Yardbarker Horiz

Friday, June 8, 2012

GM Mark Dominik shows he can do it all

Former Pro Personnel Director Mark Dominik was promoted to General Manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just after the 2008 season was completed. At the time, he was the youngest GM in the NFL. And he still is. But you know what?

He's got game.

The first part of Dominik's game is knowing his target. Dominik has been steadfast since he was first introduced at One Buccaneer Place: he wants a team that is physical, excercises ball control, and plays the kind of Buccaneer defense fans have learned to expect. After the 2010 season, it seemed the formula was on target, with a Top 10 running game on offense and a Top 10 fewest points allowed defense. The 2011 season deviated from the target and Dominik took action, so now it falls to new Head Coach Greg Schiano to bring the formula back in 2012.

The second part of Dominik's game is drafting. Dominik has spent his draft capital wisely. He rarely gives up picks and has had a full slate of picks each season except his first. His choices have been in line with his target, and he hasn't reached or under drafted his pick, with his overall draft grades well above average. He made the team younger as part of his rebuilding instead of trolling for players at the twilight of their careers - a significant and key difference between Dominik and his predecessor Bruce Allen.

The third part of Dominik's game is working the waiver wire and utilizing college free agents. Dominik has done well in this area in the past - RB Legarette Blount, G Ted Larson, DE Micheal Bennett, and WR Dezmond Briscoe to name a few. The time Dominik spent as Pro Personnel director serves him well in this area (during which he pulled T Donald Penn from the Vikings practice squad). After watching players come across his desk for years, Dominik knows how to stay up to date as well as understand the quality of players on the wire.

The last part of Dominik's game is free agency. Since arriving at the General Manger's office, Dominik has been focused on developing a strong young core of drafted players to build around. 2009 was, by default, learning what the team already had, and 2010 was not a great free agent market due to an extremely deep college draft. The lockout during the summer of 2011 prevented any real movement in the free agency market. So 2012 is the first season Dominik was able to flex his abilities in free agency - and he showed he can land some big fish. Top flight free agents like Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks as well as Dallas Clark and Eric Wright don't just fill holes, they improve the team. And that is how Dominik has stated he will always view free agency - a place to find a significant upgrade when appropriate.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the youngest GM in the NFL in Mark Dominik and he's shown he has all the tools needed to direct the team.  This sets the stage for a long period of stability in the front office for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, setting the foundation for good things to come.

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