The Bucs’ first depth chart of the regular season was released Thursday, and one of the more interesting things of note was Daniel Te’o-Nesheim getting the start at left defensive end over Da’Quan Bowers.
Head coach Greg Schiano said it was because of Te’o-Nesheim’s consistency.
“Daniel is a steady as she blows,” Schiano said to the media during his Thursday afternoon press conference.
“He goes in and does his job and plays really well against the run.”
After the departure of Michael Bennett in free agency last year, it was Bowers, not Te’o-Nesheim, who was expected to take over that position.
The Bucs gave Bowers every opportunity to earn the job in camp, including playing him far longer during preseason games than his teammates.
Ultimately it was Te’o-Nesheim who prevailed, thanks to what Schiano called “hard, tough, relentless football.”
Schiano pointed to his four sacks from last season as proof.
“We’re very pleased with the way Daniel is performing, but I’m also pleased with the way Da’Quan is getting better,” said Schiano.
“He just hasn’t gotten to where we think he needs to get to yet, but he’s getting there. He’s improved substantially.”
Te’o-Neshiem was a third-round draft pick by the Eagles in 2010. He was signed from Philadelphia’s practice squad by the Bucs the following year, and in 2012, he started 14 games for the team in the absence of Adrian Clayborn.
“He’s technically very sound, he’s strong, he’s got a low center of gravity, but his best trait is that he’s relentless.”