The QB Blast: Technology Can Help Bowers, Bucs

May 3rd, 2011

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson

Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes The QB Blast column here at Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson is often seen as a color analyst on Bright House Sports Network, and he trains quarterbacks of all ages locally via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.


Prospects falling down in the draft are nothing new for the NFL. 

Warren Sapp fell significantly for rumored drug use. Aaron Rogers fell for no good reason. And now that Alex Smith is basically a bust for San Francisco and Rogers is hugging the Lombardi Trophy, we all know it was for no good reason. 

There are plenty of those stories over the years, but maybe no other matches the fall of Da’Quan Bowers. Bowers was the early favorite at the top of most draft boards after Andrew Luck decided to stay in school. The question about the ACC Defensive Player of the Year falling from the top of the board to the middle of the second round, not because of drug use, which never became an issue for future Hall-of-Famer Sapp, is his physical health.

The most prominent or maybe the only issue is a surgically repaired knee that his college coach said didn’t respond as well as they had hoped to some kind of surgery.

The word on the street is that he has a degenerative arthritic knee and is “bone on bone.” If this turns out to be a single issue, I believe he will be able to overcome it through medical technology.

There are a number of products that “create” cartilage to give the knee back the cushiony space needed to have the joint move smoothly without the bone rubbing and wearing out on both the top and bottom of the knee. I actually work for the company (sanofi-aventis) that just bought the company (Genzyme) that is the leader in this kind of surgery called “Carticel.” I don’t know for sure if this is what he already had done, but it sounds like it may have been.

It is obvious that every team in the league saw more of an issue with his knee or other problems that made them pass on his outrageous potential, but the Buccaneers will not get any blame for giving this talented player a chance, even if he never becomes a significant contributor.

However, they will be given major credit if he turns out to be the player that was talented enough to be on top of draft boards, even if it was for only a short time and even if his career is shorter than it should be.

His highlights are more impressive than any other defensive lineman that went before him. 

Every team in the league has missed on first-round picks and subsequent picks. Da’Quan Bowers’ role model was fellow Clemson DE Gaines Adams, a miss by the Buccaneers at No. 4 overall pick in 2007 and traded by 2009. Another recent miss was wide receiver Dexter Jackson, a second round pick in 2008 gone the next year. Even with those misses, the Buccaneers are poised to be one of the better teams in the league next year and into the future, so taking Bowers at No. 51 was certainly worth the risk, because the reward could be off the charts.

On another note, the draft isn’t quite as exciting when your team doesn’t have a need at quarterback, but how comforting to know the Bucs have no need at QB. I don’t think I would trade Josh Freeman for any other quarterback in the league right now!

10 Responses to “The QB Blast: Technology Can Help Bowers, Bucs”

  1. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Thanks for your insight Jeff! I always look forward to your JBF Posts!
    My ex GF had avascular necrossis (bone death) of her knee cap. They re vascularized it by drilling it! The deliberate injury to her knee cap caused by the drilling stimulated new bone growth!
    3 other Doctors said she needed knee replacement.

  2. McBuc Says:

    Thanks Jeff. This is what I was thinking as well, but there so many articles pointing in so many directions…I hope this kid turns into the beast the Bucs are looking for. I for one love the Clayborn pick as well.

  3. BigMacAttack Says:

    Jeff, I agree 100%. I always enjoy reading your column. Excellent job as usual.

  4. Chris FWC :) Says:

    Nice article Jeff. Interesting about repairing his knee.

  5. McBuc Says:

    See, Thomas 2.2 always calls anyone that has something good to say about the Bucs a “sheep”, yet he believes everything he reads in the news paper. So it seems anyway. Jeff has given a different persoective that has also been reported in some media sources, but most have been doom and gloom. Bowers most be like “thanks coach”, maybe he dated his daughter or something.

  6. OB Says:

    The landscape is littered with people that one team took and then traded away because they were not any good who went on to great things. Draft picks are the same way. Desire and a will to win are not measurable but they sure make a difference, more than some of the tests that are done on draft day. People in every walk of life don’t pratice as hard as they do for real and this can be hidden also.

    I, for one, are eagerly waiting for the NFL to start to see how much the Bucs have gown up and are going grow. I think Ronde is staying because he sees his second ring coming either this year or next.

  7. McBuc Says:

    OB, you speak the truth.

  8. Jrock Says:

    Interesting take on Bowers Jeff, it is nice reading something different on him. It’s also very reassuring to know there are specific surgeries for his type of injury.

    Will the surgery you speak of suffice for a NFL starter, or is it more for helping people walk normally without pain? That is the real question

  9. Dave Says:

    I think at a minimum he gives them 4 years.
    I say sign him to 4 years and have a 5th and 6th year option.

    Between the medical technology and trainers, I think he should have some very productive years.

    I also think the new D-Line coaches must be salivating at working with McCoy, Price, Miller, Bowers, Clayborne, and even Bennett.

    The worst case scenario I see is DT Price’s NEW procedure not holding up and Bowers knee not holding up and both of them are done within 2 years.

    I try no to think about that, but feel it should be mentioned because it is a possibility.

  10. Capt.Tim Says:

    Nice work, Jeff, as always! I hope Bowers is able to overcome his knee injuries. He is really talented and hard working, and I would hate to see his career end before he has a chance. I am going to be optimistic, because I believe Mark Dominick did his research on him before we drafted him. If he can return to form, we made one of the great all time steals! I’m sure he will want to prove himself to all the teams that doubted him.

    It could really turn out to be franchise changing pick for the team if both our Young DEs rise to their best. You wouldn’t wanna play QB against that line!!