Bowers Slowed By First Training Camp

September 5th, 2013

daquan bowers 0701

Joe has been skeptical of the Bucs for not beefing up (at least a little) their defensive line in the offseason with at least some proven veteran among the handful that were available for the right shopping price.

Yes, the Bucs now have four defensive linemen on the roster that were third-day draft picks in 2013; that tells Joe how absolutely thin the defensive line was. To expect all four, much less one, to be a major contributor in making opposing quarterbacks eat grass is wishful thinking beyond reason.

Joe was concerned about the front line, in part, because that both Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik and commander Greg Schiano were confident Da’Quan Bowers could pick up where departed sack leader (and solid run-stopper) Michael Bennett left off.

Training camp came along and Bowers seemed to implode under the weight of the new responsibility. He was seen sucking major air on the sidelnes during practice and Schiano made a few not-so subtle jabs that Bowers had to pick up his game. Then, Bowers struggled in preseason games. Joe has been shaking his head for weeks how both the front office and coaching staff could swing and miss this badly in evaluating Bowers — at such a critical need area.

Well, Bowers, who really is a stand-up guy and as nice of a person you would ever want to chat with, mentioned something to Joe Wednesday that made all the sense in the world.

Bowers was going through his first NFL training camp.

When Bowers was a rookie, the Bucs as well as the NFL had an abbreviated training camp coming off the asinine lockout. Bowers also was coming off of knee surgery and was not a full-go for what passed as training camp. Bowers didn’t participate in training camp due to his torn Achilles suffered in April. So in his third year in the NFL, Bowers participated in his first, full-blown training camp and preseason.

Bowers discussed how Schiano has worked closely in getting Bowers ready to be an every-down player and how Bowers is responding to the intense coaching and practices.

“[Schiano] has invested a lot in me. He has believed in me. He has given me shots and I appreciate that. I owe it to this organization to be that guy who can play any down, anywhere and be dominant. Wherever they call me, it is my job to be the best I can. Coach has been leading me where I want to go. He is very particular in me elevating my game. It wasn’t easy; it hasn’t been easy; it still isn’t easy but we are working toward that goal.

“Just when you think you have arrived your destination changes and I don’t think that I have arrived. This is my actual first real training camp. I didn’t have a heavy load in training camp, this year didn’t have a training camp at all because of the Achilles tear. It is my [responsibility] not knowing the tempo, not knowing the pace of practices and not being ready for the heat. It is hard to play football in Tampa. It is hard to breathe but we use that to our advantage. I am good. My condition is great.“

Now this helps make sense of why Bowers may have struggled coming out of the gate in late July. What it doesn’t explain is why he didn’t start some preseason games and adapt through August, and how he is not listed atop the depth chart at defensive end.

The only thing Joe can figure is that Bowers was being asked to do a lot of new things, thus, has taken longer to develop than originally thought.

31 Responses to “Bowers Slowed By First Training Camp”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I don’t know….I can’t help but think the NY Airport Gun incident has caused Schiano to open up a can of “whoop ass” on Bowers….that coupled with comming into camp somewhat out of shape really irritated Schiano.
    I do think that Schiano will make or break Bowers and I hope he succeds in making him an every down productive lineman.
    If not….give the Bears a call…they seem to like our Clemson rejects.

  2. Amar Says:


    He still could have worked out and stay fit during the off-season to be ready for training camp. What did he expect? Blaming the past for not preparing is NOT a legit excuse it just shows his ignorance and laziness. Extremely lazy player that has had WAY TOO MUCH in life handed to him. He’s just now starting to learn what work is! Sad!

  3. Splengo Says:


    Bowers may be a problem now, but he didn’t cause the problem. Why didn’t Schiano and Dominik see this at the end of last season before they decided to castrate the D-Line during the off-season. Let’s put the blame where it should be. Bowers be damned, this thin line situation that you describe did not have to happen.

  4. MTM Says:

    It makes perfect sense that Bowers is out of shape for training camp. Its illegal to train on your own in the off season. Just wait until camp starts to do anything. Buc fans are sick of the excuses, constant injury prone draft picks, over paid free agents, rehab projects and just bad player scouting.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    LVD & Doug Martin weren’t slowed by their first training camp.
    Bowers was/is out of shape…their may not be a way that Dominik & Schiano would know that until camp begins….to my knowledge there are no pre-camp workouts.
    I think Bowers is a slacker….I believe they got rid of some other players for the same reason… Blount.

  6. Bojacksonsucks Says:

    Joe still celebrates Dom as a Rockstar even with him failing the team in 2012 with a roster full of questionable CB’s, and now he swings and seemingly misses in trying to prove himself right by relying on his draft picks to perform.

    I have a feeling the Bucs miss the playoffs but you can’t blame Freeman it will be on Dom not adding to the d line.

  7. Biff Barker Says:

    Joe, I posted this up weeks back that this is his first camp. Not offering excuses mind you, but it is a reality.
    So, at least Bowers takes accountability and is not blaming his coaches. I do think his heart is in it and his body will br in game shape soon enough.
    Lets stop the bashing now and get behind this guy. We desperately need him to be a force on this line.

  8. TrueBlue Says:

    By mid season the praise for Bowers will be flowing. All these fault finders will be singing the tune ‘I told you so’. Memories are conveniently short. Such is the nature of a band wagon fan.

  9. BucDan Says:

    I just hope the ‘light goes off’ for this guy ala Vernon Davis. Not saying that #91 is a “Me First” player, but he needs to realize that with his talent AND elite preparation, the sky is the limit. Both for himself AND the team. I said it before on these very pages, can’t measure the guys heart. I’m hoping that he turns it around and dominates.

  10. Otto Says:

    What’s next, Bowers hits a “rookie wall”?

  11. Couch Fan Says:

    I have been saying this all along. It’s his first healthy off-season. It’s a lot of firsts for him. It makes no sense to crucify this guy so quickly.

  12. Bucnjim Says:

    It’s human nature when experiencing some success you feel like you’ve got it down. He looked really good in his role last year, but should have realized it’s just the beginning. A true professional is always working on his skill set and not resting on his past achievements. Shiano is just forcing him to be a professional and earn his starting role.

  13. Bobby Says:

    Hey, I see the band wagon fans are out in force this morning. Usually if there’s something they can spew some bile over they never fail to post. Amazing how they have us as a bust team and the season hasn’t even started. All Dom’s draft picks suck and it takes 4-5 years to evaluate a draft pick. The FA’s are over paid but everybody screamed that the Glazers were the cheapest owners in football and would NEVER bring in high priced FA’s. Yep, they don’t have any friends because nobody wants to be around them so they come to JBF and post drivel. Joe should start a new site called JBBF JoeBucsBandwagonFans.

  14. P Walk Says:

    A man is a fool to that which he does not know. I see that Bowers didnt know the rigors of training camp but I believe he will be a beast in due time. His skill set is superior to Bennetts. Bennett had 1 sack the 2nd half of the season when teams started paying him attention.

  15. RBellBuc Says:

    I hope you, who pile on, and are always criticizing, feel like fools for the demeaning stuff you say, if Bowers comes out, kicks ass, and takes names Sunday. Way too many of you are always leaning toward the negative side of everything, and that includes Joe. Just like Joe said yesterday on the radio, if Joe can remember, Schiano’s gameday depth chart is not written in stone, so it’s silly to prematurely say that Bowers is relegated to a backup role, and he will not be the starter on Sunday. You can’t definitively say for sure, that, that is true.

    3 more days!

  16. Joseph Mamma Says:

    So he struggled with his fitness in training camp, I get that. But why is the guy not starting? Starting Daniel te’o nesheim in his place is ridiculous and only means that Bower’s is terrible so far. How can the team seriously let te’o whatever start?

  17. BirdDoggers Says:

    The NFL is a win now league. It doesn’t make sense that the coaching staff and GM would put so much stock in an unproven player and ask him to do something he’s never done at this level and have no back up plan to speak of. The pass rush is one of the most critical parts of a successful team. Either they committed a blunder in their evaluation, or Bowers will come out and play like the player they expect him to be. I’m rooting for Bowers to be successful, the Bucs need a pass rush.

  18. Otto Says:

    Of course we are all rooting for Bowers to succeed and be that 10 sack guy, but making excuses like not knowing the pace of practice and the heat……the average summer temperatures in South Carolina are the same, maybe a degree warmer than in Tampa. It’s just not very Buccaneer Man-like. Then you read stories of the great players, like Revis, eating three organic meals a day and more determined/dedicated to get even better. That’s respectable; Bowers out of shape isn’t.

  19. Texas jc Says:

    All of this talk about needing a veteran DE. Andre Carter was just released from Oakland. Surely the Bucs could use a proven pass rusher like that in Tampa.

  20. Bucnjim Says:

    He should have been following Simeon Rice’s workout regiment. That guy trained 24/7 and it showed on the field.

  21. mac Says:

    This is a bunch of BS! I would respect a story that mentioned Bower’s chronic knee issues and busted heel tendon has had its toll on his athletic abilities… But to make up this lame ass excuse for Bowers is totally lame man… Totally lame… Like homerville lame….

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    If I asked any of you before last season, how many sacks do you think Michael Bennett is going to get? What would your answer have been?

  23. Bobby Says:

    How many sacks will Bennett get this year? I think he’ll be injured before the season is half over.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    Well I think the real question is who is going to be the next Michael Bennett? I think Bennett is not the reason he got his 9 sacks. I think Schiano is the reason Bennett got 9 sacks last season. So back to original question.

    If I asked any of you before last season, how many sacks do you think Michael Bennett is going to get? What would your answer have been?

    Answer: most of you would have said Michael Bennett who?

  25. Couch Fan Says:

    I would of said around 5 last year and I think he’ll get about 5 this year… if he’s lucky.

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    I think it’s going to come down to who is going the be Schinao’s next Michael Bennett. If it’s not Bowers. Schiano will find his man. Everyone keeps worrying about this defensive line and how thin it is. Does it ever occur to anyone that they might actually know what they are doing? I think this college coach thing has people a little leery. We’re all just going to have to wait and see where the pass rush is going to come from. As for me, I’m more than content with Schiano figuring that out. I think he can make an average defensive player good and a good defensive player great, but it has to be there to begin with. I think he will find his next Bennett.

  27. buc4lyfe Says:

    Yea i think that gun charge was just the beginning of bowers downfall, to not do the work in the offseason he know is needed with bennett not coming back, he is getting what he deserves. i think he can start but i dont think he believes or is cocky enough to be a starter, no attitude no nasty mean bone in his body no arrogance of a millionaire so he wont be one and get a big contract with his mentality but i’d rather start trevor scott than that teo n whatever his name is he needs a nickname so bad i know no on in practice tries to pronounce that crazy name. But i dont think that depth chart will be the final one for the game. the o’lines in the nfc south suck so hopefully it comes down to making the qb feel rushed if you cant get the sack

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    RBellBuc Says:

    “I hope you, who pile on, and are always criticizing, feel like fools for the demeaning stuff you say”

    That’s okay buddy the copy and paste machine (me) is still in here to hold them all accountable for their words, when they are wrong. Your welcome!

  29. buc4lyfe Says:


    Im gonna be here waiting for judgment day, that’s a great idea hope your holding JOEBUC accountable also

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    buc4lyfe …I have a few of Joe Buc’s stuff, but I’m a big fan of Joe though. Because he does try to remain objective most of the time. He’s not over the top critical like a few regular posters in here. I wanted to leave the site altogether 3 different times since I found the site. Then I decided to stay and fight back. I know a lot people like what I’m doing with this copy and paste stuff. It’s the negative whiners that can’t stand it that I’m doing it. Hmm I wonder why? LOL I think we all know why.

  31. Capt. Tim Says:

    When Simeon Rice arrived here, he was considered a lazy player, who wouldn’t play the run.
    This is Bowers first year. Like Simeon, like McCoy, it will take him a couple of years to adjust to the NFL. It takes EVERY D-lineman a couple years. Unless you land on an outstanding defense like the Texans- and your ONLY responsibility is to rush the passer!!

    Bowers doesn’t have that luxury. He has to play the run and rush the QB. And this is his first real time healthy.

    The question is – who in our organization thought a first year guy, coming off injury- was going to do something no player has done in 40 years- walk in and be an immediately dominate player?????

    That’s stupidity and cluelessness on an unbelievable level!!
    That sh*^ might happen at tiny Rutgers, or other college program.
    It don’t happen in the NFL. Somebody better go shake Schiano( like piano), and tell him this ain’t college. You develop players at this level- you don’t give them a scholarship, and whatch’em play.

    I bet Bowers would be starting- if he had played at Rutgers!!

    We aren’t going to be a winning pro team, until we quit acting like like a .500 college team