Bowers looking for healthy 2007

Production is the main thing sought by any player, but being healthy is the first step toward attaining that goal. Chris Bowers has yet to play a season without injury so first thing's first for the junior defensive end.

"It's not anything that I can change," Bowers said. "It has just been a fluke deal with getting injured all the time. I just want to get through a season without getting hurt. It has been very frustrating."

After being redshirted in his first season on campus, Bowers saw action in the first seven games of his freshman year and earned two starts in 2005. But, that would be the end of the season for the Louisiana native due to injuries that cost him playing time in the final four contests.

Bowers' sophomore season was again frustrating as his ankles and shoulder severely limited his snaps. The 240-lb. defensive end started five games and ended the year with 18 tackles, but his playmaking ability was slowed because of the constant discomfort and restriction.

Bowers is still feeling the effects of injury, but they are getting better.

"It is improving, and I am comfortable," Bowers said. "Part of it is a mental thing because you can't afford to think about being hurt or getting hurt. I feel pretty good and will be ready to go."

The summer is a time to get stronger, and Bowers thinks the time working out will pay off.

"I am staying busy with working out and running," Bowers explained. "I'm trying to improve strength, speed and conditioning. It is everything. All of it goes into staying healthy. Being in the best shape that I can be."

Trying to produce should also be helped by the increased depth on the defensive front. Ed Orgeron boasted about finally having a second team line during his Rebel Club speeches last week, and Bowers also mirrored those words.

"A lot more experience on the line now," Bowers said. "Marcus and Greg and then Peria will be back. The extra experience is huge since we lost everyone at linebacker. Along with the secondary, but the d-line will be the most experienced group. That makes for good work so we can keep offensive linemen off the backers.

"There is so much more depth. In the workouts, we are shocked to see how many people, and we actually have a second team and get more breaks now. Also, injuries will hurt but maybe not like in years past."

When speaking of injuries, Bowers is hopeful that he won't be sidelined. After all, that is his first priority in 2007.

"I just want to stay injury free, that has to be my number one goal. Play and be competitive without getting hurt. That will make it a great year."

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