Yardbarker Horiz

Saturday, November 6, 2010

GM Mark Dominik Gets First Shot At Old Boss

We, the fans, know how invested we are in our beloved Buccaneers.  We know the players battle hard and take the results personally.  It's no different for the front office.

And the General Manager in particular.

Imagine the scenario (maybe it's even happened to you):  A boss you respect heads off to build a new company elsewhere -- what do you do?  

Only two people know what the situation was when Rich McKay left the Buccaneers in 2003, leaving then-pro personnel director Mark Dominik in Tampa. Was he left behind?  If so, why? Did he choose to stay?  If so, why?

Seven years laster, does "why" even matter anymore?

This Sunday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik gets his first shot at now team President Rich McKay and the Atlanta Falcons.  And I think it means a lot to Dominik.

Rich McKay was General Manager of the Buccaneers for a decade, from 1993 to 2003, leading the team from pretender to contender and then on to SuperBowl Champions in Superbowl XXXVII played January 26, 2003.  However, in December of that same year, McKay was introduced as the new President and General Manager of the NFC South foe Atlanta Falcons.  McKay may have bolted because of the battle over the hiring of Jon Gruden versus Marvin Lewis in 2001 (McKay wanted Lewis).  Maybe McKay and Gruden did not see eye to eye.  Maybe the draft picks given up for Gruden (so soon after the Keyshawn Johnson trade) made McKay question if he could sustain the team.

Whatever the case, McKay left and Bruce Allen came to town.  And Mark Dominik watched it all unfold from his office at One Buccaneer Place.  Dominik had already been with the team since 1995, having been involved in college and pro scouting for 7 seasons when the GM change took place.

So this weekend Dominik faces his old boss.  Dominik is only in his second year as GM, but the roster is covered with his fingerprints.  And I'm sure he feels the competitive spirit which permeates everything related to the NFL.  So a win this weekend would be pretty sweet.

But it's just one game.

General Managers care about every game, so for Dominik, I think the old saying applies: "Success is the sweetest Revenge".

Dominik's Buccaneers are currently on track to make a playoff appearance this season, which is only Dominik's 2nd as General Manager. In contrast, Rich McKay did not reach the playoffs until 1997, his 5th season at the helm.   Those are the kind of numbers that General Managers compete over. 

Another thing GMs compete about is currently a big fat tie:  Both men have a SuperBowl XXXVII ring.

But here's the final measure:  It took McKay eight years as General Manager to reach the SuperBowl, winning it in his first try.  Believe me, that is the ruler by which Dominik measures his own success.  

And Dominik getting a second SuperBowl ring with himself as General Manager?  

It would be the ultimate revenge.

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