Jason Licht To Da’Quan Bowers: Prove It!July 23rd, 2014
When Bucs defensive end Da’Quan Bowers was called out by his position coach Joe Cullen near the end of OTAs, it raised all sorts of red flags.
For a position coach to openly mock a player for being out of shape — in June, no less — coming off a knee surgery of unknown severity, wow! That showed the new regime was no longer going to baby Bowers and that his Tampa Bay days could very well be numbered.
That point was hit home big time this evening. During a townhall meeting with Joe’s good friend, “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, broadcast live before a studio audience at the Clear Channel headquarters in Tampa, Licht, in no uncertain terms, let it be known that Bowers has arrived at his career crossroads.
In a manner of speaking, Licht told the live radio audience, fans at hand and assembled members of the Tampa Bay pen and mic club, that it was time for Bowers to fish or cut bait.
“Da’Quan Bowers needs to prove to us he wants to be on this football team,” Licht said.
Moments later, Licht noted he wasn’t trying to be mean or ornery or nasty to Bowers, just matter-of-fact. Licht said he was just being “blunt” and wanted to be “frank,” then adding, “We are rooting for him.”
So let it be known that the line between Bowers staying on the Bucs roster and becoming a full-time guitar player is razor-thin. If Bowers didn’t get the message from his position coach last month, he got the message crystal clear today.
For the life of Joe, he cannot understand why Bowers, who has but 5.5 sacks in 39 games, was all but handed the starting job last year when former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik let team sack leader Michael Bennett walk away for no good reason.
Bowers thanked Dominik and then-Bucs commander Greg Schiano for the gift by getting involved in a gun hassle in New York and arriving to camp out of shape.
The only gift Licht and Lovie Smith will give Bowers, if he shows up tomorrow out of shape (again), will be of the parting variety.