Josh Freeman

Stop Picking On Mark Dominik

January 10, 2013 at 11:21pm by Scott   •  5 Comments »

Mark Domink conducts his annual hand-shaking seminar.
Now that the Bucs have cycled through a roster and also a coaching staff, Tom Jones thinks that the next head to roll if the team doesn’t improve soon is Mark Dominik‘s.

Dominik took over as GM in January 2009, and the Bucs haven’t made the playoffs in his four seasons. Granted, he took over a team that was in rough shape. He was forced to take on a coach (Raheem Morris) who was nowhere near ready to be a head coach. He hasn’t always been given enough money by the Glazers to stock his roster with talent.

Still, no playoffs since he was in put in charge.

Hey, the Bucs also haven’t won a playoff game since they moved to their new headquarters. Maybe it’s the building’s fault! You can only blame Dominik for the players he acquires or lets go. If the Bucs were to fire Dominik, they would be saying that someone else can bring in better players. And I can’t think of anyone better right now that would be available. Who would Jones want? Mike Lombardi? I like his analysis on NFL Network, but his big resumĂ© items, Cleveland and Oakland, all went through terrible losing spells before he was finally fired. Charlie Casserly? Casserly is certifiably senile. And if anybody says Scott Pioli, please go stick your dick in a beehive. Pioli should have had a bench warrant issued on him for what he did to Kansas City. Dominik looks like the love child of Don Shula and Bill Belichick next to those guys.

Enjoy that visual.

Give Dominik some credit. He has done a decent job with the draft. He picked Freeman, Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller, Mike Williams and Mason Foster, among others. His 2012 draft, which includes Mark Barron, Doug Martin and Lavonte David, is off to a spectacular start.

All good picks, but it doesn’t take a lot of skill to pick a good first rounder. Dominik’s real talent is finding the hidden gems like Erik Lorig in the seventh round and turning him into a fullback. Or E.J. Biggers in the seventh. Or stealing Da’Quan Bowers for a second. Not to mention his undrafted pickups like LeGarrette Blount or Ted Larsen. None of these guys will have their busts in Canton, but they’ve all contributed a lot, especially when it looked like the depth chart was bare.

Given some cash to play with, Dominik was able to make a splash in free agency by signing Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks.

Soooooo, Dominik is on the hot seat, why?

Yet, the playoffs remain out of reach. This is a fact: The Bucs are 24-40 since Dominik has been GM. Scott Pioli was fired by Kansas City on Friday after the Chiefs went 23-41 during his tenure as GM.

Pioli’s drafts were shit except for 2010 and he left them with no quarterback. That’s the ultimate sin right there — no QB = no hope. The teams have similar records, but Tampa Bay’s woes can be laid squarely on the coaching from 2009-2011. Josh Freeman may be under some scrutiny right now, but at least they have someone that resembles a franchise quarterback. Kansas City is starting pretty much from scratch.

Unless the Bucs completely fall apart next season and win only two or three games, Schiano’s job is safe beyond next season. Freeman’s play next season will determine if he returns after 2013.

However, you get the feeling that next season is more crucial for Dominik than anyone else.

If Dominik made a mistake this season, it was in the secondary where the starters really should have been on practice squads. But Mark Barron gives them an anchor at safety. And with a high pick this draft at corner (you ARE going to pick a corner high this year, right, Mark?) he should have a nice anchor there. If he fills in the pieces with free agents and hard-working scrubs, we should see an improvement in 2013. I mean, it can’t possibly get worse, right?

It won’t be his fault if key stars get hurt. It won’t be his fault if defensive backs get caught popping Adderall. It won’t be his fault if Freeman turns into Mark Sanchez.

Why am I writing this entry? You’re making my point for me.

But, who will be blamed if the Bucs miss the playoffs for a sixth straight season? Dominik’s name likely will be first on the list.

Not really, no. And there is no public outcry to fire Dominik because the fans see the talent on the team. If Greg Schiano turns out to be shitty, things will get ugly for Dominik then because he would have hired two bad head coaches. But until then, you have to go by the quality of the players. Hell, the trade up for Martin by itself should buy him a couple years. This team needs three things: a quality quarterbacks coach, an elite cornerback, and healthy linemen. Everything else is looking pretty good and Dominik was a big part of it. Just because he’s the last one standing after a large turnover doesn’t mean he’s the next in line. But can newspapers work that way? Because that would be awesome.

5 Comments to “Stop Picking On Mark Dominik”


jampersands (January 11, 2013 at 01:56am:

I love Dominik. I think he’s great at drafting in the mid to later rounds, and last season showed he knows whats up in free agency too. In fact I’d even go so far as to say I don’t think you give him enough credit here. Especially with the line, “it doesn’t take a lot of skill to pick a good first rounder.”

I can’t think of anything you’ve written that I’ve disagreed with more, Scott. Picking a first rounder is not only one of if not the most important things a GM does, but it’s also pretty hard. I don’t have to go through the list of first round busts in the last decade–the name Jamarcus Russell alone should be sufficient. But my broader point is that 1st round busts aren’t just limited to a couple big name guys. It happens every single year to a lot of teams. I’d guess the hit percentage on 1st rounders is somewhere around 50%, and a lot worse in some years. (Ex: 6 out of the first 8 picks in 2009). And it’s not like the teams that miss in Rd 1 have moronic GM’s (although in the case of teams like the Raiders, I guess it is like that). It’s simply not that easy–just ask Bruce Allen.


Scott (January 11, 2013 at 10:43am:

I guess my point was that it is much easier to just cover your eyes and point to a name and have that player be successful in the first round than in the lower rounds. I’m not discounting the need for research or the possibility of getting a bust. But the fact that Dominik makes quality picks in the seventh round is far more impressive to me than his successes at the top of the draft.

Matt Price

Matt Price (January 11, 2013 at 12:28pm:

Totally agree Scott. Dominik has done an excellent job and i wouldn’t even want to see him leave if Schiano failed — which I don’t think will happen. Sure, some of his picks didn’t turn out, but who scores 100% on the draft? Even 50% puts you in the elite, and we’ve been doing that. It’s just a matter of getting those final few pieces, getting another year or two in Schiano’s system, and getting Freeman to be the QB he’s shown flashes of.

Dominik should be the last guy in trouble.


HouseofG (January 11, 2013 at 01:17pm:

Schiano is obviously Dominik’s guy. He picked and went out and got him, but man it would even be hard for me to pin that failure (not saying he will be) on Dominik. What was Schiano, their ninth choice??


Louie (January 12, 2013 at 09:47pm:

Nobody at One Buc Place should feel too secure in their job as long as this playoff drought continues.

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