The unraveling of the Bucs has been in the making long before the hoisting of the Lombardi Trophy, bad drafting, poor personnel decisions, inept coaching, horrendous on field execution and a total lack of conviction to a well thought out plan has the Bucs digressing to the very roots of there existence. It didn’t happen over night and won’t be fixed until the team decides to formulate a well thought out plan of how to turn around the entire organization.
What lies ahead for the organization, was outlined by general manger Mark Dominik yesterday. With his subtle hints of how certain teams like that of the Colts, Steelers, Patriots and Eagles have gone about building a solid foundation through the draft.
Dominik who is a strong proponent of building through the draft, alluded to the team changing the way the team ranks players, the way they look at players and even discussed the fact that the team has changed the way they conduct scout meetings. To put more of an emphasis on finding players that can contribute and add value to the team throughout the draft, rather then just in the first couple of rounds.
Whether or not the philosophical strategy change, will pay instant dividends one has to only look back to last years draft when the team drafted players that were able to compete and contribute as rookies from first round pick Josh Freeman to seventh round pick Sammie Stroughter.
Dominik’s desire to build the Bucs through the draft is sure to ruffle some feathers amongst fans, but considering the state of the franchise and the likelihood of the team being legitimate contenders in 2010 a wash, you have to admire the conviction from Dominik for trying to find long term solutions to some of the teams long term problems that have plagued the team for over a decade if not longer.
The more telling storyline will be whether or not he can avoid making the same mistakes as his predecessors made and figures out how not to waste draft value by picking players earlier than they should go. If he masters the art and understanding of how to get maximum value from his picks. That will be a valuable skill which should enable the Bucs to get things turned around quickly.
There’s a reason certain teams tend to draft better then others as they understand the value of players in relation to where they are slotted and matchup best for top value. Maximizing draft value and slotting alone wont be enough, the other half of the equation is developing said talent after its been drafted. Is the other key ingredient to building a solid core, that has long term sustainable success.