Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik believed the risk-reward ratio for Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers was too good to pass up in the second round of the 2011 draft. Dominik discussed the specifics of Bowers' injured knee with the media after making the pick.
Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik addressed the right knee injury of the team’s second-round pick, Clemson junior defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, after selecting him with the 51st overall pick. Questions and concerns about Bowers’ knee injury caused him to slide from a top 10 spot in the 2011 NFL Draft to the bottom of the second round where Tampa Bay will pair him with its first-round pick, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, in an effort to boost its sack total, which was ranked 31st last year in the league with 26.
Bowers had knee surgery for a torn meniscus after the end of the 2010 season and was unable to run at the combine. The nation's leading sacker with 15.5 QB captures could not run at the combine, but did run a 4.84 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day prior to the draft. Reports surfaced that Bowers' knee may need additional surgery and that he may have a degenerative knee condition, which could limit his effectiveness and the length of his NFL career. There is also speculation that Bowers may need the controversial microfracture surgery, which has ended some players' career.On Bowers’ knee condition
“He had a torn meniscus, that’s what it was. It’s a knee issue in terms of how the meniscus will heal and how it’s healing, so we just have to continue to manage that.”On if there are any degenerative qualities of the injury
“There’s nothing degenerative about his knee as we sit here today. Obviously, his knee has taken some pounding, which is part of the problem, but at the same point, rest and rehab are the best things he can do right now. We’re going to continue to monitor that until we get to training camp.”
On if he will need additional surgery
“No. We don’t see that. What we will do, obviously, again, we’re going to do everything we can to get him on the field when it’s appropriate to get him on the football field. Obviously, our intentions are to provide the package for him in terms of medically to give him a chance to get back on the football field. But I’m not going to rush him back onto the football field, either. We want to get him as healthy as we can and then we want him to play here for as long as he can.”On when he expects him to be on football field
“Well right now, the idea behind it is ideally rehabbing and continuing to rehab, like he’s been doing. That’s what he’s done since he had his surgery and he had his pro day. He’s been rehabbing since then and is going to continue the rehab process until we’re comfortable putting him on the football field. When that day comes, we will absolutely put him on the football field.”On if he will be able to play in 2011
“As long as we’re having football this year. I mean, that’s the mindset. Now, I won’t put a time date or template on when that date’s going to be. We’re going to do what’s in his best interest. But at the same point, we feel like he’s going to be on the football field this year.”On if he had Bowers in for a visit at One Buc Place for the team’s doctors to test the knee
“He had been to the re-check, so it wasn’t purposeful for us to bring him in. He obviously went through the combine and went back through the medical combine to re-check. To bring him in one week later we would be looking at the same thing, so we didn’t need to bring him in on a re-check. The other part we would need to bring him in for a re-check is either a medical or a character concern or something you really want to get answered. Obviously his character is impeccable for us.” On if Bowers’ knee condition is similar to Antonio Bryant’s condition
“I would love to comment on Antonio Bryant’s [condition], but that one is still [being settled] in the National Football League right now.” On being comfortable with this pick from a medical standpoint
“We go back and we sit down with our doctors and trainers and talk about what the process would be. [We talk about] where’s he’s at, what’s the rehab schedule, and how long it would take to get this man healthy and 100 percent so he can get back out on the field and be the best player that he can possibly be. We took that all into count. Certainly that’s one of the benefits of having a Thursday night and Friday night draft. We have a little more time to do the reconnaissance and do the research into our selections. Last night before I left the facility, which was late, I said to a few people in the organization that if Da’Quan is there at 51, we’re going to take him and we stuck to that.”On some of Bowers’ attributes as a football player
“[Bowers has a good combination of] speed to power, natural strength and length, and he’s physical. He’s the kind of guy that was obviously voted as team captain, so leadership was part of it. I know we’ve had a lot of texts the last five to ten minutes from former guys and players that we have on this football team that are fired up. I’m glad that John Lynch got to name the name Da’Quan Bowers up on stage for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well. We feel that the value of this pick is too strong for me and this organization to pass up.” On where Bowers would have went if he didn’t have a knee injury
“I think everybody felt the same way. Everybody thought that he was obviously a top 10 talent.” On if Bowers is just a one-contract player
“I would say it’s premature to say he’s just a one contract player. I do feel that way and at the same point we’ll manage him as well as possible to prolong his career as long as he can be in the National Football League and I’m hoping that we’re going to be talking about him for a long time in Tampa Bay.”
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