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michael89156

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: July 08, 2013, 12:04:53 AM


Making the Leap, No. 28: Bucs DE Da'Quan Bowers


 By Chris Wesseling

Around the League Writer   NFL.com

Published:  July 7, 2013 at 03:56 p.m.




Around The League will profile the top 40 players we see Making the Leap in 2013. No. 28 on the list: Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers.

Why Bowers is on the list

Drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Bruce Smith, Bowers led the nation with 15.5 sacks and ranked second with 26 tackles for loss at Clemson in 2010. After winning the Nagurski and Ted Hendricks Awards as the NCAA's top defender and top defensive end, respectively, he widely was viewed as a candidate to go No. 1 overall when he declared for the 2011 NFL Draft.

Three months later, Bowers slid to the latter half of the second round amid rumors that a degenerative knee condition would make him a "one-contract player."

Injuries have made it tough to get a reliable read on Bowers' potential two years into his NFL career. Recovering from minor microfracture surgery, Bowers was limited by a weak knee in a part-time role as a rookie. Although he matched Terrell Suggs' impressive five-month return from Achilles surgery in October of 2012, Bowers noticeably was hindered the rest of the way.

On a positive note, Bowers has shown flashes of potential as a power rusher with excellent upper-body strength and the ability to win the leverage battle against offensive tackles. While the lower-body explosion isn't what it was at Clemson, Bowers still showed decent straight-line closing speed. The Bucs also appreciated the aggressive and violent edge to his play.


Obstacles

Achilles surgeries have a well-deserved reputation for leading to further lower-body issues down the line. It's especially noteworthy for a player whose knee drew red flags as a potential long-term concern entering the league. Some teams even removed Bowers from their entire draft boards, as they believed his career would be shortened.

Although Bowers was able to overpower weaker blockers last season, he must improve his lateral agility to gain consistency as a pass-rushing threat. It remains to be seen if he will ever recapture his college form. Furthermore, Bowers needs to stay on the field. He's yet to show that he can remain productive and healthy enough as a three-down player.

2013 Expectations

Anything less than double-digit sacks will be a disappointment. Bowers has acknowledged as much, and the coaching staff expects it.

The Buccaneers' brass is pushing all of their chips to the center of the table, going all in on Bowers' perceived pass-rushing upside. The problem is they're working without a safety net after letting Michael Bennett walk in free agency. If Bowers' lower legs don't cooperate, the Bucs' improving defense will be submarined by its edge-rushing deficiencies.



Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

The Anti-Java

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#1 : July 08, 2013, 03:19:49 AM

Dude needs to have a big time season. Like McCoy did after his first 2 seasons on IR.  If he gets hurt again, or is ineffective, it might be time to try out the music biz full time.


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#2 : July 08, 2013, 07:39:02 AM

It appears the coaches are pretty confident that Bowers will be just fine since no effort at all was made to keep Bennett around. The Bucs did get a safety net of sorts with the draft, but I think they are really counting on Bowers to deliver.

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#3 : July 08, 2013, 08:25:46 AM

Quote from: 1sparkybuc
It appears the coaches are pretty confident that Bowers will be just fine since no effort at all was made to keep Bennett around. The Bucs did get a safety net of sorts with the draft, but I think they are really counting on Bowers to deliver.

I guess losing Bennett is spilled milk at this point. They say there is no sense in crying, but I will because milk is valuable. Give me a straw, I'll drink it. Perhaps I'm not the most optimistic that Bowers can stay healthy for the season.

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#4 : July 08, 2013, 08:17:34 PM

It appears the coaches are pretty confident that Bowers will be just fine since no effort at all was made to keep Bennett around. The Bucs did get a safety net of sorts with the draft, but I think they are really counting on Bowers to deliver.



Absolutely.  Its risky to stake your future on one player. Especially one that has a history of medical problems.  I hope he shuts up all his critics, and has a MVP season.    Bowers was "Clowney" like in college.  He would of been the drafts #1 pick . But even way back then, that ugly injury bug was starting to show.

I wasn't really shedding any tears over Bennetts departure.  Decent player, but not a franchise type player IMO.
 He also had that torn rotator cuff, and has no intention of having surgery.


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#5 : July 08, 2013, 08:32:47 PM

Bennet was never meant to be the starter here. when bowers got hurt he came in, and did a DECENT job. So now were suppose to pony up and pay him $$$? when the two guys we really want in there are finally healthy?

imo with the way mccoy and roy miller played last year, bennet should have had better stats
Comb    Total    Ast    Sck
   41     34        7     9.0         -isn't exactly killing it over 16 games...

This is what I think about the Glazers being cheap...

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#6 : July 09, 2013, 10:21:39 AM

Bennet was never meant to be the starter here. when bowers got hurt he came in, and did a DECENT job. So now were suppose to pony up and pay him $$$? when the two guys we really want in there are finally healthy?

imo with the way mccoy and roy miller played last year, bennet should have had better stats
Comb    Total    Ast    Sck
   41     34        7     9.0         -isn't exactly killing it over 16 games...

I posted the "post of the year" on Mike Bennett a month ago or so. Yes he had nine sacks, but yes he also got all of those sacks except one against poor offensive lines (ranked in the lower half of the league in pass blocking).

In fact he's never posted a sack against the Falcons or the Saints in the 3 years he's been in Tampa. Those are the most important games on our schedule and those are the games we need to win if we have a shot at a wild card or a divisional title.

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