Da’Quan Bowers “In Best Shape Of His Life”July 28th, 2014
Not quite a week ago, Bucs general manager Jason Licht made waves when he bluntly stated in a townhall meeting with Joe’s good friend “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig, live from the Tampa Clear Channel headquarters, that fourth-year and under-performing defensive end Da’Quan Bowers had to “prove” he wanted to be on the team.
It seemed clear that the gauntlet had been thrown down. Bowers had to either fish of cut bait, that Bowers’ Tampa Bay days had come to a T-intersection.
Over the weekend, speaking live with WDAE’s Tom Krasniqi and Ronnie Lane, Licht hinted his words on Bowers may have been premature. Indeed, it seemed Bowers had gotten the message when he was publicly called out by his position coach Joe Cullen for being out of shape — in June!
“Kind of funny,” Licht said. “The other night when I was in your studio and I told the fans that we need to see Da’Quan prove it. I came back to the [Bucs’] facility and someone told me they saw Da’Quan and that he was in the best shape of his life. So far, he does show that he does want to be here.”
Now Joe has to admit he hasn’t been monitoring Bowers too much in practice. Sunday, Joe got a taste of both the bad Bowers and the good Bowers on successive plays.
In line drills, Bowers went up against tackle Matt Patchan, who absolutely manhandled Bowers, jamming him at the line with his hands to the upper chest, throwing Bowers off balance and owning him. On the next play, Bowers blew by Patchan as if the tackle were a mailbox. There was also Bowers getting manhandled by a tackling dummy.
As the stat geeks might say, that’s an awful small sample size.
Lovie Smith noted yesterday that he will only keep seven defensive linemen active on gamedays. So, if a reserve lineman can play both end and inside, he will have an inside shot of being active.
Bowers, along with Will Gholston, both fit this category.
Also in Licht’s appearance on WDAE-AM 620 Saturday, he noted that defensive end Adrian Clayborn has done nothing thus far for him “not to be a starter” come the opening game against the Stinking Panthers.