Chris Wesseling pointed to at least five players featured in our summer-long series who since have been demoted, suspended or injured. Are we now looking at a sixth?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers -- No. 28 on our list -- was seen by the coaching staff as an every-down player and the catalyst for allowing Michael Bennett to slip away as a free agent. Bowers said in June that "anything less than double-digit sacks is a failure" in 2013, and coach Greg Schiano agreed.
Those expectations are on the rocks.
Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune reported Friday that the Bucs haven't scrapped the idea of making Bowers a full-time player, but abandoning the concept has gained "steam during player evaluations."
Schiano reportedly has lost patience with Bowers because of shoddy conditioning, a lack of effort in practices and an underwhelming, two-tackle performance against the Ravens in Tampa Bay's preseason opener. But Schiano said earlier this week that a full-time role is a possibility.
"He needs to play situational football, he needs to play a bunch of plays in a row, but not at the cost of (production)," Schiano said, per JoeBucsFan.com. "So, it's a double-edged sword that we're trying to make sure we are on the right edge of."
There's still time for Bowers to alter the current perception. Sidetracked by microfracture and Achilles surgeries early in his NFL career, Bowers has shown hints of dominant pass-rush ability. That's what the Bucs are hoping to milk in 2013.
We'd rather not add another Making the Leap player to the "curse" list, so we're rooting for Da'Quan to pull it together.The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.