Veteran Leadership Comes From Coaches

August 1st, 2011

Alex Van Pelt spent a pile of years behind Jim Kelly in Buffalo

Rockstar general manager Mark Dominik talked about the Bucs having veteran leaders in place for his young players today, but Dominik wasn’t talking about guys in pads, he was talking about coaches.

Grilled on all things Bucs on the Ron and Ian Show on WDAE-AM 620, Dominik was quick to respond when asked by former Bucs guard Ian Beckles whether the team would look for veterans in the latter phases of free agency to mentor the young players and show them what “championship football” habits look like.

Dominik explained that Alex Van Pelt was not just a strong QB coach last year for Josh Freeman, but a veteran of the NFL who could fill the role of mentor for Freeman. Same for Eric Yarber with the wide receivers, and with new defensive line coach Keith Millard.

“Millard kind of brings that same thing. He’s been there. He’s done that. He’s played in the National Football League. He was one of the best at his position. And I think that’s the same kind of leadership. So it’s coming from our coaching staff,” Dominik said.

No doubt there are tremendous coaches who never played in the league. It’s no pre-requisite for anything. Hell, Raheem Morris was arguably the best secondary coach in the league and he was a 1-AA player who jumped into coaching after college.

Joe gets Dominik’s point about having coaches who played in the league so their voices carry more weight, and those guys have the resume and communication skills to fill the mentor role.

But Joe’s not buying that 100 percent. They’re still coaches, not players. It’s a different relationship.

In a perfect world, the Bucs would have at least a serviceable, teaching veteran at every position — to bad Kevin Carter is done — but it’s not a perfect world and the Bucs went 10-6 last year.

Maybe the whole player mentor thing is overblown.

26 Responses to “Veteran Leadership Comes From Coaches”

  1. Bucbeliever Says:

    Idk Joe, I kinda think I agree w/ Dom. The players have the energy, the coaches have the knowledge/ experience. Since these players are “yungry,” they’ll sop up all the info they can from the coaches to be in championship form.

    GO BUCS!

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Hey Joe,



  3. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Solid vet leadership costs money. The Glazers are our owners. Cheap is the priority, all is secondary, except farming out games to other communities for an extra few bucks in revenues.

    You know that the Glazer plan is to keep the payroll at an achievable low until the 2013 cap floor requirement becomes effective. Logic being: if we can save 40 million per until 2013 on salaries, we can cover the additional salary expenses starting in 2013. That 2 year grace period allows crooked owners to stuff their mattresses in prep for 2013.

  4. McBuc Says:

    As long as the team is winning, it sounds like a good plan Thomas. How does making good business decisions translate to “crokked” to you? If we have another winning season and make the play offs, what will you say?

  5. Eric S Says:

    Agree 100% with Thomas. It seems like all the fans that supported the Glazers were pointing at 2011 as the year they would spend money. Haha. Yeah right. I didn’t even know about the 2013 salary cap floor issue until a few days ago. That’s when Mark D. stated they really didn’t have to do anything. I knew then that the Glazers would not be spending money these next 2 years. Fantastic. No more excuses for them. This has been going on too long. I think a quality pass rusher would have put them in the playoffs last year. But they didn’t sign anyone. And now they are not going to sign any impact players this season either. The Falcons P is nice and will help in the special teams. But I personally expected more. I wanted them to go after D. Sproles for speed on the offense. I wanted them to go after J. Joseph for the secondary. Maybe try to get an OL or two. There is no more excuses for the Glazers. They’ve had all these years not spending money and now is the time to open the checkbook. This team could make the Super Bowl with some key free agents. I don’t think they have enough right now. Green Bay is going to be very good again. Philly is really going for it, while the Bucs big signing is a punter. Just great.

  6. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    It is overblown. Having a vet ahead of a young guy to “mentor” him just keeps that guy off the field. After the way our rookies and 2nd year guys stepped up last year I can’t believe some people are still crying about this team not signing old players .

  7. m.wesley Says:

    Joe ,For one I am glad we didnt spend like we were Dan Snyder I am so glad that we are waiting so that Mike Williams or Josh Freeman wont be the next Asomonough in free agency or whatever his name is and than some of you would have that to complain about,I can hear you now. The g.m and coaches are idiots signed all those freeagents and now they cant keep core players .they knew that they werent ready for a superbowl .

  8. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Some of the knuckleheads on here need to go cry to their mommies. The rest of us are tired of hearing their infantile, crybaby b.s. about how they wish the Glazers were more like Dan Snyder.

  9. BigMacAttack Says:

    There are 2 guys here that know everything there is to know about sucking, because they suck the life out of everything. Get a life. Get a woman. Get laid. And STFU!!!

  10. Eric S Says:

    Now I know why I haven’t posted here in a while. Glad that people are satisfied that the owners are spending once again. Bunch of sheep.

  11. Eric S Says:

    Aren’t spending once again. Why bother.

  12. Eric S Says:

    How people go from spending some money to Daniel Snyder is beyond me. I never said to spend like Daniel Snyder. I just want them to spend some money. Oh well. This is a good site, but many of the posters are idiots.

  13. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I agree, Millard brings a lot to Tampa.

  14. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Eric- Well why would you post somewhere that no one cares to hear your opinion? Feel free to never post again. Or go start your little website.

  15. Brandon Says:

    Yes, the whole mentor thing is overblown. A mentor can be a guy at another position.. and in the Bucs’ case, the best mentors are Barber and Freeman. Barber is the consumate professional, does his job, works hard, watches film, shuts his mouth and makes plays. Anybody can watch him in his craft and learn valuable lessons about work ethic and modesty. Freeman on the other hand is more of an in-your-face leader. He rallies the troops, works his tail off, doesn’t make excuses, and expects perfection out of himself. I don’t care how old a player is, anybody will push themselves just a little bit harder having a leader like Freeman.

    As for older players themselves, some are good mentors, others aren’t. But one thing is certain, older players breakdown late in the season and cost more. If coaches can teach their young players what to do and how to play, older mentors are useless and take up valuable roster space.

  16. NickinMelb Says:

    Eric is right we aren’t asksing for the second coming of Daniel Snyder but are you telling me a freakin kicker is all we can afford? Give me a break. If the Glazers didn’t have to pay Man U the Bucs might have picked up a free agent or two.

  17. NickinMelb Says:

    Hey at least we aren’t the Dolphins signing Matt Moore to be our new quarterback. The Glazers would have said he cost too much.

  18. BamBamBuc Says:

    Seriously, it sounds like some around here want us to draft a new OWNER next year. I don’t think that’s possible. We have what we have, and whether ownership is saying not to spend or Dom is saying he’ll only spend on a guy that can and will start for the team and that he won’t overpay even for a starter from another team, I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t care. The team played well last year. We won 10 games. There is a chance that continuity and another year of experience can equate to improvement. There’s also a chance that the Saints or Falcons falter with the more difficult schedules as well. All it takes is a game or two that we win and they lose and our confidence is soaring and they’re playing catch up and losing confidence. I seriously doubt that either the Falcons or Saints will have 12 wins and home field in the NFC this year. We have a solid young team, and with the right amount of confidence and hunger to make a playoff push.

  19. Joe Says:

    Aren’t spending once again. Why bother.

    Joe believes this may be news to Davin Joseph.

  20. m.wesley Says:

    I remember a while ago you were saying how can Van Pelt help Freeman.Who is going to mentor the young recievers?How can you compete by not getting veterans?If we had signed vets last year who would Mike Williams be this year,who would Cody Grimm be?The cheap Gazers signed Winslow to what pennies,what did Faine sign for pennies,the punter signed for pennies,Joseph signed for pennies.To me it seems they spend on who they feel deserves it .

  21. m.wesley Says:

    And when they spend its not pennies.dont any of you believe that alone is enough to make players play hard for that big contract?

  22. Matt Says:

    Goddamnit, I’m so mad there is no cap floor just because I have to listen to dumbasses like Thomas and Eric for another two years.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:



  24. McBuc Says:

    BamBam, Wesley and Matt nailed it. As did Joe with the Davin statement. They are doing this the right way, like it or not. The Eagles may end up with too many big names, like Dallas and Washington have done so many times before. heck, the Eagles may end up with a QB contraversy, probably not nut they may.

  25. m.wesley Says:

    the eagles were able to spend that money because the previous years they was not stupid .look at the price they got Vick for last year ,he performed and they paid him,being smart with their money,had a great season and it was time to break the bank,we are not at that point .We lost those games to Atlana for a reason,did we look like we belonged on the field yes but did we have the expierience to beat them no.If that corner back turned down a chance to play with Revis what makes you think he would play with the Tampa secondary,who else would be a logical pick up?We should be happy that they are smart enough to use their heads and work the system,and then maybe we can get more than one superbowl for freeman because I felt cheated by only getting one for Sapp ,Brooks,Lynch,ect…….

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    Good point McBuc,
    What if Vick implodes like he used to? What if Nnamdi blows a knee? Jackson is holding out and has a very volatile personality. There is no guarantee the Eagles formula will work. I’d still take Josh Freeman over all those guys.