Dominik “Comfortable And Optimistic” About LBs

June 2nd, 2012

Joe thinks about the Bucs’ 2012 linebacker corps and instantly becomes nervous and edgy. Lavonte David has big-time potential, but he’s a rookie. Mason Foster has a lot to prove in all phases of his game, and Quincy Black is, well, Quincy Black.

It would be an absolute stunner if those three guys aren’t starting, so that’s Joe’s feeling about them at this point. Joe really has no confidence and simply hopes the unit can rise up this season and become a middle-of-the-pack NFL linebacking corps.

Rockstar general manager Mark Dominik, however, says he’s “comfortable and optimistic” when it comes to Bucs linebackers, so he told the dean of Tampa Bay sports radio, Steve Duemig, Thursday on WDAE-AM 620.

Dominik painted a picture of David working hard to earn first-team status, reiterated that Foster led all NFL rookies in tackles last year while the Bucs put an incredible load on his plate for a rookie, and Dominik said Quincy Black has moved over to “his natural position” and “we’re expecting that he should play a good SAM position.”

Joe hopes Dominik is on the money, but Joe can’t bring himself to be “optimistic” about the 2012 linebackers as a unit, not without an iron clad guarantee that Gerald McCoy shows up to work every day and plays like a No. 3 overall pick. Every other position? Sure, Joe can easily be optimistic.

44 Responses to “Dominik “Comfortable And Optimistic” About LBs”

  1. Mr Lucky Says:

    Of course Dom has to be optimistic. What do you want him to say, “The LB’s are the weakest link in our defense?

  2. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    I didn’t know Gerald McCoy was a linebacker…

    …I view it like this…there were too many holes to fix in a single season. We makedue, give some guys one more year to get it together, and replace next year as needed.

    Also…in all fairness…after the last few years of defensive coaching some guys may just need to be coached right to turn things around.

    I know Biggers will be benched the first time he doesn’t give 100%.

  3. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Mr. Lucky…I bet the other teams are saying that.

  4. Macabee Says:

    Optomistic – I get! Comfortable – not buying!

  5. Brad Says:

    Dominik is only here to help transition Schiano to the NFL. After that the Bucs will show him the door do fast he won’t see it coming. The guy is a complete failure as a GM. Him promoting Dickey is just another colossal failure on his part along with Clayon, Black, Jackson, firing Doug Williams… Etc. etc etc. Enjoy this year Mark it’s all you got left of playing a grown up..

  6. thibs5599 Says:

    I really hope Watson beats out Black but then again if he plays the way he did in 2010 when he was graded out as one of the better run stopping linebackers that will be ok. David is a rookie so atleast we have nothing bad to say about him yet and was one of the more heralded linebackers to come out the draft. As for foster I am really excited to see him in his second season. He was playing real good ball had a few sacks before he got injured and did lead all rookies with tackles.

  7. Fester Says:

    Comfortable was a scary word choice. Let’s face it, this group is the worst in the division.

  8. BraveBuc Says:

    The linebacker’s jobs will be a lot easier if the d-line plays well. I think that is what Joe was eluding to. If so, I certainly agree with it.

  9. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    August just cant get here fast enough.

  10. Buxter Says:

    Dom was comfortable with giving Black a fat contract and we’ll be forced to live with him this year too.

    But it get’s better.

    Quincy’s front end loaded paycheck was a major factor in the decision to pass on Tulloch, Hawthorne and Lofton IMO.

    We could have a very solid vet Mike, slid Foster over and still picked up David.

    So Joe, your astute observation that Dom’s other key picks like McCoy, Price and Miller better be able to shore up the middle. Much is riding on Rock Star’s drafts and 2nd contract signings in his 4th year at the helm.

  11. TrueBlue Says:

    I think all you Chicken Littles will see what happens when there is effective coaching and a actual game plan. Even the best players can suck when quality coaching is absent. Good things are happening at OBP. Quit the whiney ranting and enjoy the turnaround. The future is bright.

    The Bucs will be better this year – a lot better. They may not win the division considering the strong competition, but anyone playing the Bucs this year better come ready to play or they will have their helmet handed to them with extreme prejudice.

    Yeah, I’m an optimist and with good reason. This off season is great fun watching this team get put back on track. How much better it is to be enjoying its unfoldment than to be retching with fear over misperceived details.

    It’s a great time to be a Buc fan.

  12. buCncRaZy Says:

    We will bounce back this year on Defense. Scheme will be better and so wil lthe level of discipline! GMC will have a break out year Foster will be much better Watson has a good year too! Mostly because everybody will be disciplined and accountable! Rank in the 15 to 20 range!
    Go Bucs!

  13. Schmuckaneer Says:

    Black is moving back to SAM? What did he play last year?

  14. Architek Says:

    Ok this is where I lose it somewhat because this is what Dominik does. He did it with the RBs last year and how did that turn out? He did it with the D-Line, how did that go? He did it with the secondary, results?

    That’s my biggest beef with him as a decision maker. State the facts and stop trying to sale people unrealistic products. Lavonye David has better pedigree and should be fine in some years. Mason Foster should be fine in time. But Quincy Black is just insufficient as a player. Not only physically is he a soft player but he is not a leader of men, which is what we are missing.

  15. Jessup Says:

    I don’t think it will be shocking at all if Watson or even Goode gets the start over Black. Schiano has made it pretty obvious that everyone has a clean slate and is on equal ground. If Black doesn’t earn it, I don’t think he’ll start….and if he isn’t starting he probably won’t be on the team, unless his $5M salary is all guaranteed this year.

  16. McBuc Says:

    Arch, correct, but notice he addressed all of those areas as he could…you cannot do it all at once. No GM in football comes out and tells the truth about men on their roster. Just read between the lines, GMs and coaches all do this kind of stuff…Dom is not different than the rest.

  17. Dini's Biceps Says:

    The Glazer Family stopped short of “..doing whatever it takes to win” by not getting a FA MLB when there were many to choose from. By the time the season starts, The Bucs will be in the top 5 teams with the MOST CAP ROOM (smh)

  18. Eric Says:

    All is well, no need to worry about that iceberg up ahead.

  19. Colorado Buc Says:

    What shoud he say “We have gihg hopes at most positions, but at linebacker…well we should have drafted Kuechly and signed Lofton.”

    No, you work with what you have and address further needs next offseason. Hopefully we did upgrade, or with better coaching we get more results. I think that Thumper Barron was the right call, we have been reeling at Safety for a long time. Don’t talk about Claiborne, his own position coach didn’t want him, i’m sure he influenced the Barron pick as well.

  20. Patrick Says:

    They should’ve added a veteran to the mix. David is gonna be a rookie, Foster……well he hasn’t proven anything yet and he should be playing OLB, not MLB. Black…….well he’s a wuss that can’t even tackle.

    Nonetheless, David is an upgrade from any of our linebackers, regardless of whether he’s a rookie or not.

    But I’m still not expecting much from the group in 2012. My prediction is that they won’t be much better.

    Thank goodness we added depth and insurance to the D-line though.

  21. Big Marlon B Says:

    Manti Te’o 2013.

  22. Thomas2.2 Says:

    If Dom is comfortable everyone should be concerned.

    He has been comfortable after his horrid drafts and wasteful FA signings. Quincy, Clayton, Derrick Ward, Mike Nugent, Angelo Crowell anyone?

    Let’s review his 09-10 drafts. Whoops!

    If you are counting on GMC, you might as well be counting on your retirement coming from a lotto ticket.

    I predict Gerald will have his 5th serious injury before Game 1.

  23. TrueBlue Says:

    Calm down nervous Nellies. It’s going to be a fun year. No need to give up on Dom yet. He’s made some bad signings, but he’s also made some very good ones. It’s that way for most all GM’s. Morris was the problem last year, and Dom didn’t hire him. They came into their positions at the same time.

    Now Morris is gone and we have a whole new coaching staff that’s led by someone who has proven effectiveness at turning failed programs around. So far things look pretty good. And you can’t change the entire roster in one year, nor should you want to. A lot of these guys simply didn’t have the coaching or leadership in their young careers to bring their talents up to speed. Some of the veterans who should have been leading have been shown the door. Now the ones that are left have new vets to learn from, vets with character and class. Believe it or not these are good things that will likely make a big difference in their on field performance.

    Another thing, I don’t know how you blame injuries on Dom. Maybe if you bring in someone with an injury that doesn’t pan out because of that injury, but that isn’t what’s happening. The ship is being righted. Enjoy the the ride. No one knows what’s going to happen in this upcoming season. Maybe it’s great, maybe not so good. But what’s happening at OBP right now looks like good progress. Be a true fan, support these efforts to improve.

  24. Jessup Says:

    Keep Calm and Chive On

  25. 941-Bucs Says:

    My shot in the dark thoughts for 2012.

    Lavonte David will play at an incredibly high standard. Flying all over the field making plays and giving us flash backs of D. Brooks early years while still being mildly inconsistent being a rookie.

    Mason Foster will actually show up and perform well this years (remember his rookie year, No OTA’s, Took on play calling duties, and played out of his natural position.

    Quincy Black will play a bit better this year but still not live up to his contract and could very well get benched (out played) by late season.

    Dakota Watson will see much more time at DE with his hand in the dirt as a pass rusher. Could eventually take Q. Black’s position by seasons end.

    Najee Goodee will come out of no where and be a special teams ace and fight for playing time.

    Predictions: L. David, M. Foster, D. Watson as SAM, MIKE, and Will
    OR L. David, N. Goodee, M. Foster is respective position

  26. bucobruce Says:

    We are waiting for more free agent cuts so we can get a proven lb for a good price just wait we are not done sighning people yet.

    Tampaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

  27. bucobruce Says:

    Go rays

  28. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It is easy to hate Mark Dominik, but he has had quite a bit of bad luck.
    Nearly every one of his draft picks have been injured.
    Right now, Tampa Bay is undefeated, with a new coach.
    I am trying to keep an open mind.

  29. b.u.c.s.19999 Says:

    9-7 lets go

  30. George Says:

    Jeezis Effing Kreiste Mr. Biceps… Complaining about not getting a LB in free agency? Yeah, would’ve been nice, but it wasn’t a strong group for the $ being paid. I have a feeling Coach Schiano has a good idea of what he wants from his LBs and would’ve made the clear to Dom, and they would’ve gotten one if there was one who was a good fit… And the fact that the Bucs will still have the most cap room come opening day? Maybe, and if so, good. They’re gonna need that money to extend Freeman and others next year.

  31. Capt. ThomasTimEric 2.2 Says:

    Yeah, Black and Foster performed so well last year, why worry?

    It’s not like they were the worst defense is Buc history last year’
    Or last in the league in Scoring Defense !
    Or the two of the them were graded as the Worst Lbers in the league at their posistion!
    Or like they were both owned by every opponent they faced!

    Oh, wait! They were, weren’t they?

    Well, I still think we will be a .500 team!
    If we play in the “Big East”!
    Keeping Schiano’s career mark of Mediocrity alive!

  32. George Says:

    Capt. TTE 2.2 … Uhhh… take a moment and look at all the areas they’ve improved the personnel at all positions… take a moment to consider this coaching staff is far more qualified than the previous one… take a moment to consider the improved discipline, attitude, and attention to detail… and then tell me what it would take to try to enjoy some optimism for your team (unless you’re just a troll)… Take a moment to consider what it would take to NOT be a d**k.

  33. Stevek Says:

    Capt. TTE 2.2,

    $50 says Bucs go 9-7.

  34. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Well guys, one thing is for sure this year. We are fixing to find out if it was a coaching problem, a talent problem, or Both.

  35. raphael Says:

    8-8 Foster will be much better this year …

  36. Dini's Biceps Says:

    I’m optimistic about this season but there were lots of MLB’s in Free Agency that would’ve been an upgrade (it was a glaring weak spot last year) I like Mason Foster as a human being but remember when Jaquizz Rodgers ran him over at the goal line in ATL? that should NEVER happen. If Freeman doesn’t sign an Extension this year, I’ll bet he tests Free Agency after next season (I’ll bet that’s why they signed Vincent Jackson).

  37. BamBamBuc Says:

    Uh, yeah right, and I’m “confident and optimistic” that Thomas 2.2 is a Bucs fan…

  38. KWBUCSFAN Says:

    Man, we did alot of positive things this offseason and everyone just finds that since we didnt sign a LB we failed. I for one am very exited about this year. Im only expecting a 8-8 or 7-9 team. I just couldn’t stand watching the last 10 games. We will be better prepared and play hard this year. GO BUCS!!

  39. Drew Says:

    Some of the critics here need to consider the following. They were the youngest team in the NFL last year, There was no off season due to the strike and as projected by most of the analysts, they would be affected and not fair well in the regular season. The coaching staff was absolutely horrible in all facets as a professional coaching staff. There were also some key injuries along with some players hitting the sophomore slump. It’s clear why the team went 4-10.

    This is going to be a much better year than last and I would be happy if they went 8-8. I’m optimistic though and believe they will do much better and possibly win the division. Before passing judgement, I prefer to wait and see how they handle themselves in the preseason games as it will be pretty evident what they’ll be like in the regular season.

    With respect to Schiano and the coaching staff, I’ll believe in them until given a reason not too. I also believe Dominick has done a good job and if the measurement of bad GM is failed draft picks, then there are no good GM’s in the NFL. I’m confident in making this statement, because every team has had failed draft picks.

  40. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Seriously, what do you expect him to say? We have awful LB’s and I am worried out of my mind? Some of you don’t realize that coaches and GM’s rarely, if ever, go public with what they really feel. Some of you hang on every word they say as if you are going to know exactly what’s going on at One Buc Place. Maybe he’s confident in our LB’s, maybe he’s not. Regardless, he would give the same answer.

  41. Northend Says:

    The backers will be better because the d-line will be much more stout.both Okoye and Gibson with a healthy price gmc and claiborne will make a huge difference.tulloch would have been nice ,but david has much upside and Curren is a popper.i understand the decision to hold off in fa when u get rookies who can ball for a fraction of the price.

  42. BigMacAttack Says:

    I can’t picture Schiano anointing anyone a starting job in June. I believe it will come from a competition in camp. Dakota Watson may prove difficult to keep off the field and LDE makes good sense for him. I like the idea that so many thousands have proposed of moving Foster out of the Mike. I haven’t seen Goode yet but he hope he is a diamond for the middle. I could see a combo of David, Goode, & Watson with Black & Foster on le-bench. Hayward can play Mike, but he had a bad year too with the others.

    Joe keeps bringing up that 4-2 start, which does make some sense because the LB’rs weren’t horrible in all of those first 6 games, but you saw mistakes from them. It is funny how it wasn’t a gradual drop off with the defense, more of a right over the cliff in the Bears game and steady sucked from then on.

  43. Buc O Deer Says:

    Grimm and Watson were 7th round picks and have given more than the guys drafted higher than them. Biggers and Stroughter were 7th round picks and have given more than the guys who went higher also. Dom does draft horrible, but I am hopeful this year’s class will be much better!!

    David never gives up on a play and Goode is a thumper. Curran seems to be showing a lot this off-season. This seems to say Black will not start or will be special teams only.

    Let’s hope for at least a 7-9 season… I wish they had spent some money the last three years.

  44. Teddy Says:

    I don’t get it. Quincy Black was the starting SAM last year (with Foster at the MIKE and Geno Hayes at the WILL). What’s different this year?