Last year, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano pushed defensive end Da’Quan Bowers like old-school coaches do. It didn’t work.
“It’s not all about the injuries,” Bowers said regarding his poor performance, via TheLedger.com by way of JoeBucsFan.com. “I let other reasons get to me mentally. It was Schiano. He got to me mentally, and I couldn’t bounce back for some reason. I blame myself though. I couldn’t push through it mentally. It taught me something and I’m a better person and a better player because of that.”
So what does the 2011 second-round pick plan to do about it?
“I’m at a point in my career where it’s time to make plays,” Bowers said. “It’s time to shine. I’ve been mediocre my whole life here. It’s time for me to take that spotlight and just play to the best of my ability and stop selling myself short and this organization short.”
That’s not all that different from what Schiano said in 2013 about Bowers. But Schiano apparently didn’t realize that the manner in which he was pushing Bowers’ buttons eventually was causing more harm than good.
“I want to see him play hard play after play after play after play,” Schiano said last year at this time. “He needs to string together some plays where he’s going at a high level.”
Schiano eventually put Daniel Te’o-Nesheim above Bowers on the depth chart.
“Of course that will push me,” Bowers said at the time. “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.”
A year later, Bowers is still trying to do something about it. And he’s running out of time.