second round pick in 2008 gone the next year. Even with those misses, the Buccaneers are poised to be one of the better teams in the league next year and into the future, so taking Bowers at No. 51 was certainly worth the risk, because the reward could be off the charts.
On another note, the draft isn’t quite as exciting when your team doesn’t have a need at quarterback, but how comforting to know the Bucs have no need at QB. I don’t think I would trade Josh Freeman for any other quarterback in the league right now!