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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Da'Quan Bowers admits need for better conditioning



Greg Schiano has been putting considerable pressure on the shoulders of DE Da’Quan Bowers, challenging him both publicly and privately to show more in his bid to be a full-time player for the first time.

Now, even Bowers admits what’s been obvious for a while: A big part of his problem is his conditioning.

“I think I’m still a little winded at times,” Bowers said. “I’m still not in the best shape. I’m still getting used to the speed of practice. But other than that, (training camp) has been decent.”

Nothing Bowers has heard Schiano say publicly is different than the conversations they’ve had behind closed doors. Bowers said he’s been receptive to the message, and he knows this is a premium opportunity the Bucs are giving him. Currently listed as the starting left defensive end, Bowers can’t count on that remaining the case if he doesn’t produce.

“Coach is a straightforward guy and I respect him,” Bowers said. “He says he wants more out of me, so it’s my job to come out here and give him more. I have to give him all I have until I don’t have anymore.”

He added, “I’m a firm believer that there are no missed opportunities in this league. If I don’t take advantage of it, somebody on the street will. I have to bring my game. I have to play hard every step of the way, every down, whether it’s 10 plays in a row or whether it’s two plays in a row.”

Bowers played more than just about any veteran starter in Thursday night’s preseason opener, and you can expect that he’ll have a big role in next week’s game at New England, too.

“I felt like I needed it,” Bowers said. “I’m an unproven defensive end in this league. I felt I needed the extra work.”

[Last modified: Saturday, August 10, 2013 2:26pm]


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