You’ve heard the story before. Tons of potential, but no drive to unleash it.
That’s what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dealing with in the case of defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, a former second-round pick who has the raw talent to be an elite pass rusher. Unfortunately, through his first two seasons in the NFL, the Clemson product hasn’t quite lived up to his billing.
After spending most of his rookie year slowed by the knee injury that dropped him from an apparent Top 5 pick to a potential second-round steal, Bowers bounced back in 2012 while enjoying a semi-successful sophomore season. In only 10 appearances (292 snaps), he racked up 13 total tackles and three sacks while earning a 2.9 overall rating on Pro Football Focus’ system.
It’s clear that Bowers has the physical tools to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks – just watch his film from Clemson. Seeing that he still hasn’t panned out for the Buccaneers is a definite concern, though.
The fact that Greg Schiano is the Buccaneers’ head coach is also working in Bowers’ favor.
A no-nonsense coach, Schiano has spent all of spring and summer trying to light a fire under Bowers. The head coach called out his defensive end for a lack of effort, but is still holding out hope that he can become an every-down player this season. Schiano even went as far as recently placing Daniel Te’o-Nesheim ahead of Bowers on the defensive end depth chart in hopes of giving the third-year pro an extra push.
The Buccaneers and Schiano are still crossing their fingers in hopes that Bowers can become the sack artist they’ve been missing, but their patience is running thin. If he can’t flip the switch in 2013, Bowers might be looking for a new home next offseason.