Da’Quan Bowers Must Be A GrinderJuly 1st, 2013
No amount of Scope can rid the bitter taste in Joe’s mouth when he remembers the sadistic Bucs pass defense last year.
Scores of new flatscreens were bought throughout the Tampa Bay area last fall after Bucs fans threw remotes and beer bottles at their TV screens as the Bucs secondary was roasted worse than Georgia peanuts time and time again.
At times, the Bucs would have been better off playing with three folding chairs in a nickel formation. At least a receiver potentially could have tripped over a folding chair.
The hidden culprit in that unholy mess was a virtual non-existent pass rush, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Stroud documents how Bucs coach Greg Schiano plans to build a defensive front that has been void of anyone registering double-digit sacks since Simeon Rice in 2005.
In particular, Stroud points to the major gamble Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik has taken banking on largely untested Da’Quan Bowers to fill the void left by departed sack leader Michael Bennett.
As a rookie, he was limited while the Bucs waited for his knee, injured while at Clemson, to gain strength. Last season it was the Achilles torn in May. If Bowers can stay out of the trainer’s room, he can make an impact with his natural pass rush skills. He has added significant upper-body strength while getting into better shape. The problem is Bowers has never been counted on as an every-down player. He must learn to cope with nagging injuries and be more stout against the run.
“He has not played any consistent amount,” coach Greg Schiano said. “So if he wants to become anything more than just a situational pass rusher, he’s got to grind through it. He’s got to go through the pain of being an every-down player.”
Joe believes Stroud hit a bulls-eye. Look, Bowers is a great guy and has loads of talent. The problem is — and Bowers will admit this — he needs to stay on the field. He has yet to play a full season due to various ailments. It seems even Schiano is pushing Bowers to play through the bumps and bruises (though no one can play through a blown Achilles).
If Bowers cannot play a full season or is unable to record, say, eight sacks, then the dice rolled in letting Bennett walk, even though he is damaged goods, likely will be a gamble lost for 2013.