Too Many Eggs In Bowers’ Basket?August 15th, 2013
Yes, Joe posted this information last night, but it bears being put under the microscope for further examination: The Da’Quan Bowers Odyssey.
Yesterday, Joe read a report that noted Bowers was mostly participating on passing downs during the Bucs-Patriots joint practices in Foxborough. This seemed a odd to Joe as the Bucs are bound and determined to make Bowers an every down defensive lineman. Shoot, the Bucs played Bowers the entire first half last week in the preseason opener. Rarely are starters left out in a preseason opener longer than, say, 20 minutes into the game.
That was eye-opener No. 1. Eye-opener No. 2 was Greg Schiano’s comments about Bowers and the starting left defensive end gig.
“There are no starting jobs right now. Guys are competing on the defensive front. You’ve got Gerald McCoy, that’s a guy who is definitely starting,” Schiano said. “If AC [defensive end Adrian Clayborn] can come back healthy, then he’s definitely starting. After that it’s wide open.”
Whoa.. whoa… whoa… whoa! Wait, what? Bowers not starting? Joe can just hear Vince Lombardi yelling, “What the hell is going on out here?”
Bucs fans were told in the offseason that, in part, the Bucs didn’t re-sign 2012 Bucs sack leader Michael Bennett because he was damaged goods and that Bowers was ready to fill the void. The Bucs turned their noses up at John Abraham because, in part, Bowers was ready to be the bookend to Adrian Clayborn. The Bucs looked the other way on Osi Umenyiora and Dwight Freeney, in part, because it was now Bowers’ time to shine.
Now we are being told Bowers may not even start? Good grief, how quickly Bowers has fallen in the eyes of the Bucs. He went from future Pro Bowler to perhaps a part-time player in a matter of weeks.
Joe had a hunch all along it was a gamble — a big gamble — to put so many eggs in Bowers’ basket, a guy who came out of Clemson with a lot of potential but has been injured and has yet to come remotely close to reaching that potential.
If Bowers, three weeks from the season-opener against the Jets, hasn’t locked up a starting gig, how silly do the Bucs look at being penny-wise and pound-foolish with Bennett? Sure, he was/is damaged goods, but for the (relatively) minimal amount he would have cost and all the cash the Bucs have under the salary cap, what the heck. If Bennett couldn’t hack it, you make an injury settlement or cut him and walk away.
Something really smells fishy here (and it’s not the empty beer bottles at Joe’s side). Joe totally understands how Schiano wants competition, but my goodness, what has happened to Bowers?
If Bowers can’t cut the mustard with Schiano, Joe thinks it is safe to say that Clemson defensive ends are just like Penn State quarterbacks and Florida wide receivers: Stay away. Stay very far away.