TAMPA — Bucs players report for preseason training camp at 6:30 a.m. today, and GM Jason Licht made it clear Wednesday that there is some urgency to DE Da'Quan Bowers showing up and proving something to coaches.
"The one player we hope shows up in shape and proves to us he wants to be a football player is Da'Quan Bowers, to be blunt about it," Licht said during an hourlong town hall meeting on WDAE-AM 620. "We need him to show up. He needs to prove to us that he wants to be on this team. We hope that he does and we're rooting for him."
Bowers, a former second-round pick from Clemson, has had limited production in three seasons and is fighting for a roster spot against the likes of second-year pro Steven Means and undrafted rookie Chaz Sutton. Bowers made headlines from South Carolina this week when a friend was reportedly arrested in connection with disorderly conduct after a night of drinking, but Licht said he had no issue with Bowers, who had called police himself.
"He did the right thing, tried to defuse it," Licht said. "I can't hold that against him."
ABOVE AND BEYOND: Licht reiterated the importance of signing DT Gerald McCoy to an extension, and while there's no timetable for such a deal, the defensive leader continues to impress with his offseason dedication. McCoy and his wife welcomed twin boys, Gerald Jr. and Germany, last week, but that didn't keep him from getting into the office for extra training.
"He had his twins, and he was in at 6 a.m. the next morning on vacation, running sprints with his helmet on on the field," Licht said.
"He is dedicated. He's the kind of guy we want to make a long-term commitment to."
THIS AND THAT: Asked about the competition for the No. 3 receiver spot behind veteran Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans, Licht first mentioned rookie Robert Herron, then veterans Louis Murphy and Chris Owusu. … With G Carl Nicks still uncertain with a lingering toe injury, Licht mentioned veteran Jamon Meredith and rookie Kadeem Edwards first in discussing the wide-open battle for starting guard spots. … Licht said the decisions as to how much to play starters and backups in preseason games will be made by coach Lovie Smith. …The team announced a 13th practice open to the public, with fans welcome to attend on Monday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at One Buc Place.
Contact Greg Auman at email@example.com or (813) 226-3346. Follow @GregAuman.
. Fast facts
When: Bucs players report today
Where: One Buc Place
Workout dates (open to the public; admission free; schedule and times subject to change): Friday, 4:30-7 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30-7; Sunday, 2-4:30; Monday, 1-3:30; July 31, 2-4:30; Aug. 1, 7:30-9:30 at Raymond James Stadium; Aug. 3, 4:30-7; Aug. 4, 4:30-7; Aug. 5, 4:30-7; Aug. 10, 2-4:30; Aug. 11, 4:30-7; Aug. 12, 4:30-7; Aug. 14, 2-4:30