Another carrot for Da'Quan Bowers?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano named Daniel Te'o-Nesheim a starting defensive end Thursday and sent another message in the direction of Da'Quan Bowers.

Schiano said Te’o-Nesheim earned the starting role on merit. The Bucs had come to training camp expecting Bowers to emerge as a full-time starter. But that hasn’t happened.

“Daniel is steady as she blows," Schiano said. “He goes in and does his job and plays really well against the run, and then the thing that people kind of miss out is he had five sacks last year, just playing hard, tough, relentless football. We’re very pleased with the way Daniel’s performing.’’

But Schiano didn’t stop there, and he certainly didn’t shut the door on Bowers getting significant playing time or eventually becoming a starter.

“I’m also pleased with the way Da’Quan is getting better," Schiano said. “He just hasn’t gotten to where we think he needs to get to yet, but he’s getting there. He’s improved substantially."

It’s pretty obvious what Schiano is doing with Bowers. The coach sees a young player with a bunch of potential. Bowers hasn’t hit that potential yet, but Schiano’s trying to get him to that point by dangling the starting job as a carrot.