Da’Quan Bowers At A “Turning Point”

April 22nd, 2014

Joe hasn’t felt the vibe he sensed today in the Bucs locker room in a long, long time. It’s almost like the principal just gave the school an extra recess.

No, the Bucs players were not slacking off on their first day of volunteer mini-camp at One Buc Palace. But there is a sense of fresh air. Virtually every player Joe saw had a smile on his face, which is sort of strange, given that practice was only moments away.

No one seemed reborn more than the defensive linemen. Gone are the silly Bill Sheridan stunts and the blitzes from half the team. No, under new coach Lovie Smith, defensive linemen have but one edict: Get to the quarterback.

Joe’s not sure anyone was more pumped than defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. The former second round pick is now entering his fourth season playing for his third coach. To suggest Bowers has limited time to show his worth is an understatement. And Bowers knows this, yet is welcoming the challenge.

“I am excited,” Bowers said. “There is a lot of excitement in Tampa. Looking forward to getting out on the field for the first time. Fresh start for everybody. Last year was a tough year not just for myself but for the entire team.

“Whatever my role is, [Lovie] hasn’t said to me but whatever it is, I am for helping the team. It is about getting better pushing each other and competing with each other.”

Bowers has a grand total of 5.5 sacks in his previous three years. A disappointment to be sure. And with the new Bucs regime already showing they are only loyal to results, Bowers, unless he improves, could very well be looking at his final season with the Bucs, if he makes the team.

Last year, Bowers was all but handed a starting job because the Bucs let starting defensive end and sack leader Michael Bennett walk away for no good reason. How did Bowers respond? He came into camp out of shape, struggled throughout training camp and was not starting.

Bowers understands if he doesn’t produce, he is likely gone.

“This is the turning point of my career,” Bowers said. “I expect a lot of good things. I don’t think this coaching change could have come at a better time for me. [Coaches are] letting the players play football. Just do your job. get it done.

“We are ready to rush the passer with no restrictions this year. It’s a good time to be a defensive end in this system. I will put it like that. Not as many restrictions as we had in the past but a lot of getting after the quarterback, things that defensive ends like to do. That’s the way it should be. We shouldn’t have to rely on five- and six-man blitzes to get to the quarterback.”

18 Responses to “Da’Quan Bowers At A “Turning Point””

  1. Brandon Says:

    Bowers has had all offseason to get in shape and get his speed and explosiveness and power back.. something that he looked to have in short supply this past season after missing half the previous season with a torn Achilles. There’s no excuses, his knees should be fresh because he’s barely played. If he is to ever make something of himself, the time is now.

  2. nate Says:

    If he doesnt look any better in training camp cut him hes a waste of a spot on this team.. nomore he looks the fit.. dont care I just want results….

  3. Macabee Says:

    Yogi Berra says “When you come to a fork in the road. Take it!”

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    …or to coin another phrase,”put up or shut up.”

  5. Biff Barker Says:

    Well saying bye bye to half the roster is having it’s intended effect.

  6. richardtyson Says:


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  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Or, $hit or get off the pot!

  8. Kevin Says:

    We may very well be set on our D-line and not even know it yet due to the previous coaching

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If you look back to this time last year, Bowers stated that he was in better shape and was building upper body strength like Adrian was.

    I think, we as fans will believe it when we see it.

    On the other hand, according to almost everyone here, the defense failed because of the stunts and coaching. If that’s true, both Adrian and Bowers should be much better this year.

  10. rriddler Says:

    So Joe,
    He came into camp out of shape last year. This is only the first mini camp, but what kind of shape is he in this year?

  11. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    or if they draft a DE and he starts, we will have a whole new starting line besides McCoy.

  12. gg720 Says:

    Lovie needs to get him down to his college weight of around 265-270 and then he can rush the passer. Schiano tried to get him to bulk up and he turned into a slow pass rusher.

  13. PRBucFan Says:

    Bowers has a grand total of 5.5 sacks in his previous three years.

    In which he was injured and did not start every game lol.

    It’s not like he was taking all the snaps and had only 5.5 sacks.

  14. Harry Says:

    “…We shouldn’t have to rely on five- and six-man blitzes to get to the quarterback.”

    I can’t believe he said this. Really? You freaking come to camp last year so out of shape you can’t finish practice. This is part of the reason the coaches last year ran stunts and 5-6 man rushes – bc Bowers did not even report in shape. He is ridiculous. Hope he brings it this year.

  15. biff barker Says:

    Well, at least the speculation of Bowers and maybe Clayborn’s future in Pewter will be over soon enough.

    They either generate sufficient pressure in the T2 or it’s out to the curb. I’m actually optimistic that both will contribute this year.

  16. william Says:


  17. brandonbucfan Says:

    Not ready to call him a bust..Let’s give Joe Cullen a chance with the guys he has to work with.

  18. Paul Lukert Says:

    Wow, just wow… The Kool Aid, has apparently kicked in, big time. Not to rain on anybodies parade or be a pessimist, I am not. To the contrary, I always accentuate the positive…I dont ever make excuses, its built in to my DNA as a Coach and a Competitor. The fact that players are now going to be more “productive” because they are out from under poor schemes or coaching, (I wasnt being used properly) would tell me to cut those players. Gerald McCoy was Gerald McCoy, regardless of the Coach…Its called Pride…and personal accountability to your profession…

    Joe Bucs Fan… You slayed Bill Sheridan, with cause. He was previously, the DC for the Giants in 2010, it was ugly as well. Understand though, that he is a terriffic LB Coach and was scooped up as such, immediately after being relieved of his Bucs gig…he has a Ring as does Lovie.

    Many times in life, we equate success with getting a promotion. Sometimes, you get over-promoted from something you are great at to something you are just ok at… I think, the record shows, Lovie is a run of the mill head coach. I expect nothing more than a 500 Record and missing the Playoffs 4 out of 5 years… Thats his story as a HC…He wrote it…