Are Lovie, Licht Following Dominik O-Line Plan?May 25th, 2014
Through five years under former rockstar general manager Mark Dominik, your Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted just one offensive lineman, a fifth-round pick who was cut quickly.
Dominik didn’t believe in drafting O-linemen. He preferred to go the free agent route or to grab young guys after he could see them adapt to the pro game in preseason.
All the college spread offenses, Dominik believed, made scouting the position for the draft more challenging and risky than for other positions.
Dominik proved — to a point — that you could put a solid offense on the field via his philosophy. The Bucs cranked out a punishing running game in 2010 and 2012, behind the likes of Jamon Meredith, James Lee, Derek Hardman, Demar Dotson and Ted Larsen.
Fast forward to the 2014 NFL Draft, and the Bucs under Jason Licht and Lovie Smith had big holes on the offensive line. But they didn’t draft O-linemen until the fifth round. And any fifth-rounder is a pretty much a project player.
So are the Licht and Lovie using the Dominik plan — to comb the league for free agent linemen and training camp cuts, and young no-names they can develop?
Tampa Tribune beat writer Roy Cummings thinks that’s the case, so he explained today on WHFS-FM 98.7.
Cummings pointed to former Michigan guard Patrick Omameh on the roster. He started 41 games in college, was an All-Big-Ten player, and was a practice squad player for the 49ers last year before Dominik signed him in midseason from San Francisco.
Team Lovie thought enough of Omameh to keep him around.
Joe doesn’t know what it all means, but it does stand out that the Bucs had a great need on the O-line and didn’t make it a priority.
Lovie wasn’t known for building good offensive lines in Chicago, and he struck out with Gabe Carimi. Perhaps there is a new/old approach in place. Time will tell.