Dominik Pressed For Answer On Free Agency

January 6th, 2011

What makes the Bucs so damn exciting right now is that they have successfully transformed the roster and have a enough talent to win a division title in 2011 and make a run at a Super Bowl next year.

That’s just the simple reality.

Sure it’s great that there’s a core group of young Bucs in place that could become iconic figures one day, but for Joe that’s just a bunch of la-la land, Lifetime network stuff.

This team, right now, can win next year in a big way with the right personnel upgrades in free agency or the draft. For Joe, that’s darn special. That’s an opportunity you don’t sit on in the name of anything. That’s one you go after like Joe attacks a hamburger after having a few beers.

Appearing on Pro Football Talk Live today, a new show hosted by guru Mike Florio, Bucs general manager was asked about gunning for a Super Bowl and adding free agents to put the Bucs over the top in 2011. Here’s the unedited exchange:

Mike Florio: Now that you’re building this team that was very successful, especially when considering the youth of the team, do you feel compelled to go out and try and get a key veteran free agent at a couple of different positions to maybe push the team over the top? And not just make it a playoff team but make it a Super Bowl contender?

Mark Dominik: Well I like what we started with two years ago. Again, it goes back to the plan that I really wanted to put in place that we really wanted to do in terms of how we built this team in the past and the way we want to build it now going forward.

I would say it’s really a homegrown type of football team. And really the first thing we’re going to do is obviously look at our own. We’ve got 12 guys that are really important to us that are going to become possibly unrestricted free agents that we really want to focus on.

But almost the most important for us, for us, is the fact that we want a team, and I think we have that, is a team that this town falls back in love with. You know we used to have 55 jerseys and 40 and 47 and 99s. Now we want our town to start buying 19 and 5 and 27 and 82 jerseys. That’s what’s important to us.

But again, the mindset is to win a championship. We’ve had a lot of success over the last two years with the NFL draft. We’re going to continue to focus towards that. But we’re going to continue to try to lock up our own players like we did Donald Penn as well.

Joe wasn’t quite sure how to read into Dominik’s response.

Now Joe knows this is all largely meaningless general manager chatter in January, and Dominik probably doesn’t want to — nor should he — tip his hand in any direction, but Joe found the answer interesting.

First Dominik says he likes what he started with two years ago, but back then he was targeting Albert Haynesworth. Then he references how the Bucs were built in the past is an important model, as is being a homegrown team. But the Bucs model of the past was to add big name veterans to the core of homegrown studs. So is that what’s coming down the pike now that Nos. 5, 27, 19 and 82 are in place?

In Joe’s heart, Joe believes Dominik and Raheem Morris know too well how difficult and rare it is to be knocking on the door of NFL immortality. Joe has to believe these emerging rock stars are going to pull out all the stops in 2011 and make moves with a Super Bowl in mind.

How could they not?

21 Responses to “Dominik Pressed For Answer On Free Agency”

  1. danbucsfan Says:

    Dominik has proven he has an eye for talent, if he thinks there is somebody on free agency who can make an impact…I’m sure he will make an attempt to aquire them! Otherwise, keep sniping away at young players who have potential, like Blount has proven!

  2. Lucas Jackson Says:

    Joe like Dominik’s plan so much he wants to change it.

  3. Ravelston Says:

    Gruden/Allen ignored building in the hope of buying instant success through FAs. As far as I recall that resulted in a 48-53 record from 2003 to 2008. Apparently Joe misses the good old days.

  4. Bucfan66 Says:

    Stick with the plan. Develop the youth on this team and let them grow together. If it takes us an extra year to truly be a “Super Bowl” contender then so be it. Overpaying for a FA would not be a good move.

    As good as this season was, it would be a bit naive to think that we are one or two FA pieces away from greatness. We are still young and are at least another year away from being in the Super Bowl discussion.

    Not to mention that if Freeman gets injured, we are toast. Our team is not experienced enough to overcome a loss like that which basically means that it would be stupid to gamble in free agency.

    Patience Joe….

  5. Jamie Says:

    I agree, patience. It’s way easier to go from 3-13 to 8-8, 9-7, or even 10-6 than it is to get that 11th win next season, against what will undoubtedly be a much tougher schedule.

  6. Jerry Says:

    I think you have to do something with the pass rush. Picking at #20, we will end up with crap value if there is a run of DEs early.

    We are playing some very talented QBs next season. If we cant pressure them, they will tear the defense up. I think picking up a DE in free agency, if available, would not be a bad move. A DE threat along with McCoy and Price improving would make a very big difference.

  7. trmcbr Says:

    Notice that the jerseys he mentions that were popular in the past were mostly defense (other than 40) and the jerseys he mentions that he hopes will become popular are all offense. If he could add 93, 35, and/or 25 to that new list, we’ll be headed in the right direction.

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    Joe, tell me if I am wrong, if you remember.

    Did Mark Dominick say that 2010 was all about the Draft? And it was going to be the best class in many years as well as being stocked with so many Juniors coming out because of the CBA changes? He went on to say that the Free Agent pool in 2010 was very limited, and that 2011 would be loaded with top notch free agents, again because of the CBA. Depending on the progress in 2010, that 2011 would be a much better time to look for possible free agents to make a run for the Playoffs or a championship. I think he also said during that interview that the 2011 draft was going to be very deep with Defensive Ends. I may have only heard what I wanted to hear (LOL) but it seems to me that dipping into the Free Agent pool this off season was part of the/his/their “Master Plan”.

    He will not admit this, but the Bucs exceeded all of their expectations this year, and as I think it was Peter King that pointed out, they are way ahead of schedule in the rebuilding process. They are more along the lines of “rebuilt” with only a few needs. They have seven picks this year, but only truly need about 4 players. The rest just need further development IMO.

    I also believe Raheem has far exceeded expectations as well. The Glazers have to be giddy with how things are panning out. I have bitched about the refs incessantly this year because I feel they cost the Bucs at least 3 games, maybe 4, making them not only the best team in the NFC South, but the NFC period, which is miles ahead of schedule.

  9. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think next year’s schedule is a little tougher, maybe 25%, but the Bucs are much tougher and the Colts are the only team I see them having a real problem with. Every other team is beatable, and really the Colts are too. The team I think that is drastically improving like the Bucs, is the Lions. They will be a force next year with O line help and Stafford coming back. They played the Steelers and the Ravens this year who are better than any team on next year’s schedule. Piece of cake.

  10. MVPFreeman Says:


    “First Dominik says he likes what he started with two years ago, but back then he was targeting Albert Haynesworth. ”

    Im pretty sure he meat drafting Freeman.

    Anyway, WE DONT NEED FREE AGENTS. Its obvious right now, the Bucs are trying to build a team the same way the Patriots built their team, WITH DRAFT PICKS. Im all for it. We might pick up one stud FA. But no more than that, gaurantee you.

  11. grasshopp427er Says:

    i say we let faine walk and hope zuttah can play as well again at center next year. use faine’s money to go after haloti ngata..draft 2 DE’s and an ILB and some other role position guys. i like faine but he never makes a full season healthy. if we can address DE/pass rush as well as we did our need for WR last year though we will be in pretty good shap without FA acquisitions..if we really want to hit a homerun maybe see what SF would want to give up pro bowl MLB Patrick Willis.

  12. jvato24 Says:

    Chad Greenway will be a name to watch in Tampa

  13. Dave Says:

    Personally I do not think big name free agents pan out that much. More often than not they fail. I have no problem sticking with the draft and signing some good, younger free agents to fill holes as opposed to overpaying for a big splash name.

  14. Dave Says:

    JERRY says: “I think you have to do something with the pass rush. Picking at #20, we will end up with crap value if there is a run of DEs early.”

    I do not see #20 being crap value at DE. This draft is laoded with DEs and now another just declared JJ Watt ( a projected 1st rounder next year).
    So now you have these DEs going in rounds 1-2 when, in past years, each one is a 1st round guy. Kind of like some of the DTs that dropped last year to late 2nd round.


    Quite honestly, I think they might draft TWO DEs AND sign a decent one in free agency. The only two worth keeping on the team are Bennett and Magee.

  15. Matt Says:

    I think you’re getting a bit antsy Joe.

    Let’s compare 2009-2010 to 1996-1997. First and second years in the new regime.

    We didn’t sign Keyshawn until 2000, Simeon until 2001. They waited YEARS to sign big name guys before.

    I’m not saying we will (or should) do that again, but the point is with the extreme youngness of this team, coupled with the uncertain labor situation, I would be VERY surprised to see this team sign any big name free agents this offseason.

    In 2012, yes, maybe then.

  16. Patrick Says:

    I’ll say this right now. We need to dig into free agency if we’re going to be competitive and make the playoffs this year. We had a great turnaround season this year, but let’s be realistic. This team right now probably wouldn’t do any better than 7-9 or 8-8 with next year’s schedule.

    I’m not saying we have to get EVERYBODY out there. If we got just 1 or 2 big impact free agents, that would be great. I think it would be far better for us to get our star DE in free agency. Our D line HAS to drastically improve this offseason for us to have a shot at being a true, elite team next year. That’s going to be the key for us. Especially with all the good teams we have on our schedule. I don’t want Dom to draft a DE in the first round because historically, D lineman don’t do crap during their rookie years. Next year, we need to be making a playoff push so we most certainly don’t need a struggling rookie DE not getting any pass rush. Plus, that wouldn’t be good for McCoy or Price either. We need to surround them with the best proven talent because that will help them become better players.

    We’ve already built a good young core the past two drafts. Now we need to dig into the free agency and just get a FEW guys that can help push us over the top, while we still get more young talent through the draft. There’s no excuse, we have more money to spend than most teams do. This team could be SO GOOD next year so we need to take advantage of the oppurtunities that we have.

    Our schedule next year:

    Packers (tough game)
    Bears (tough game)
    Vikings (will be better, all they need is a QB and that solves a lot of things for them)
    Lions (they will be a much more dangerous team next year. tough game.)

    Cowboys (played like the way they should’ve been playing all along under Garrett going 5-3 in their last 8 games. tough game)

    49ers (don’t circle this as a win yet, the 49ers are another team that just needs a QB and they’ll be a much better)

    Colts (good team as usual)
    Jaguars (good team)
    Titans (bad team but our run defense has to be improved by this game or else they’ll just have Chris Johnson destroy us)
    Texans (they’ll bounce back next year. the texans have a great offense but their awful defense is the reason they went 6-10 this year)

    Saints 2 times (great team)
    Falcons 2 times(great team)
    Panthers 2 times(bad team and hopefully they continue to suck so we can sweep them again lol)

    Well, pretty tough schedule if you ask me.

  17. gitarlvr Says:

    To people who don’t think the Bucs need any free agents. Apparently none of you want the Bucs to be serious contenders next year. It doesn’t matter how well next year’s rookies play. Without some veteran, leadership this team isn’t going deep in the playoffs. The Bucs need to bring in someone like a Lamarr Woodley. Someone who has been there and done that and can be a leader on this team in the playoffs. If Ronde Barber retires and the Bucs do make it next year they will be in the playoff with exactly ZERO guys who have ever played in, let alone won, a playoff game. Also, I guess we should give Kellen Winslow back to the Browns. Mark Dominik didn’t draft him, so he isn’t needed.

  18. gitarlvr Says:

    Jvato- Chad Greenway? Chad Greenway is no more talented than Geno Hayes. Why would the Bucs sign Chad Greenway? And he’s not a MLB, although I’m sure your already penciling him in as Ruud’s replacement. The Bucs need a superstar linebacker like Lamarr Woodley. Chad GReenway would be a lateral move. Not an upgrade.

  19. Matt Says:

    Guys, there will practically no FA next year.

    No FA until CBA deal is done. Which will NOT be in March/April. Do you want to scramble to add a new guy to the system in August? Uhh, no.

    2012 will be our year for free agents.

  20. McBuc Says:

    I am with you Joe. I also want to add that it is too early to tell if hext years schedule is as hard as Patrick stated. Based on this year maybe, but all of those teams will go through changes. You also can not lay the Vikes crap season on Favre alone. The Saints are getting older too, so who knows. I think ATL will continue to play well though. San Fran with a brand new coach leaves a huge question mark. I also predict that the Titnas and Texans look better, but not so much they are power houses. The Jgs and Colts take another step back. Dallas is still Dallas, so who knows what will happen there. The Panthers improve, but not enough to challenge the south.

  21. cody Says:

    we need a better middle linebacker. ruud wants to much money and we need a better run defense. ruud has lost his touch and the bucs need to move on.