Upheaval With Bad Offseason?March 6th, 2013
Yes, Joe would love — love — for the Bucs to finally win their first postseason game in over a decade come January 2014.
A good offseason could do the trick, of course.
A couple of solid decisions in free agency and the draft, and the Bucs, who were in a playoff chase at the dawn of Thanksgiving (even with the most wretched pass defense Joe has ever laid eyes on), should push themselves into the postseason. Last year’s toe-stubbing with a 6-4 record also happened without a healthy defensive front, which weakened the team’s ability to breathe on a quarterback, plus a battered offensive line.
It would seem the Bucs are on the verge of making the playoffs. But Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times suggests the Bucs are also on the verge of something else, a bloodletting at One Buc Palace.
Jones minces no words claiming Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik’s head could be on a platter if the team’s offseason moves in the next six weeks prove fruitless.
Mark Dominik’s job is at stake
No one needs a good offseason, and thus a good 2013, more than Dominik. If there’s a line forming at the chopping block, Dominik is first. Despite solid draft picks (Freeman, Gerald McCoy, Mike Williams, Mark Barron, Doug Martin and Lavonte David) and shrewd free-agent spending last year (Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks), Dominik is judged by wins and losses and playoff appearances.
Bottom line: the Bucs are 24-40 since Dominik has been GM.
But here’s the thing: I’m not sure who is making the call these days over at One Buc Place, Dominik or Schiano? It’s hard to imagine that Schiano doesn’t have his fingerprints on everything the Bucs do. In fact, he might have a complete grip on the Bucs’ future, determining who stays and who goes.
Joe firmly believes Dominik’s job is not in jeopardy. Generally, general managers are allowed two head coaching hires to turn things around. Greg Schiano is Dominik’s first.
No, Dominik didn’t hire Raheem Morris. How is Joe so sure? Well, in the summer of 2009, Dominik was interviewed on SiriusXM NFL Radio on “Movin’ the Chains,” co-hosted by Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan. Dominik was asked what his impressions were when he learned Chucky and Bruce Almighty were jettisoned on a Friday night. Dominik — Joe is paraphrasing here — gasped audibly and said, oh, I thought I was gone!
So let’s think about this. When Dominik heard his boss, Bruce Almighty, and the Bucs head coach, Chucky, were launched, he thought he was part of the purge, and in roughly 16 hours he goes out and hires a coach? Really?
Look, Joe knows Bryan Glazer stated last year that he and his brother “trust” Dominik because they have had a working relationship for quite a few years.
The Bucs are on the cusp of a postseason berth. Joe firmly believes that. So unless Dominik goes out and hires a bunch of Eric Wright and Myron Lewis clones, and the Bucs get worse or go 4-12 or something like that, Joe just cannot see a purge on the horizon.