Welcome to another edition of Hogs Haven round table. This week we discussed defensive end Stephen Bowen. Bowen's story is one of the more interesting one's. He signed a five year, $27.5 million contract on the same day that his longtime partner since college, Tiffany, gave birth to twin sons (Stephen III and Skyler) four months prematurely. Sadly for Bowen, Skyler died 10 days later while Stephen III fought for his life. All this was happening in his previous home in Dallas (Bowen was a Dallas Cowboy before hitting the open market) while he was away in DC. I urge you to research and read into his story with what he's dealt with this year. It's truly inspiring and deservedly won him the Redskins Ed Block Courage Award. Bowen had a career season, with 41 tackles and an impressive 6 sacks from the 3-4 defensive end position.
Kevin: Bowen is another player that is very difficult to grade. As fans, we generally have no idea what a player is going through in his personal life. We had no idea at the time Carlos was flat broke living on Jason Campbell's couch, just as none of the booing Eagles' fans knew that David Akers was struggling with his daughter's recent cancer diagnosis in those clutch missed playoff FGs. Bowen had it even worse. After his twin sons were born four months early, one passed away while the other hung on for life. Bowen was signed right at that time and spent most of the time in DC while his wife was in Dallas. I can't imagine staying focused, but he was a force early on. 6 sacks and 16 games I'd gladly take from a 3-4 DE. The rushing D was ranked 12th best to runs on that side, so that's solid.
2012 Projected Stats: 16 games, 50 tackles, 6 sacks.
UkRedskin: To play the way Bowen did this year considering what he went through off the field is amazing. He was a constant threat to defenses, especially rushing the passer, which is a rare trait from a 3-4 defensive end. He transitioned seamlessly from the Cowboys system, and I quite often noticed at the beginning of the season, he would take a lot of double teams while Barry Cofield adjusted to being a nose tackle for the first time. There's nothing about Bowen that's not to like. He's an amazing character guy, and he has the talent and production on the field to tie in with it. Bowen was a terrific signing by Shanahan and Allen, lets hope they hit on more guys like this in the upcoming off-season.
2012 Projected Stats: I see no reason his production shouldn't improve. Cofield will get better at nose tackle, teams will have to focus on the improving pass rush of Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, and we'll have JArvis Jenkins back in the mix to help create pressure from the other side or to spell him a breather. I think something in the region of 45 tackles, 7 sacks isn't unrealistic.
Ronnie: Stephen Bowen has been a solid, middle-of-the-pack defensive end. His sack numbers look pretty good at 6, and ranks 31st out of all defensive linemen (In sacks; including NT and DT). That's actually something to tout. His games started have doubled since his last season (2010) as a Cowboy, being that he didn't miss a single start this season. That's relevant, seemingly, only on the Redskins. Reliability seems to be a huge problem on this team. Mostly in the secondary, and offensive line, but it's still an issue, and Bowen has risen above. He started all 16 games, and performed well throughout. With the return of Jarvis Jenkins next season, I see Carriker and Bowen (provided both are Redskins come regular season) splitting a lot of time early on. More than likely one will take the start over the other, and I am looking for that to be Bowen.2012 Projected Stats: 40 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 passes defended
Tiller: I loved the Bowen signing as soon as it was made. Many of the contributors and fans on Hogs Haven were screaming for Cullen Jenkins and Franklin to be signed along the defensive front. I was totally against these moves, so the Bowen and Coefield signings made me very happy. Bowen's presence was felt immediately. He generates pressure in the passing game and is a force in the run game, often commanding double teams and freeing up our linebackers to make plays. What I love best about Bowen is the intensity and non-stop motor he plays with. He has also been called a great locker room guy by coaches and teammates (kind of hard to believe he used to be a Cowboy-haha). This signing is the exact opposite of our game "what would Vinny have done", and I LOVE it! I hope to see more signings like this in the future.
2012 Projected Stats: 15 Games started, 43 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery.
Ken: Though he did log some starts with Dallas in his last year there (nine, to be exact), this was really Bowen's first opportunity to lock down a starting roster spot. He proved to be a hard worker on Sundays and throughout the week, and was a true bright spot for the 2011 Redskins. His signing is already a huge win for the front office and he officially represents a solid "returning starter" at a spot where we had lesser options just a year ago. His six sacks on the season underline his ability to get to the quarterback from his spot in the 3-4 front. He started all 16 games, which speaks to his ability to stay on the field. As I said, Bowen was a real bright spot for this team and fits in nicely with what we seek to do defensively. He did not break the bank, and he has gas left in the tank. It is hard to really call his addition to our team anything less than a big success. I'll give him one extra sack next year and throw out a prediction that he will wreak havoc behind the line of scrimmage in the run game.
2012 Projected Stats: 7 sacks, 7 tackles for loss.
Steve: Bowen was a nice under the radar signing for the Redskins, and as an added bonus they stole him from a division rival. While Bowen didn't get a ton of hype in Dallas due to his low sack numbers, he was in many ways an impact signing. Despite the low number Bowen had a strong pass rushing reputation who would consistency get pressure on the quarterback and push the pocket. Bowen finally getting a starting gig, rewarded the Redskins with 6 sacks and another 19 combined hits and pressures. His impact to the team went beyond the stat sheet though, as his presence went a long way in helping outside linebacker's Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan get favorable match-ups. Bowen should continue to be a good quality lineman, though more consistency, especially in the running game will be key for Washington going forward.2012 Projected Stats: 7 sacks, 35 tackles with 3 for a loss.
Parks: You knew Stephen Bowen was going to be good when he was signed here and you immediately heard how pissed Cowgirls fans were about losing him. Bowen had never previously filled up a stat sheet, but it was immediately apparent what a quality player he was. Truthfully I don't know how to elaborate on Bowen, but I'm very happy he is in the Burgundy & Gold. He' a hard worker and a high character guy. I wish I could say the same for everyone on the Skins.
2012 Projected Stats: 7 sacks, 43 tackle
Hogs Haven Grade:
Pass Rushing: B+
Run Defense: B
Thanks as always to Ken, Kevin, Parks, Ronnie, Steve and Tiller... even if it took you guys years to get round to responding to the email...