Da’Quan Bowers Must Be A Grinder

July 1st, 2013

daquan bowers 0701

No amount of Scope can rid the bitter taste in Joe’s mouth when he remembers the sadistic Bucs pass defense last year.

Scores of new flatscreens were bought throughout the Tampa Bay area last fall after Bucs fans threw remotes and beer bottles at their TV screens as the Bucs secondary was roasted worse than Georgia peanuts time and time again.

At times, the Bucs would have been better off playing with three folding chairs in a nickel formation. At least a receiver potentially could have tripped over a folding chair.

The hidden culprit in that unholy mess was a virtual non-existent pass rush, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Stroud documents how Bucs coach Greg Schiano plans to build a defensive front that has been void of anyone registering double-digit sacks since Simeon Rice in 2005.

In particular, Stroud points to the major gamble Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik has taken banking on largely untested Da’Quan Bowers to fill the void left by departed sack leader Michael Bennett.

As a rookie, he was limited while the Bucs waited for his knee, injured while at Clemson, to gain strength. Last season it was the Achilles torn in May. If Bowers can stay out of the trainer’s room, he can make an impact with his natural pass rush skills. He has added significant upper-body strength while getting into better shape. The problem is Bowers has never been counted on as an every-down player. He must learn to cope with nagging injuries and be more stout against the run.

“He has not played any consistent amount,” coach Greg Schiano said. “So if he wants to become anything more than just a situational pass rusher, he’s got to grind through it. He’s got to go through the pain of being an every-down player.”

Joe believes Stroud hit a bulls-eye. Look, Bowers is a great guy and has loads of talent. The problem is — and Bowers will admit this — he needs to stay on the field. He has yet to play a full season due to various ailments. It seems even Schiano is pushing Bowers to play through the bumps and bruises (though no one can play through a blown Achilles).

If Bowers cannot play a full season or is unable to record, say, eight sacks, then the dice rolled in letting Bennett walk, even though he is damaged goods, likely will be a gamble lost for 2013.

9 Responses to “Da’Quan Bowers Must Be A Grinder”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Bowers will beast double digit sacks as long as he stays healthy….count on it! I wasnt a Clemson fan, but I watched him while he was there, 20 miles away from me. People arent getting it yet and thats good. We’ll keep flying under the radar and they’ll realize everything after its too late!

  2. BamBamBuc Says:

    Same was said regarding GMC after his first two years. And it’s entirely valid. Probably more valid with Bowers than with GMC, as GMC’s injuries were more of the “freak injury” type and Bower’s injuries more of the career threatening type. I say this in the sense that GMC’s two tricep injuries were unusual yet not nearly as debilitating as Bower’s knee and achilles. If Bower’s can’t move quickly, change direction, spin, get leverage with his legs, etc. then he will be rendered useless pretty quick. So far, it looks as though he has healed pretty nicely and is able to return to form. If he returns this year like GMC did last year, we could have 3 very nice pieces of the D-line puzzle in Bowers, GMC and Clayborn (assuming his return is successful as well). If Spence steps up as the other article here discusses, we could actually have a full front 4, only lacking in depth. Teo-Nesheim is pretty good depth at RDE. We’ll see if Gholston can be depth at LDE, then we need to see how the journeymen DTs do in relief.

  3. BigBear Says:

    How is playing in 16 games during his rookie season not playing a full season? He may have only been used as a pass rusher or sparingly, but still 16 games is a full season.

  4. Biff Barker Says:

    The Bucs have been stubborn trying to recoup their investment in the DL and I believe the payoff finally starts this year.
    So tired of the “letting Bennett walk” story. Bennett was trying to dictate his own terms and conditions all while being injured too.
    Sad that both his agent and pride got in the way. Regardless, we should all wish him well.

  5. Sneedy16 Says:

    The did a article on Bowers on Bucs Nation. Showed a clip of what Bowers and do when he was healthy last year. He has the power.


  6. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Bennett was overrated by many Bucs fans. He’s not a big loss. I’m far more excited about what Clayborn, Bowers and the new addition Gholston bring to the table. Gonna be a fun season in 2013.

  7. Joc Says:

    Call me crazy but what is the harm in keeping bennent?

  8. Bobby Says:

    This defense will be scary good this year. You don’t have to have a ton of sacks to have a good pass D. The Jets were #1 in pass defense with just 30 sacks so I’m not buying the pass rush being the culprit. If you have good DB’s they just don’t throw at you as often. If you have a good run D they pass more. This year we’ll have both and the opposing teams won’t know what the heck to do.

  9. scubog Says:

    Bennett was a tried hard guy who had been outright cut by the Seahawks for whom he made a return engagement. He had a respectable season and nothing more. He’s gone…..get over it. If he has 10 sacks or more for the birds I’m sure Mark Dominik will say “ooops”.