Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano has been trying to light a fire under defensive end Da’Quan Bowers all offseason.
But if challenging him for months hasn’t worked, it’s hard to imagine how his latest motivational ploy will work.
According to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, the Bucs listed Daniel Te’o-Nesheim as the starter at defensive end on the team’s unoffical official depth chart.
“Of course that will push me,’’ Bowers said. “My ultimate goal is not to be the second-team defensive end, it’s to be a starter. If that’s his way of pushing me, I acknowledge that and I’m trying to do something about it.’’
“Coach has invested a lot in me. He has believed in me. He’s given me shots and I appreciate that. I owe it to this organization to be the guy who can play on any down and play anywhere and be dominant. Me and Coach have had a lot of talks and he’s been leading me where I need to go.’’
The Bucs never replaced Michael Bennett in free agency, putting a huge burden on Bowers to perform this year. That should be enough, but Schiano continues to play mind games in hopes of getting something out of the second-round pick.