Bowers increasing his workload
As excited as the Bucs were to get defensive end Da'Quan Bowers back for Thursday's game, they were cautious in how much they used the second-year player, as he was making his season debut after coming off surgery to repair his torn Achilles.
Bowers got about 20 snaps, mostly one-and-off, on third downs, giving Tampa Bay a boost on the pass rush.
But since Bowers has felt really good since, he got an expanded workload in today's practice, getting reps on first and second down, including some three-play sequences.
"I'm definitely working my way back in," Bowers said. "Now it's more of a wind thing, getting back in shape, getting my wind back. I don't mind doing first and second down, I'm not only a pass-rush guy. Me and coach have been talking about it, and taking step towards that progress. Hopefully by Sunday I can get on first and second down situations."
Coach Greg Schiano said Thursday's game was a "really good start" for Bowers, pointing out they wanted to bring him back slowly since he came off the physically unable to perform list two weeks ago.
"Now we're taking the next step," Schiano said. "Which is playing back-to-back plays and see how he does today. If everything is good on Wednesday, maybe he goes four plays (in a row), try to get him back into this thing slowly. But he does have a pop to him that is good to have back."
-- JOE SMITH