After repeatedly refuting the fact the team was rebuilding in the off-season general manager Mark Dominik in a conversation with Rick Stroud, of the St. Petersburg Tmes admits to a full blown youth movement. Dominik told Stroud the decision to go with young players was an old-school approach that has worked. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, the teams 0-5 starts surely doesn’t qualify or belong in the same realm as having worked. When you get right down to it, nothing of what the team has done in the off-season or through this point of the regular season has worked in a way in which the results can be measured on the field or could lead to fans considering it as having been successful. Unless by worked, he means fire up the fan base in a negative way or ensure the team has a chance at the top pick in the draft, so far the youth movement has been a colossal failure.
Below are some Q & A from Strouds column
Why waste so much time this summer on the QB battle between Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown when the huddle was always going to belong to Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson?
The trick was we wanted to have a veteran start this team off to give it the best chance to win right away and build some confidence within a young organization. … We’ve gone through quite the youth movement here. So in that aspect, it was important for us to find out which veteran we felt had the best opportunity to win. After we started off the season … we felt like it was better to continue to do this youth movement and make sure it’s going through the quarterback, too.
When will we see Freeman play?
We’ll see him when we feel like the time is right for Josh Freeman. But right now, it’s Josh Johnson’s time to play his first game at home. … At some point, Josh Freeman is going to play. At some point, it’s going to happen. It didn’t hurt Aaron Rodgers’ development to sit behind Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers still developed, and he’s a fantastic quarterback. So it’s not a matter of how long you have to sit behind there — it’s when is the right time to make a change if you need to make a change.
Didn’t you cripple the offense by firing offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski 10 days before the opener?
In a way, yes. We did come out and had two very strong offensive showings the first two weeks. I do feel like the offense is starting to click again. I feel like there was a lot of what we call “hidden yardage” that was available, that we didn’t take advantage of, whether it was dropped passes or not seeing a hot read. If you were watching that game against Philadelphia, we felt like we could move the ball up and down the field, which is a great barometer of where you are. I feel like (new coordinator Greg Olson) is slowly getting his mind-set, his philosophy and his language into the offense we already started here way back.
Are you afraid the culture of losing will affect the young players?
I think this is where the leadership part comes in. Who’s a leader and who’s not. Cadillac Williams has really been stepping up. Not just what you see in terms of toughness on the field and finishing off runs, but he’s done a great job in our locker room being that kind of guy. … Kellen Winslow has done a very good job of understanding actions speak louder than words.