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Lovie Smith: Da’Quan Bowers “needs to prove” he’s a good football player

Washington Redskins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

The Buccaneers spent a lot of time last offseason trying to find the right buttons to push to spur┬ádefensive end Da’Quan Bowers to the kind of performance they anticipated when they drafted him in the second round of the 2011 draft.

It didn’t work out. Bowers had a sack and seven tackles in 13 games and his season ended early when he was placed on injured reserve because of a knee problem. It was the third straight disappointing season for Bowers and it is shaping up to be a disappointing offseason as well as Bowers continues to be sidelined as a result of his knee, costing him a chance to make an impact on new coach Lovie Smith.

Smith says Bowers will get another chance when he’s healthy, but he also said that it is time for Bowers to start performing.

“He’s learning the system, and eventually, he’ll get out there,” Smith said, via the Tampa Tribune. “I know rehab is going well. He’s a good football player, but he needs to prove it right now. He’ll get an opportunity. A player like that should be able to excel in a defense like ours.”

The Bucs aren’t using their fifth-year option on defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who has joined Bowers in making it a double whammy of disappointment on the defensive line for Tampa in the 2011 draft. One of them could still earn an ongoing role in Tampa, but history says they’ll fall short of impressing whenever Bowers does wind up returning to the field.

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9 Responses to “Lovie Smith: Da’Quan Bowers “needs to prove” he’s a good football player”
  1. bassplucker says: Apr 28, 2014 7:19 AM

    I remember this guy being touted as a potential #1 overall pick at one point. Strange how things turn sometimes.

  2. mikeb233 says: Apr 28, 2014 7:19 AM

    if i recall correctly, wasn’t Bowers the projected 1st overall pick like a month prior to the draft before tumbling all the way to the 2nd round due to injury and work ethic concerns?

  3. nflfollower says: Apr 28, 2014 8:21 AM

    Ouch

  4. ariani1985 says: Apr 28, 2014 8:51 AM

    What the heck was Ted Thompson doing the picks?

  5. Indybear says: Apr 28, 2014 8:58 AM

    Lovie Smith should judge talent on Dancing with the Stars, not football. So glad he is forever out of Chicago.

  6. thegregwitul says: Apr 28, 2014 9:43 AM

    I wouldn’t label Clayborn as a disappointing draft pick. He plays the run really well and is solid rushing the passer. He didn’t have a bad season last year, but I understand why the option wasn’t picked up. He might never be a perennial Pro Bowler but I could see him having a ten year career and being a ‘lunch pail’ type player, kinda like Greg Spires was for the Bucs during the early 2000’s.

    Bowers on the other hand has been a certifiable bust who might not even make the team this season. William Gholston is a player who has shown more in limited action last season and I fully expect him to beat out Bowers, who has shown up to camp out of shape every offseason. A shame but it’s a new regime, so if Bowers doesn’t make it here, he’s unlikely to make it anywhere else.

  7. djshnooks says: Apr 28, 2014 3:04 PM

    Aaron Maybin 2.0

  8. jld813 says: Apr 28, 2014 5:44 PM

    Clayborn should not be in the same pot as Bowers he is clearly better and relentless on the field to be honest yes he could be better but he is far from the worst he has my vote and I hope he proves everyone wrong this season

  9. bassplucker says: Apr 28, 2014 10:58 PM

    Just say no to DEs from Clemson. They never seem to pan out and Tampa has had two of em.

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