Should A GM Be Evaluated By Wins And Losses?

January 7th, 2013

Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik has had incredible successes and notable failures, like most GM’s around the NFL.

And, of course, Dominik doesn’t coach. As Joe’s written previously, Joe gave Dominik 15 percent of the blame for the horrendous 2011 season, not 50 percent or more like many fans and pundits. Plus, it was pretty obvious that the 2009 hiring of Raheem Morris was a Team Glazer call, not Dominik’s.

But today, Joe’s wondering how much a GM should be judged by his teams’ won-loss record.

Wacky Scott Pioli took over the Chiefs in 2009, same year Dominik grabbed the reigns in Tampa, and was fired last week. Acclaimed veteran Chiefs beat writer Bob Gretz, Kansas City’s lone voter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said Pioli’s 23 wins in four seasons meant he deserved to be canned.

It’s not that I’m a numbers guy. In fact, if you have read this website over the years you already know I struggle with anything greater than basic math. Despite his many character flaws, rampaging insecurity, devious nature and seemingly bi-polar behavior, Pioli was fired because the numbers did not add up.

Specifically 23-42 – that’s the Chiefs record with Pioli in charge:

  • 2009: 4-12.
  • 2010: 10-7 (includes loss in playoffs to Baltimore).
  • 2011: 7-9.
  • 2012: 2-14.

Total: 23-42, a .354 winning percentage. That’s bad football. That gets people fired.

Dominik has just one more win than Pioli and one less playoff appearance. So does that mean Dominik is on thin ice or should be?

Ultimately, every GM must be measured by wins and losses, but it’s a far more complex threshold than that of a head coach. The record must be scrutinized to determine the GM’s role in the outcome. And then there’s the whole unknown factor of potential restraints placed on a GM by ownership.

One could argue that Dominik cost the Bucs the playoffs by making a series of wrong decisions that left the cornerbacks cupboard bare this season. But one could also argue that Dominik’s homerun 2012 draft and aggression with Vincent Jackson in free agency left the Bucs awfully close to becoming a playoff team — all while having a mountain of cash for the 2013 offseason, and emerging young NFL stars on the roster.

It’s a great debate. And hopefully it’s one that won’t continue among Bucs fans, because if the Bucs win, nobody will care.

34 Responses to “Should A GM Be Evaluated By Wins And Losses?”

  1. Andrew 1 Says:

    Dom should be judged on what his job specifies him to do, and that is get talented players and keep us in good standing with the cap space and money related issues. He has done a decent job at both, but if we continue to lose then everybody in the bucs organization should be looking over their shoulders. Including Dom.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dom’s alright. i think he is getting better and it would be a mistake to fire him now. I don’t see the Glazers parting with him yet. He should be judged by the team’s performance, but the cupboard is pretty bare right now when it comes to available coaches and GM’s. A bunch of worn out retreads recently fired from other losing gigs. Keep the faith, it will work out. Keep the faith.

    And Go Lightning!!!!

  3. the_buc_realist Says:

    The “Rock Star” has put a lot of resources for the D-line for years now, It has been 1 of the worst in the league. Don’t forget that the Glazers hired Rah ( i will not call him coach) But the rock star interviewed the 2 coordinators that were fired before the season and 6 games in. i don’t think he has drafted that well ( look at all the second round picks gone to waste) let alone he has been drafting very high each year. I think the new regime had a lot of input on the last draft that alot of people try to give the pop-star credit for.

  4. Macabee Says:

    When you want the truth, go straight to the source. Interview all of the GMs that got fired this year and see what they tell you! Obvious answer!

  5. Pruritis Ani Says:


    It is the only proper way you can evaluate him. He’s responsible for what you see on the field and ultimately what ends up in the owner’s bank account. If the mix is right and you have a winning team, this should translate into revenue for the owners. More people go to the games, season ticket sales increase, more people are interested in the team merchandise, National TV appearances, advertising revenue, etc etc etc. When the team is not winning, it translates into financial losses in multiple areas.


    He seems to have improved. But, when the losses stack up, it’s hard to overlook a lot of the bad signings, like Derrick Ward.

  7. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Dom has made a few mistakes, he’s also had a few great signings/draft picks. There are a lot of pros and cons for the guy. He’s a young talented GM that is learning from his mistakes. What more can you ask for? Got to give him another year just like Freeman. I believe both of there jobs are on the line come this next season.

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    Mixed bad. W’s and L’s count, but in a low percentage IMO. His job is to get the talent, it’s on the coaches to get that talent to perform.

  9. Brad Says:

    Dom has made glaring mistakes and everyone credits him with last years FA signings ( it was the glazers that opened their wallets) he also got credit for this years draft ( Schiano was the driving force). I’d fire him now.

  10. SirustheVirus Says:

    2010 I blame Mark. To get a Mike Williams, but pass on a Gronk, Jimmy Graham, Aaron Hernedez, Antonio Brown Eric Decker. We could of had them over a Price, Benn, M. Lewis or the almighty Punter Brent Bowden. He should be held accountable for that.

  11. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    It really is a shame that drafting 2 DTs and 2 DEs didn’t improve the DL that much.

    I really hated how he drafted a DT who was injured , a DE who’s knees were already shot and then the one with a bad arm.

    I’m just saying, he drafted way too many inured guys taking a “risk” when he was supposed to be adding solid depth.

  12. ctord Says:

    I think another year like this year and there will be a purge. I believe it will be playoffs or bust. That means dom, free, and possibly coach. Although, I think coach has a little wiggle room if there is a change at gm, the next natural move is for the gm to get there own coach. that is why I lumped him in.

  13. Miracle Says:

    I believe that is easy to evaluate a GM. They are ultimately responsible for personnel. The question is to ask, “Is personnel better this year than last and can we improve next year?”

    The answer for Dom has always been yes.

    From year 1 to year 2 to year 3 to year 4, we have always improved in personnel and potential growth. You may say that we axed Brooks, Dunn, etc, his first year but.. where did they play after?

    You can overlook the forest for individual trees, but that would be silly as a team is a collective unit.

    Here’s another point in favor of Dominick that has to do with Freeman. Freeman was the 3rd quarterback chosen (in a teen pick I might add) but is arguably the BEST qb in that draft. QBs drafted before or after that draft are irrelevant because we couldn’t go without a qb another year.

    The final point is that Dominick may be the BEST GM in the game right now in one very important detail – salary cap management. Last year, we went and signed 3 high priced Free agents. This year, we could do the same because we are near the top in cap space. I realize that it may not be exciting but he is exceptional at developing contracts for players with long-term vision.

    So I ask, “Is our team personnel better than last year? Do we have the space, potential and ability to improve this coming year?”

  14. ctord Says:

    agree with a lot of posts here however. He has had more that his fair share of mistakes during his time. This year happened to be a home run but I agree with coaches finger prints on the draft this year and the glazers opening the wallet has helped him look good this year.

  15. Jonny Says:

    If Scott Pioli got fired in Kansas City for the futility of that franchise, Dominik should have already been out weeks back. Pioli put together one of the most talented rosters in the NFL that is underperforming because of poor QB play. Chiefs have FIVE players selected to probowl in an year they were a laughingstock. Its not because they have media hype or they have a huge delusional fanbase, it happened because they have a very talented roster.

    On the other hand Dominik has been only capable of putting together a bunch of some solid players and mostly scrubs. If not for the pick ups last off season, Dominik may already have been fired by now. Vincent Jackson especially is sort of a messiah to several people in the franchise atm, like Freeman, Dominik and Mike Williams.

  16. Tbuc Says:

    Continue to draft well and don’t neglect the CB position in a passing league, and the wins will come.

  17. Bobby Says:

    I don’t know how you can say our D-line is terrible when we had the best run defense in the NFL. Are you judging this solely on sacks registered?? If so, that’s a pretty lame criteria. I like our D-line and I like it even more with a healthy Bowers and Clayborn to go along with Bennett & Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. If you rank #1 in the NFL against the run you have a stout D-line. We just need more than one pass rusher. If they double McCoy we don’t have anyone to make them pay for it. With Clayborn back and Bowers coming on strong we should alleviate that problem.

  18. BIG SIR Says:

    To me it’s going to be a lot simpler than analyzing all his moves, non-moves, drafts, etc.

    If Freeman fails next year, the Bucs miss the playoffs, and that would be 5 years of mediocrity. And that is putting it mildly. Freeman holds Dominik’s future in his hand. Win and go on. Fail and both a new QB and GM will be here in 2014.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    I would hardly call Bowers a mistake. I think it was the Bucs that may have fueled the whole degenerative knee story in the first place so they could nab him. Bowers is fine and looking stronger than ever. The Bucs sorely missed their Preditor, Clayborn. I also credit Dom and the Glazers for bringing in not just Schiano, but a few consultants to help evaluate the talent of potential players. I would be hard pressed to say we are not on the right track overall. I agree that Pioli put together a strong roster, and IMO should not have been fired. Crennel should take more of the blame, but he also was given little time and little rope. I don’t see Andy Reid as a big upgrade there. I’m glad we have Dom and really really look forward to his magic this off season. That’s why I’m trying to be patient, look forward to some serious Stamkos action for a few months until Dom puts on a show for us. Good times for the Bay Area fans.

  20. Bobby Says:

    @BigMacAttack….wow! Someone with clear thinking and a little patience….you can’t really be a Buc fan.

  21. the_buc_realist Says:

    wow, i did not know that a little patience was 5 years. well here is to patience, 4th or 3rd place in the division, and the Rock Star Off-season championship.

  22. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    Didn’t Pioli have 5 probowlers just this year? The Teflon
    Dom finally got his career first.

    He wasn’t voted in because of talent or stats, he was voted in because he was friendly to opposing offenses. He likes to hold their hands and pray after games.

    Warren Sapp was voted in because he was feared, respected and they were afraid not to select him.

  23. Big Picture Guy Says:

    This whole argument and article is built on a false premise. Pioli was fired primarily because Andy Reid wanted him gone. Plain and simple.

    Joe is starting to not let the facts get in the way of a good story it seems?

  24. mike Says:

    I dont think record is a big factor in rating a gm. How many starters and pro bowlers is he drafting? Is he hitting on his picks. His he signing good free agents? is he paying too much for not enough production, and when he lets a guy go in free agentcy does that player perform better for his new team (then he should have been resigned). You judge the roster for a gm you judge a coach on wins and losses!
    Pioli was in trouble because he picked a lousey qb, fought w a head coach and had big misses on high picks.
    Dom should be under the microscope bc he is mainly in charge of the roster. Allen seemed to let hickey do the draft and sign the free agents gruden told him to

  25. stevek Says:


    We can’t rush the passer.

    We were #1 against the run, in a passing league.

    Come on, Man! Please remove your blinders. Our D sucks!

    7 Dom picks on D-Line, 4 of which were 1st and 2nd round… 1 probowl…..

    We need D-Line help, bad….

    No accountability from the starting QB+ dismal pass rush+ no name CB’s= zero playoffs

  26. Eric Says:

    How can you say his personnel decisions are good, when other personnel has defeated his 40 times in four years?

    How did the Colts wiz by us?

    How did the skins?

    Personnel decisions. Better ones than our guy made.

  27. Dylan Says:

    Dominik is the only solid cornerstone bucs have in the front office. He just easily had the best draft this class and it’s not like
    Barron the most obvi pick was his best choice. I’m talking aboutlving back gaining a fourth moving up grabbing a finalist in the rookie of the year and looks like the next great thing at RB and oh he moves up in the 2nd and drafted arguably the best linebacker of not 2nd best in the entire class. Man knows what he is doing. He just needs to coaches to take care of the rest he is doing his job 110%. Landing Carl nicks and v jack… Can’t wait to see what the genius moves he does this offseason. So excited for next year watch out.

  28. Eric Says:

    Bruce Allen wins wherever he is.

    Dominik loses.

    Yet Dom is a rock star and Bruce an idiot.

    Go figure.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    Lol, I just got back on meds.

    I really just don’t think we’re that bad off. I have spoken to Bryan Glazer a couple times and to Mark Dominick this past year and I promise you these guys want to win badly. Losing sickens them and it is not because of a lack of trying.

    No problem can sustain the assault of sustained thinking.

    I am way more upset about the UN small arms treaty and the assault on the 2’nd Ammendment. The Bucs are in good hands.

  30. Patrick Says:

    LMAO. A”little patience”. I think watching our team lose for 5 straight years and not compete for a damn playoff spot is patience. Well, I’m guessing u grew up during the creamsicle years so you’re probably used to it.

  31. Miguel El Magnifico Says:


    The only problem with Voltaire’s wisdom is that 31 other teams are thinking too.

    Google HR11654 the Dick Act of 1902 all gun laws are illegal. The 2nd amendment is clearly defined. It’s carved in stone, can not be repealed or changed. Stay off the meds.

  32. MTM Says:

    Dominick will be gone next year along with Freeman. Schiano will be better off.

  33. King Says:

    Piolis team was in a downward spiral with Reid wanting his own guy to boot. Doms team is on the upswing with a reasonable bright future ahead of them. Pretty big differences between the two after you get done looking at their records.

  34. PRBucFan Says:

    Dom and this team “besides the QB and CB’s” are on the right track. We had al all-star offseason and draft and i promise Schiano was not driving the bus in this last draft when it came down to it.

    The main reason Kelly backed out last season was because the Bucs did not give him personal control.

    This D-Line is one DT away from being a monstrosity. They can indeed pressure the QB when their actually given the freedom to rush the passer but unfortunately in this new defensive scheme they are forced to do all that stunting which indeed has been a problem.