Bucs' Bowers hopes to bounce back this week
Bucs defensive end Da'Quan Bowers said this summer he was looking to be "dominant" this season, with "anything less than double-digit sacks is a failure."
But Bowers, the former second-round pick, has yet to make the kind of impact both he and the Bucs envisioned, with zero sacks and just three tackles through the first six games. Coach Greg Schiano challenged Bowers to become an every-down player, but he's still mostly used in a situational pass-rushing role behind starter Daniel Te'o Nesheim.
Then, a toe injury last week limited Bowers to just six snaps against the Falcons.
"It's definitely frustrating," Bowers said. "I thought I was doing very well before I had the toe injury - the injury limited me last week. But I feel pretty good going into this week, I'm expecting to get after it a lot more than I did last week."
Bowers started six games as a rookie in 2011, picking up 1.5 sacks, but missed the start of last year due to a torn Achilles tendon suffered in May. He returned to record three sacks. Schiano said Bowers is making progress.
“I look forward to him playing more this week," Schiano said. "He’s feeling better. I actually think Da’Quan has gotten better and better. I know that outside looking in, ‘why isn’t he playing more?’ I think he’s improving. Not as fast as everyone would like, but he’s improving and he has natural ability. So he’s going to play more and more as the year goes on, as long as he keeps improving. Not very much unlike what I described on offense, where you earn your piece of the pie, it’s the same thing on defense. You earn your plays. You earn your reps.”