How Dominik Saved Freeman And The Bucs

November 20th, 2012

To gain perspective on how far the Bucs have come in less than a year, one only has to be reminded of the 2011 horror show that was passed to innocent Bucs fans as NFL football.

The defense was worse than atrocious, franchise-worst. The offense couldn’t score in a Colombian brothel with a fistful of C-notes and privacy ensured by U.S. Secret Service agents.

It was as miserable as miserable gets. Raheem Morris, rightly, was jettisoned just hours after the final game. One could argue Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik was somewhat contempt as well, but he survived the purge.

Dominik knew he was on thin ice. General managers often get two chances (two head coaching hires) to work with to show some progress or they too are shown the door. Having put his neck on the line to draft Josh Freeman — he was guided in the pick by Morris — Dominik, as Chase Stuart of the New York Times points out, went out to save Freeman’s career which also saved Dominik’s gig and, in turn, saved the Bucs.

If Freeman’s career had continued on this downward trajectory, Dominik would have become collateral damage. So in the off-season, Dominik rebuilt the team with a clear vision: he wanted an offense built around a strong running game complemented by a deep passing attack.

So Dominik went out and got the best wide receiver on the market, a team-first guy who would teach the young Bucs receivers how to be professionals. Then Dominik went out to make sure Freeman would be upright, and got Nicks (thank you greedy Drew Brees) and finally, traded up in the draft to make sure Freeman had a reliable running back to take heat off him, Doug Martin.

When Dominik said last year that it was all about No. 5, he was right. Because if No. 5 failed, the Bucs would fail and Dominik would be left groveling for work.

7 Responses to “How Dominik Saved Freeman And The Bucs”

  1. Adam Says:

    want to hear something funny? MD could have avoided all this turmoil and agita if he listened to me at the STH Q&A before the 09 season. I told him to his face that he needed to surround Josh with weapons specifically Anquan Boldin (someone who would fight for passes) rather than draft people and hope they were okay. Make your QBs job easy! Nope.

    I have the video somewhere. I’m trying to find it somewhere.

  2. Rob Says:

    Dominick and company had the best draft/off season aquisitions the Bucs have seen in decades, maybe ever. Plenty of current or future pro bowlers on our offensive and defensive side of the ball now. Go Bucs!

  3. SteveK Says:

    Hats off to Mark for this past year.

    Still, we need to see him draft a probowler, and this year I think we will see that.

    What about 2011? We won 10 games in 2010, and we only go out and get a punter? What gives, we lacked some talent, and some salary cap over the past few years.

    I am delighted to see the Bucs on their way back to relevance. One game at a time, and if we can open up a can on the Falcons this week, we are serious contenders.

    Dom did right by finding Schiano, and I could not have been more pleased with our actions this past offseason and draft.

    Now, if we can get rid of some expensive underperformers at the end of the year, sign a FA or two, and then work the draft one more time. If we can replicate what we did last year and apply it again this offseason, then we will be legit contenders.

  4. Biff Barker Says:

    Missing in all the analysis is the level of the Glazer’s involvement in hiring Raheem and the Glazer’s non-involvement with FA spending.

  5. Sneedy16 Says:

    You want to know what is scary. What if Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks still was playing. Doug would be leading the league in rushing right now.

  6. RastaMon Says:

    Saved them from…himself

  7. Aldo Says:

    as a colombian… that was hilarious!!