Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

GM Mark Dominik sees brighter future beyond 3-13 season for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

General manager Mark Dominik spoke extensively about the team’s plans for the first time since Tampa Bay’s 3-13 season ended last month. He plans to rebuild through the draft.

Associated Press

General manager Mark Dominik spoke extensively about the team’s plans for the first time since Tampa Bay’s 3-13 season ended last month. He plans to rebuild through the draft.

MOBILE, Ala. — Bucs general manager Mark Dominik is genuinely concerned about more growing pains that could be suffered at Raymond James Stadium again next season.

Yours.

Bucs fans can expect the youth movement to continue with 10 draft picks and almost no involvement in free agency expected in 2010.

The centerpiece of the turnaround is in place with quarterback Josh Freeman. But Dominik urged fans to have more patience with a team that finished 3-13 under first-year coach Raheem Morris.

"It's going to be somewhat of a process," Dominik said. "I think we took a big step last year, and I think the fans are starting to see some of that stuff pay off for Josh Freeman. It's good to know you have a quarterback now who is a big piece. You see at the Senior Bowl, there are maybe 16 teams here saying, 'We've got to find our quarterback.' It's a hard thing to find."

Dominik has no plans to abandon ship when it comes to building through the draft.

Tampa Bay owns five of the top 99 selections in April's draft, including the third overall and two second-round choices.

"We're going to look in free agency. But as I studied, I'm a firm believer we're going to build this thing from the draft," Dominik said. "People can say, 'Hey, could they spend a lot of money in free agency?' I don't think we're going to be big players in free agency because I really believe you build through the draft.

"You sit back and look at the Indianapolis Colts and how Bill Polian always built his franchises. Or you look at the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New England Patriots. Those teams go through and they either trade for players or maybe once in awhile, they buy a free agent. But the teams that have success in the National Football League — Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New England and the Colts, it's the draft."

For the first time since the second-ending loss to Atlanta nearly a month ago, Dominik spoke publicly about a wide range of topics Tuesday at the Senior Bowl.

•On why Morris was retained after a 3-13 record, the Bucs' worst since 1991.

"I feel like Raheem did a very, very good job of keeping this football team upbeat," Dominik said. "I think that was very important. And I feel like Raheem did a fantastic job calling the defense,"

•On why vice president Joel Glazer felt compelled to release a statement confirming Morris would return in 2010 even though he was under contract.

"I think there were a lot of false reports out there that they felt were unfair," Dominik said. "So I think that's why the statement came out; it was to make sure people understood what direction we were headed, that were staying with the same plan we started 12 months ago."

No topic was off limits. Dominik said Morris will continue to run the defense and is excited to see Greg Olson have an offseason to install his offense, which still will be run-first.

Without reading too much between the lines, Dominik made it clear that the Bucs could part ways with their starting receivers — free agent Antonio Bryant and underachieving Michael Clayton, who caught 16 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown after signing a five-year, $26 million contract.

"He's under contract and we'll see how it goes," Dominik said. "There are no hurries or anything from us in terms of his situation. The ball is in Michael's court. It's on Michael to see how his offseason goes and see how he prepares mentally and physically, but really it's up to Michael."

Mostly, Dominik outlined reasons for Tampa Bay fans to be optimistic: a solid core of experienced players, the opportunity to add more in the draft — and mostly Freeman.

As a rookie, Freeman went 3-6 as a rookie starter with 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Dominik said Bucs fans should be excited about their franchise quarterback.

"I'll give you a week. Why don't you guys poll the other GMs about Freeman and how he played and I'll bet you those people will say, 'I was impressed,' " Dominik said. "He was 3-6 as a starter, that's reality. He could've been 2-7 if someone makes a kick. But he could've been 6-3 or 7-2. … I think there's a lot to be excited about with Josh. There's a young guy who's going to be 22 years old that a lot of teams in the National Football League would love to have and we're excited he's a Tampa Bay Buc.

"As (much) as the position is critiqued, it's nice to have one."

GM Mark Dominik sees brighter future beyond 3-13 season for Tampa Bay Buccaneers 01/26/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 3:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip

    Blogs

    After spliting the four-game series with the Angels to log a winning homestand and get back to .500 at 25-25, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day, country-crossing road trip against the surprising Twins.

    The Twins are leading the AL Central with an impressive 25-18 record, though they have not played …

  2. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety

    Bucs

    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  3. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  4. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  5. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.