Bowers makes plays in Panthers backfield
Ira Kaufman, The Tampa Tribune, published 5 December 2011

Even as the Buccaneers yielded a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to Carolina Sunday, rookie DE Da'Quan Bowers offered Tampa Bay fans a tantalizing peek into the future.

In just his second pro start, the second-round pick out of Clemson displayed his strength and speed in a dynamic opening quarter that saw Bowers post five tackles, including three for loss, 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hits.

Bowers was on his game from the start, deflecting Cam Newton's pass intended for TE Greg Olsen on the game's opening snap. "I'd definitely rather have a win,'' Bowers said after finishing with eight tackles, including five for loss. "It's a pointless effort if we can't win.''

The Bucs were cautious with Bowers through the first half of the season, but a groin injury to Michael Bennett has created an opportunity at left end. Concerns about Bowers' knee surgery caused him to drop in the draft, but those worries have eased in recent weeks.

"It's not so much the physical aspect, it's more of a mental thing, watching film and understanding the game plan,'' Bowers said. "I've always been comfortable, I just had to wait for my turn. Patience is the key.''