The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are counting on Da'Quan Bowers this season. They let their top pass rusher sign with the Seattle Seahawks in free agency so they could give Bowers more snaps. They have no capable backups -- a fourth-round rookie with three sacks in his college career is the only defensive end behind Bowers.
That's something Warren Sapp noticed, too, and he decided to call out Bowers to get after the quarterback.
"I'm issuing a challenge to Da'Quan Bowers," Sapp said in a press conference yesterday. "Last time I checked if you wear pewter and red, you're hunting the quarterback here."
A few minutes later, Sapp reiterated that in an interview with Buccaneers.com. "Son, it's time to wake up. You wear pewter and red. We hunt, here. That's the way it is. That's the rule. That's the law."
Sapp does not like his defensive ends not getting sacks. And so far in his career, Da'Quan Bowers hasn't managed to get to the quarterback much. With 4.5 sacks in two years, his production isn't overwhelming. However, he has shown flashes and injuries have hampered him throughout his first two years in the league.
This is the year Bowers has to go out and do it, though. There's no one behind him capable of getting to the quarterback. There's no backup who can step in, even as a situational pass rusher. The burden's on Bowers to get to the quarterback. And if he can't. the Bucs are going to have issues.
For his part, Bowers seems confident enough.