BOWENS' BIG CHANCE

Coach Dave Wannstedt said this week he probably should have used David Bowens at defensive end more often than he did last season. He apparently doesn't intend to let that happen again.

Bowens, picked up last season after he was waived by both Buffalo and Washington, has been working with the first unit in training camp.

The battle for the starting left defensive end job will come down to Bowens and newly acquired Jay Williams because Wannstedt plans on using veteran Rob Burnett as a pass-rushing specialist.

After the way he performed last year on special teams and his brief playing time at defensive end, Bowens appears to have the tools to make an impact on the defensive line.

"I'm happy they have enough confidence in me to do it, especially being known as strictly a pass rusher in this league. But I'm going to do my best. Walle (Adewale Ogunleye), Jay, Rob, they're all good ends. Somebody has to start come Sunday. That's not a strike on the guys behind me because we're equally talented at that position. We all can play."

And it's likely they all will play. The Dolphins will rotate their linemen all season, with David Bowens, Tim Bowens, Larry Chester, Jason Taylor, Williams, Burnett, Jermaine Haley, Ernest Grant and Ogunleye all figuring in the equation.

As Bowens mentioned, the book on him has always been that he can rush the passer but is a major question mark when it comes to run defense.

It's something he worked hard on improving in the offseason, and Wannstedt doesn't seem overly concerned about Bowens' lack of size (6-3, 260) being a major issue.

"He's a smart guy," the coach said. "It's amazing how you get hung up on five or 10 pounds, but if a guy gives effort, he's smart, plays hard like he does, at the end of the day add up the results. I think he's one of those type of guys."


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