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Tyus Bowser’s time is now

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Defensive line coach Joe Cullen provides a candid response on the young edge rushers

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens

With Terrell Suggs’ and Za’Darius Smith’s departure from the Baltimore Ravens in the offseason, a metaphorical clock began ticking away. A clock for third-year pass rushers Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser. According to defensive line coach Joe Cullen, that clock’s timer has ceased. On Monday, Cullen provided what felt like a candid response on the third-year pass rush duo of Wiilliams and Bowser, and the reality they face as high draft picks.

“You gotta do it right now,” Cullen said. “The clock has ticked, and it’s ready to explode, so you gotta do it in these games.”

Going back, these two pass-rushers were drafted back in 2017. Bowser was selected in the second round (pick 47) and Williams was taken midway through the third round (pick 78).

Bowser, in fact, started off hot. By Week 2 of his rookie year, he earned Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors after notching his first career sack and also his first career interception.

I asked Bowser about this on Tuesday.

“By Week 2 you had your big game,” I said. “You had a sack and an interception you took for 27 yards. How were you feeling after Week 2?”

“I was feeling confident,” Bowser said. “Just having the opportunity to be out there. My first home game at M&T Bank Stadium. Just having the opportunity to go out there and play professional football. I was definitely excited to go out there.”

The confidence and excitement may have faded over the following season as a change in defensive coordinators and scheme wasn’t the easiest transition for the Houston graduate.

“Was there a tough transition period going from Dean Pees to Wink’s system,” I asked. “Was that a little bit of a struggle?”

“It was a little struggle,” Bowser said. “Learning one defense coming in as a rookie—learning one defense, and then coming into the next year and having to learn another whole different defense. It was definitely a challenge, changing up the lingo, figuring out plays and all different types of stuff. I’d say it was a little challenge just learning one playbook and then coming around the next year and learning another one.”

It looks like Bowser understands the lingo and the plays now, seeing as he’s produced one of the best weeks many have seen in practice, including an interception returned for a touchdown during joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.

And with that, I asked him about the comment made by Joe Cullen on Monday.

“Now it’s 2019,” I said. “Defensive line coach [Joe] Cullen, yesterday, was at the podium and [the media] was asking about you and teammate Tim Williams and asking if the clock is ticking. Cullen said the clock has kind of been ticked out and it’s time for you guys to step up this year. Is that how you feel coming into 2019? Do you feel like the time is now?”

“Absolutely,” Bowser responded, almost instantly. “ Anytime you have that chance to be that player— me and Tim [Williams], played at schools where we were role players. Be those guys that depended on us to go out there and make plays. We’re guys who are hungry to get on the field, so, whenever that chance comes, we are definitely going to go out there and put our best foot forward. Definitely, this year, we’re looking to go out there and make plays.”