Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Greg Schiano anticipates Da'Quan Bowers will return this season

TAMPA — Though it's not clear when DE Da'Quan Bowers will return, Bucs coach Greg Schiano said Thursday he antici­pates it will be this season.

Bowers, who tore his right Achilles in May, has been on the physically unable to perform list and is rehabilitating after surgery. He can be activated after Sunday's game against the Chiefs, then practice for two weeks before the team must put him on the roster or season-ending injured reserve.

"He's improving," Schiano said of the 2011 second-round draft pick who had 30 tackles and 11/2 sacks as a rookie.

"We're going to be very, very conservative and not going to rush that situation. But I can tell you from the things I've seen, I'm really encouraged."

With DE Adrian Clayborn, a first-round pick in 2011, sustaining a season-ending knee injury in Week 3, getting Bowers back would be a big boost. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim has filled in for Clayborn.

Bowers said a few weeks ago he was making a lot of progress and it would be up to Schiano and GM Mark Dominik to allow him to come back. Schiano said he feels much better about the situation than in the offseason.

"You hear a guy has to get his Achilles operated on, you're like 'Oooh,' " Schiano said. "But watching the stuff he's done out there on the field in rehab, that's good stuff."

Another injury: DT Roy Miller did not practice Thursday due to a back injury. He also dealt with back pain last season. His status for Sunday had not been determined.

QUINN IN: The Chiefs ruled out QB Matt Cassel due to a concussion, leaving Brady Quinn the starter Sunday. Tampa Bay's coaches expect a slight difference in quarterback play with Quinn in.

The mobility and size of Quinn, whose last start was Dec. 12, 2009, with the Browns, could factor into the game plan, Schiano said.

"(Quinn) has played quarterback in this league," Schiano said. "The thing that may be different in his skill set is that he's a more mobile guy, maybe a little stouter guy. Does that mean more moving pocket stuff? Maybe."

FAMILIAR FACE: Rookie CB Leonard Johnson is looking forward to a Largo High reunion with Chiefs WR Dexter McCluster. Johnson, who played two seasons with McCluster at Largo, said the two haven't faced each other since youth league.

McCluster, a 2010 second-round pick out of Mississippi, offered guidance about the draft and agents when Johnson came out of Iowa State.

"I was asking (Largo coach Rick) Rodriguez which one of us is he going to be cheering for," Johnson said, smiling. "He said, 'I can't cheer for either one; just hope you do well and he does well also.' "

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
After Twitter backlash, Jeff Garcia won’t announce any Bucs draft picks

After Twitter backlash, Jeff Garcia won’t announce any Bucs draft picks

The Bucs still don't have a third-round draft pick this weekend, but if they do trade for one, former Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia won't be the one to announce it.It's been a rough few days for Garcia, who played for the Bucs in 2007-08, ma...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: John Clayton breaks down the NFL draft

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: John Clayton breaks down the NFL draft

It's NFL draft day. John Clayton joins Rick Stroud to talk about how many quarterbacks will go early and who the Bucs will take with the seventh overall pick, considering their obvious needs on defense.Plus, the Lightning will face the Boston Br...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

We've linked to a lot of mock drafts over the last four months.We went back and assembled mocks from 40 different NFL writers we've linked to — this isn't the most recent for some of these who are in Mock 9.0 mode, but it's meant as an unscient...
Updated: 4 hours ago
NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

TAMPA — From the department of the weird, also known as Bucs marketing genius — also known as if it bombs, we can blame Ed Glazer — the Bucs will use a … parrot to announce their fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft, which kicks...
Published: 04/25/18
Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Bucs tackle Donovan Smith has a big season ahead, going into a contract year as part of a reshuffled offensive line. Still only 24, he has started all 48 games in his three NFL seasons, and has made it a priority in the offseason to be more active in...
Published: 04/25/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Rick Stroud answers your NFL draft questions in this mailbag segment, including who the Bucs might take with the seventh overall pick, which running backs they might be looking at, whether Taven Bryan could slip to them in the second r...
Published: 04/25/18
Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

For months, NFL fans have wondered what the Bucs might do with the No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft, producing a wide range of answers, each with passionate support from some of their fans.But as draft nears, and as the interest level in a talented gro...
Published: 04/24/18
Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Vita VeaPosition: Defensive tackleSchool: WashingtonHeight/weight: 6-4, 347Draft projection: Round 1Why Vita Vea makes sense for the Bucs: Vea's combination of size and quick feet is rare. He ran a 5.1 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 40 tim...
Published: 04/24/18
Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

The final days leading up to the NFL draft can be a busy time, but rarely do you call someone you trust from a team and say: "What can you tell me about the parrot?"Yes, the Bucs will have a parrot — specifically a Catalina macaw named Zsa Zsa ...
Published: 04/24/18