TAMPA — No one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a more disappointing training camp last year than defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.
Given a starter’s job during the offseason by then-coach Greg Schiano, Bowers showed up for camp out of shape and promptly gave it away.
Now Bowers may be on the brink of giving away his roster spot, possibly for the same reason he lost his starter’s job last year.
Slowed by an as-yet unspecified injury this offseason, the Bucs’ 2011 second-round draft pick returned to workouts a couple of weeks ago but wasn’t in very good shape.
“He’s not there yet,’’ Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen said of Bowers’ conditioning after a workout this week at One Buc Place. “He’s got to get into great shape to be able to do those things (he’s capable of).’’
Bowers capabilities, Cullen said, are almost endless. He has the size, power and quickness necessary to be an elite edge rusher as he was at Clemson.
And Bowers has shown those traits at times in the NFL, Cullen said, but he hasn’t done it consistently, largely because one thing is still missing from his tool kit.
“I see a lot of signs that he can be what everybody thought he was going to when he was coming out of college,’’ Cullen said. “But again, a lot of that will depend on how he gets into shape and what happens in the preseason.’’