Da’Quan Bowers trying to dig himself out of a hole


The Buccaneers are counting on Da’Quan Bowers to fill an important spot in the lineup this year.

But first he has to dig himself out of a hole he spent part of the offseason digging for himself.

Bowers is trying to bounce back from a number of issues, both injuries and a gun charge, which even though dismissed, embarrassed him. Now, he’s trying to finally make good on the potential he showed in college, after registering just 4.5 sacks in his first two seasons.

“When I came out of college I wasn’t ready,” Bowers said, via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. “I was coming off an injury and I wasn’t ready to fulfill the duty of being a starting defensive end at this level. But it wasn’t just the injuries. It was my play. I haven’t been the dominant player that I can be.

“And I’ve worked hard at it, but I’m still trying to be an elite player in this league and so I still have to dig myself out this ditch that I dug myself into. That’s what this offseason is for, and I’m very confident I can do it.”

Bowers talked about eating right and staying in shape and the usual offseason patter, but he also knows there’s a much greater burden on him this year.

When the Bucs let Michael Bennett walk in free agency, it put pressure on him and Adrian Clayborn (their first two picks in the 2011 Draft) to create some degree of pass rush.

But Bowers has dealt with knee and Achilles injuries, and Clayborn’s coming off a knee problem of his own.

Bowers’ February arrest for carrying a gun into LaGuardia Airport was another distraction, even though he told authorities it was there and wasn’t prosecuted for the charge.

“Right decision [to alert authorities] or not, it was a mistake, and there is no right way to make a mistake,” Bowers said. “That’s not the type of person I am. And I appreciate [general manager] Mark [Dominik] and the Glazer family [that owns the Bucs] and coach [Greg] Schiano for supporting me through all that.”

In many regards, they have no choice, as Bowers represents their best chance to fill the production Bennett took with him to Seattle.

13 responses to “Da’Quan Bowers trying to dig himself out of a hole

  1. It speaks volumes that Schiano supported Bowers through this.

    If he for one minute thought that Bowers made anything more than a massive boneheaded mistake then he would have been a goner and Bennett would’ve been re-signed.

  2. I like his attitude and evaluation of where he has been… This man can be a game changer if he makes up his mind in that regard… Action always speaks louder than words!

  3. “When I came out of college I wasn’t ready”..and that’s why you were drafted in the 2nd round and not the 1st despite what you may have thought back then. The scouts knew you weren’t deserving of a 1st rounder.

  4. Make or break year for Bowers. Can really use the pass rush to stay healthy and put some kind of pressure on the QB so we can really utilize this great new secondary.

  5. The Bucs did have a choice. The arrest happened in February and Bennett signed with Seattle in March. Team management decided to keep Bowers and let Bennett walk. He wasn’t even offered a contract by Dominik.

  6. I well rccall how all the draft experts opined on the Bucs getting Bowers after his dramatic slide from Top Ten, and the solid value they received and what a great draft.

    Well it turns out that all the other teams were right in passing him up.
    Three yrs in, looks more like a 5th rd project.

    Great name recognition on his jersey though.

  7. A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

  8. Hope he turns it around. Bowers had the same sort of pre-draft hype that Clowney is experiencing. Remember that.

  9. Only thing is Clowney comes without all the injuries and I think will actually be a solid professional at the next level. Whomever gets him next year I think automatically improves on defense.

    All this being said, yes, this is a make or break year for Bowers and to some extent, I think Clayborne too. They need to stay healthy and prove they were worth the picks. I remember everyone saying Bowers was a steal–only if he stays healthy and produces. So far, posters are right–teams who passed on him are looking smarter for doing so.
    I hope he does turn it on and become something special–that starts by staying healthy for a change.

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