Da’Quan Bowers Getting Ultimatum?June 7th, 2014
Joe is on record losing hope that Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen can turn around the career of Da’Quan Bowers. Since the Bucs drafted Bowers in the second round in 2011, Bowers has made much more news for either being out of shape or hurt or involved in a New York gun hassle than he has on the field.
That is not to say Bowers is a troublemaker. Far from it. Bowers is a really pleasant fellow, but he has rarely lived up to his predicted high ceiling coming out of Clemson.
Last offseason, Bowers was handed a starting gig after former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik let sack leader Michael Bennett walk away for no good reason. So humbled with this promotion, Bowers showed up to Bucs training camp out of shape and was often seen on the sidelines in training camp on one knee sucking air rather than chasing quarterbacks out of the pocket.
Lovie Smith’s hiring marked the third Bucs coaching staff for Bowers. And if words in June are any indication, then Bowers may not be around to see how Lovie’s team shakes out.
Defensive line coach Joe Cullen seemed to fire a shot across the bow at Bowers in a piece typed by Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune, saying Bowers may want to shift his focus into high gear.
Now Bowers may be on the brink of giving away his roster spot, possibly for the same reason he lost his starter’s job last year.
Slowed by an as-yet unspecified injury this offseason, the Bucs’ 2011 second-round draft pick returned to workouts a couple of weeks ago but wasn’t in very good shape.
“He’s not there yet,’’ Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen said of Bowers’ conditioning after a workout this week at One Buc Place. “He’s got to get into great shape to be able to do those things (he’s capable of).’’
Now to be fair, it appears Bowers had offseason knee surgery. The extent of the surgery, or the need for it, is unknown.
Bowers also Twittered this week he was just turning the corner in his rehab process.
— Da’Quan Bowers (@DaQuanBowers91) May 29, 2014
If Bowers just got his legs back, he’s really going to have to push himself in the next seven weeks or so to be ready for training camp the way Cullen (and Lovie?) want him to be.
Sadly, Bowers doesn’t have much leverage since he’s never played to his potential. And Lovie doesn’t seem to have much patience for players he didn’t choose who also aren’t fully engaged in team activities.
As Joe has written before, it’s time for Bowers to fish or cut bait. The clock is ticking.