Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Conditioning hampers Bucs' Bowers

“I’m still a little winded at times,” says defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, shoving the Ravens’ Bryant McKinnie during Thursday’s game. “I’m still getting used to the speed of practice.”


“I’m still a little winded at times,” says defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, shoving the Ravens’ Bryant McKinnie during Thursday’s game. “I’m still getting used to the speed of practice.”

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

Even Bowers admitted Saturday what has been obvious for a while: A big part of his problem is conditioning.

"I'm still a little winded at times," the third-year player said. "I'm still not in the best shape. I'm still getting used to the speed of practice. But other than that, (camp) has been decent."

Nothing Bowers has heard Schiano say publicly is different than their conversations behind closed doors. Bowers said he has been receptive to the message, and he knows this is a premium opportunity.

Currently listed as the starting left 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 any more.

"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 all of the first half in Thursday's preseason opener against the Ravens, more than just about any veteran starter. And you can expect the same Friday at New England, too.

"I felt like I needed (the extra work)," he said. "I'm an unproven defensive end in this league."

Said Schiano: "It's certainly not anything personal. We both want the same thing. He wants to be an every-down player, and we need an every-down defensive end. We're just trying to get there."

PULLING AWAY? Kevin Ogletree is creating separation from Tiquan Underwood in the race to be the No. 3 receiver behind Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. In fact, Schiano suggested there's a battle now for No. 4 between Underwood, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, and Chris Owusu, who is coming on but battling an ankle injury.

"It's almost like they're taking turns," Schiano said. "Chris had his chance when Tiquan went down, and now Tiquan's up. They'll just keep battling back and forth."

SLOWLY BUT SURELY: LG Carl Nicks (toe) had another day of full contact, his second in as many weeks. And with the Bucs working him back slowly, they know it will take time for him to return to his Pro Bowl level.

"He's playing physically," Schiano said. "You can see he's rusty, though."

INJURY UPDATE: Owusu (ankle) and CB Danny Gorrer (groin) will miss roughly a week. RB Peyton Hillis (left knee) will be back, Schiano confirmed. DT Gerald McCoy limped off the field at the end of practice with a calf injury, but there was no word on the severity.

Conditioning hampers Bucs' Bowers 08/10/13 [Last modified: Saturday, August 10, 2013 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.