The New Year ushered in a long awaited and overdue State of the Union address by Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik. While the wait was finally over, Dominik didn’t necessarily make any earth shattering revelations’ that many astute fans haven’t already figured out. Broaching such topics as how the team has restructured and reorganized the scouting department, along with a philosophical change in the way the team will view collegiate prospects moving forward…the play of the offensive line…the importance of building through the draft and what he learned in his first year as a general manager.
On if the approach to covering Senior Bowl is a little different than in years past since front office members like [coordinator of pro scouting] Doug Williams typically would accompany the team to Mobile, but not this year.
“We’re going to do a lot of things that are different. We’ve changed a lot of things externally that we’re now working on internally in terms of evaluating our football team. The way we rank players, the way we look at players, our meetings are different, our scout meetings – there’s been a big change internally that probably hasn’t been noticed [by the fans and media]. But I want to believe that from Josh Freeman to Sammie Stroughter you saw some more results in last year’s draft.”
On if building the Bucs through the draft will require patience from the fans.
“Some. It’s going to be somewhat of a process. I think we took a big step last year, and I think the fans are starting seeing some of that stuff pay off for Josh Freeman. We have a quarterback now that we can build around. He’s a big piece. There might be 16 teams here at Senior Bowl that are thinking they need a quarterback. That’s hard to find. I am excited about the picks we have and the way we’re going to build this team. When you sit back and look at it, through the draft and through trades is the way I believe you can build your team. When you take a step back and look at how Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and New England have built their teams, it’s been through the draft and trades. The Eagles have been pretty active in free agency, but the teams for the most part that have had continued success have done it through the draft and trades. That’s why we’re doing some different things internally to attack the draft and make sure we produce.”
When asked if an uncapped year changes the Bucs’ approach in free agency.
“It doesn’t really change a lot. I’m not only looking at our organization and how we got to our first Super Bowl, but also dissecting other teams that I feel like have long-term success. I’m studying the patterns of some general managers that I feel very impressed by over the years and it’s consistency in the draft that really gets it going. So in terms of a capped or uncapped year, a lot of time is going to be spent on this draft class.”
Reading between the line, for those fans clamoring for the team or further more the Glazer’s to loosen up the purse strings and show the fan base that they are willing to spend money on talent moving forward. It appears that the team is more then content on continuing to build through the draft until they are a player or two away from getting over the proverbially hump to make a Superbowl run.