“Working Without A Safety Net”

July 8th, 2013

Greg Schiano loves and craves competition.

And great competition goes hand in hand with good depth.

So given those realities, it is easy to wonder what the hell the Bucs were thinking this offseason at defensive end. The Bucs don’t have much depth there, and the DEs they’re banking on, DaQuan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn, haven’t proven to be durable.

NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling, in his Sunday “Making the Leap” feature, looks at DaQuan Bowers’ career and how the Bucs have moved “all-in” with him. Wesseling notes the following:

The Buccaneers’ brass is pushing all of their chips to the center of the table, going all in on Bowers’ perceived pass-rushing upside. The problem is they’re working without a safety net after letting Michael Bennett walk in free agency. If Bowers’ lower legs don’t cooperate, the Bucs’ improving defense will be submarined by its edge-rushing deficiencies.

Forget about letting Bennett and his injured shoulder leave town, not replacing Bennett meant the Bucs opted for less quality competition at the position — from a general manager who has said repeatedly that rushing the passer is one of his top three core beliefs when it comes to building a football team. 

It was a somewhat strange choice, one that will be scrutinized throughout 2013.

21 Responses to ““Working Without A Safety Net””

  1. Macabee Says:

    Greg “Wallenda” Schiano. Love the confidence!

  2. Couch Fan Says:

    I agree letting Bennett go was a mistake. But at some point you got to hand the reigns over to Bowers and see what you have in him. All 32 teams have to do things like this. You draft a guy in a high round, at some point you need to see if he can be that guy you drafted him for… Bennett only would of took reps away from someone who needed them.

  3. flmike Says:

    Not so much replacing Bennett with Bowers, what they are actually doing is relying on Means & Gholston to step up and be the depth as rookies.

  4. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ^^^^ agreed. The Bucs are counting on the secondary to help the pass rush, and I agree. Hell, you can probably rush your grandma and get sacks if this secondary lives up to it’s billing. So please, let’s wait till preseason and see what we have before we call the Bucs idiots.

  5. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    And a quality comment from Couch Fan. We absolutely need to see what Bowers and Clayborn can do when the pressure is on. They know the success of the Bucs defense is riding on their ability to not only stay healthy but to get to the quarterback consistently. If they don’t hold up this season, THEN we look for replacements.

  6. buildthrudraft Says:

    Thats what the draft is for. Who doesnt takes chances like that, we know his upside like greenbay knew of brett favre but they eventually gave aaron rodgers his chance. bowers is younger and will get better with time, he was already taking snaps away from bennett and was projected starter last year before getting hurt. once a franchise proves they draft well then that will quiet the silly talk….theres no such thing as a safety net in the nfl, everybody is unproven until they prove something

  7. buildthrudraft Says:

    This shouldnt be new to anyone, we let go of all our vets the year raheem morris became the coach. this is nothing compared to that, bowers is no pushover, 3 rushers in bowers, clayborn and mccoy yea i think he’ll get every chance to prove his worth but this year might be the reverse of last year and people might start trying to run instead of throwing to see if our interior is tough like last year

  8. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ^^^ you may be right, but now we put Barron in his natural position (in the box) along with David and Foster. I like our chances of bottling up the run, even more so this year.

  9. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    By the way, I love that picture. Romo looks like he wants no part of what is going on there.

  10. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    Means & Gholston > than Freeny or Atlanta’s ex DE?

    Or is there just not enough room?

  11. Tim Says:

    Everyone seems to forget that Daniel Te’o-Nesheim played a lot last year and was petty damn good. AC if healthy I the type of guy that does not come off of the field. Leaving Gholston and Bowers to rotate at the other end.

    Means is more of special teams guy that can work into the rotation if needed to. We have 5 guys at DE all will make the team, Nasheim and Bowers will be the pass rushing specialist, While Gholston can rotate in at DT or DE to help rush on 3rd downs.

  12. PRBucFan Says:

    He’s 28 on a list of the top 40 players predicted to make the leap to having a successful season.

    It was supposed to be a positive article on Bowers.

    Bust out the plates of crow because this pick will pay off!!!

  13. Tampamac Says:

    Buc Fan #238,
    I wouldn’t say they’re better than Abraham and Freeney at THIS point in their careers, but if you haven’t noticed the Bucs aren’t too keen on signing guys on the downhill side of 30. Why take away snaps from a guy that may be a long term answer to plug in 1 or 2 year rentals?

  14. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    I have banged the drum on Teo before. He was a solid player for us but I would never classify him as “pass rushing specialist”. He is a good all around player but is not really spectacular as a pass rusher. I think he plays the run much better. If Bowers is not durable enough to be a three down player then I could see Teo being a first and second down player with Bowers being the pass rusher on third downs.

  15. 91b93u94c59s54 Says:

    WE HAVE DANIEL TE’O NESHEIM PEOPLE!!!! He is a hell of a DE in the making, he can also play GMC’s spot as a pass rushing DT.

  16. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^^Well that escalated quickly.

  17. aj Says:

    I don’t even think it is about letting Bennett go. I hated to see it, but I understand it. If Bowers is what they think he is, you can’t justify taking snaps away from him.

  18. Dave Says:

    Adrian Clayborn needs some love. From what I saw in his rookie year I think he is poised to bust out even more than Bowers

  19. ttaliesin Says:

    After the Wash. game, Bennett publically criticized the HC’s play calling. Then some Buc player calls Mike Florio at PFT and complains about his “college coaches. ” Then the Bucs let their best pass rusher walk w/o lifting a finger.
    Two plus two still equals four.

  20. scubog Says:

    Finally the mole mystery is solved by ttaliesin. Bennet was pretty good at times but nothing special. He’s gone…..get over it. Freeny and Abraham were great players in their day. But that day was yesterday. We have three high draft picks on that D-line . How about let them play together.

  21. chef paul Says:

    It’ll be nice if/when bowers gets us to stop talking about Bennet. That’s what he needs to do from here on out. Get us to stop the Bennet talk