Are Lovie, Licht Following Dominik O-Line Plan?

May 25th, 2014
TCDominik11

A prominent beat writer weighs in

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.

23 Responses to “Are Lovie, Licht Following Dominik O-Line Plan?”

  1. pablo Says:

    Pablo doesn’t think Lovie is following the Rockstar … If you look back at Chicago from 2010-2012 they lead the league in QB pressures allowed and gave up the 3rd most amount of sacks allowed… pablo doesn’t know why Lovie ignores glaring o-line holes but he does for some reason …

  2. Jon Says:

    Seems to me they’ve followed more than o-line. Young QB of future, RB’s, DL, LBers, DS and DC’s. Oh and the punter and kicker…

    Sure they dumped Revis, but looks to me the team is following the Dominik (o-line and overall plan) closely

  3. Orca Says:

    It’s hard to say what their philosophy of building an O-line is after only one offseason. Their efforts were so focused on flushing out the stench of last year’s line that it may not reflect what their approach will be in the future. What they’ve done so far makes sense, although people may reasonably question the Zuttah trade. I don’t think the fact that they waited until the 5th round to draft O-lineman this year means anything; I think they picked value in those first 3 rounds, and it didn’t hurt that they needed some playmakers.

    I don’t think the Bucs are alone in thinking that O-line talent can be picked up in the later rounds, but I don’t think that means they wouldn’t draft an O-lineman high in the draft should the opportunity and need arise in the future.

    I’m pretty optimistic about Omameh and the Bucs’ 2 5th rounders this year. Jace Daniels could be our backup center and a swing player (he was a T in college, I believe). I like the upside of the young guys we have.

    I don’t think you have to have a bunch of 1st rounders to have a good O-line. It’s not unusual at all to see late round picks become great players, though a quality LT is usually a high pick – Penn was a rare exception.

  4. Orca Says:

    I don’t think they’re following the Dominik plan at all. The free agency philosophy seems quite different. The draft philosophy seems different. Dominik seemed to think you could build a team of scrubs and add a few stars and you’re done – a very top-heavy approach (Revis was a perfect example). The new regime has been very aggressive at adding talent at all positions. I’m very impressed with Licht.

  5. brandonbucfan Says:

    Personal belief is that the O-Line more so than the D-Line needs players that can work together as a unit. That’s why as a general rule of thumb it take longer for an O-Line to gel than a D-Line. Let’s just hope their is enough for Coach Warhop to put together this year to give our QB (ain’t gonna get into Josh v MG8) time to do their thing. I still feel if our QB is given protection and open some holes we have the weapons VJAX ME TWright ASJ Muscle Hamster Sims Guyer to do some serious damage and with our defense it will be an exciting year.

  6. biff barker Says:

    Joe, Dom had 13M wrapped up in injured guards, 7M in Penn and 5M in Zuttah.
    In 2010 the high priced guys weren’t playing either.
    The only thing Dom’s overpaid OL punished last year was us fans.

  7. JBuc Says:

    My god, this is stupid. They’ve had less than 6 months to clean up the mess from the previous regime. If you were to prioritize needs on this team, any smart person would add skill positions first. Sorry, but guards are pretty far down the list just before punter.

    Oh, and by the way, they did sign a couple big free agents and spent two of their 6 picks on the line. If we had spent any of the first 3 picks on a guard then the same people would be complaining about a lack of playmakers.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The problem with building it through free agency is that you have to hope good guys come available.

    Personally, I think it is better to use all three methods (FA, Draft and Trade).

    And Free Agency usually gets you guys with a short shelf life. Overall, Draft is the best method. But plugging holes until you can fix things through the draft works sometimes. Does for the Pats.

    Our problem under both Allen and Dominick was that the free agents seemed to always get injured.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    JBuc Says
    “My god, this is stupid. They’ve had less than 6 months to clean up the mess from the previous regime.”

    Schiano did not leave as much of a “mess” as people claim. In fact, if not for him, we wouldn’t have quite a few great and potentially great players.

    The trash sent away? All from the Dominick/Morris regime.

    Schiano was probably the best guy we’ve ever had doing the draft.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    biff barker Says
    “Joe, Dom had 13M wrapped up in injured guards, 7M in Penn and 5M in Zuttah. In 2010 the high priced guys weren’t playing either.”

    Also, half the line wasn’t Dominick, but Bruce Allen for several years. Maybe more than half.

  11. AceOfAerospace Says:

    Ace wishes he would’ve started talking in third person before Pablo. Now Ace looks like a Johnny come lately. However ace finds it hilarious. Awesome Pablo. You crack me, oops, I mean Ace up.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    pablo Says
    “Pablo doesn’t think Lovie is following the Rockstar … If you look back at Chicago from 2010-2012 they lead the league in QB pressures allowed and gave up the 3rd most amount of sacks allowed… pablo doesn’t know why Lovie ignores glaring o-line holes but he does for some reason …”

    Don’t fall into that trap, Pablo. He also, in 9 years with the Bears, never drafted a WR in the first round. Clearly he has become unpredictable.

  13. JBuc Says:

    ^

    Buccaneer Bonzai, I respectfully disagree. While Schiano may have done a decent job with the draft, L&L had to rid this team of poor performers and players that did not fit their future scheme. I am pleased with what they have done thus far. Of course it means something if it translates to wins.

  14. Dean Says:

    Let’s face it, this team had a lot (and I do mean a lot) of needs. DE, DL, TE, QB, Backups at LB, DB and, of course OL. They have addressed every area (whether you like the replacements or not), with the exception of Guards. This team had so many holes, you just can’t fix them all at once. I believe their plan is to add another guard or 2 in Free Agency and develop these younger guys on the roster to eventually become starters. Sounds like another pretty solid plan to me. FA will see some higher priced vets cut and they will be looking at a reasonable price to keep on playing.

  15. William Says:

    @Dean – I’m with you

    All is right on track! I’m enjoying the ride. The future is promising. We have seen the bottom of the barrel for to long. I’m enjoying this ride!

    Go L & L!

  16. kevin Says:

    This is one thing I agree with dominik on with the ol….right on point. His problem was he fell in love with players. Both fas and under the radar draft prospects. He would sometimes cut the wrong guy or let the wrong guy go in fa… And give others to much leash and time. Lovie and jason are playing theyre cards right and I think its jason and tedford that convinced lovie he needed some weapons

  17. Danati74 Says:

    I think they thought that this was a deep draft. I think that they believe they got players that may have went in the 3-4th rounds any other draft. They also got Rob Herron in the 6th. Projected as a 4th rounder. Our Gm was an OL himself. They also got a lot of weapons that were high on their board.

  18. SteveBucsFan Says:

    I wouldn’t touch a guard in the draft until at least the 5th round. Guards are a dime a dozen.

    BTW wasn’t the consensus best guard (when healthy), Carl Nicks, drafted in the 5th round.

  19. MadMax Says:

    Def should be addressed HEAVILY in next year’s draft!

  20. phattitudes Says:

    If the premise is true, you got to love the idea of picking up O-linemen who have shown something and are looking for an opportunity to start. Sounds less risky. It also frees up the draft for skill position players. This year will be chance to test the theory. It has always been stated that quality Left Tackles don’t become available in Free Agency. If Collins works out, then this would look to be a pretty valid plan.

  21. Orca Says:

    MadMax Says:
    May 25th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Def should be addressed HEAVILY in next year’s draft!

    Why assume that right now? It’s entirely possible that the young guys they have will develop into real players. As has been established, it’s possible to find and develop O-lineman from later rounds of the draft. At the end of this year, they might feel very good about the young O-linemen like Omameh, Daniels, Edwards, and Pamphile. It remains to be seen.

  22. Chris Says:

    It’s stupid to address a need in the draft. Yeah it plays a part in your board but going BPA is the way to go. For example, bucs fans for years complianed about being in a division that they lacked a premiere threat at the TE spot while the saints, falcons and panthers had weapon in the middle that caused match up issues. Now we have two, reminiscent of the pats duo.

    Then you go ahead and get sims who is a playmaker out of the backfield. But we have Doug Martin? Remember Martin had one good rookie year and a bad one before injury. He has a ton of mileage on him already. With a huge question mark at qb you need all the help you can get.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    JBuc Says
    “Buccaneer Bonzai, I respectfully disagree. While Schiano may have done a decent job with the draft, L&L had to rid this team of poor performers and players that did not fit their future scheme.”

    I can understand your point, but let me ask you this…how many of those cut guys were actually brought in by Schiano? None.

 
 

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