So Who’s Calling The Shots?

April 25th, 2013

It’s been about a year since Tampa Bay Times beat writer Stephen Holder proclaimed Greg Schiano’s “autonomy,” which was “granted by the Glazers” (per Holder), and called Schiano one of the most powerful head coaches in the NFL.

Joe wrote back then that Holder’s take appeared to be baloney. Joe has since studied various nuances of Schiano’s relationship with rockstar general manager Mark Dominik, and Joe still believes Holder was off the mark and Dominik is calling the final draft-day shots while working very closely with Schiano.

Here’s Schiano’s recent comment about Dominik to NBC Sports Network:

“He gets a ton of credit [for the Revis signing]. He did a great job. You know, the thing that I love about our relationship is we communicate constantly throughout the day. And it’s been that way since the day I took the job. And I think that’s why it’s workin’. And, you know, I saw his level of patience throughout this thing, you know, sitting there in the office just he and I and him on the phone. You know, I give him a lot of credit of hanging in there and being patient and he did a great job. It takes a whole group of people to have a successful organization and I’m blessed that Mark’s our GM.”

Schiano’s loving comments reminded Joe of the head coach’s words last June, when Schiano said the following without being asked about Dominik during an interview on Mad Dog Radio.

“There’s no doubt there’s really two learning processes. First you need to learn your own personnel and the team you take over, and then as we got into free agency first then the draft, but I think where I’ve been blessed is our general manager Mark Dominik has been great in getting me up to speed. You know he and Dennis Hickey, who is the head of player personnel, have just been, you know, spoon feeding me since the day I took the job with video and write-ups and certainly I’m willing to put the time in. It’s been a really good relationship. We’ve been able to really build a consensus on who are the guys we need to target.

One of the things that’s just paramount to us is guys who love the game of football. That’s what’s going to work with us. I know my personality. I know how we do things. That passion to play the game, when the business side is done and all the financials are decided, the guy just loves to go out and play and practice. That’s critical to us.”

Schiano also has described in other interviews how he took a watch-and-learn approach during last year’s draft and was busy building a coaching staff and a regime during last offseason rather than giving full attention to the draft.

Last week, it was also made clear to Joe and others in the media by a ranking insider at One Buc Palace that it was Dominik driving the bus on the Revis trade.

Look, Joe knows Schiano has his finger on the pulse of everything, and rightfully so, but Joe fully believes the Bucs will enter tonight’s draft with a full Schiano-Dominik consensus on their draft board with Dominik making the final calls and deciding on any trades up or down.

Given what the Bucs accomplished in the first three rounds of last year’s draft — and Schiano’s apparent trust and love of the Bucs’ first three picks of 2011 — Joe can’t imagine much is going to change.

28 Responses to “So Who’s Calling The Shots?”

  1. stevek Says:

    Good piece Joe,

    I agree, Schiano has his hands on everything, and Dominick is collaborating well with Schiano in finding supremely talented players for our roster.

    Two heads are better than one.

  2. Paul Says:

    “Dominik is calling the final draft-day shots”

    There’s no way Schiano doesn’t have the final say.

    When it gets to our pick and Dom and Schiano look at the list of available players on their board. If Dom says lets take player A and Schiano say’s it’s player B, then I guarantee that the pick will be player B.

  3. Que589 Says:

    I said in a previous post I stated that Dominik is starting to hit his stride as a GM. It’s becoming more apparent year after year. Have to give credit where credit is due. Joe I see why u call him “Rockstar”

  4. Seth B Says:

    You can’t forget about Dennis Hickey and Eric Stokes. I think Dominick listens to those guys just as much as he does Schiano. Stokes is new but they respect his opinion. I think they poll the crowd to determine the best options.

    Dominick hated the Bruce Allen was the all mighty decision maker even though he didn’t put in the work the scouting department did. I’m sure it’s a very democratic, professional room.

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I believe Dominick makes the final decisions…but he’s wise enough to get input from his best talent evaluators and to keep Schiano’s desires in perspective. I’m sure Butch Davis is giving a lot of input as well.

    Dominick is now in the same year that McKay was when he hit his stride. Same record and everything. He’s getting into a groove now.

  6. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Anyone saying Schiano is secretly in charge is a moron of the highest degree. An M.D. (a doctor of moronism). Maybe even a PhM (a moronic philosopher). Maybe I’m giving too much credit and they’re just a GEM (general education moron).

    Dominik calls the shots. Ranking inside sources say so. Schiano has implied as much on several occasions. Dominik is the rock star. Schiano is the roadie. Get over it, because that’s reality.

  7. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    How could you possibly say that with everything Joe just provided? They go through the draft together, however, when there is a disagreement? Naturally, they defer to the GM who has spent the better part of his life evaluating players.

  8. TrueBlue Says:

    On draft day I think they both have the final say on who is drafted. Both have veto power on any given player. That means they must have consensus on who is chosen. The same likely goes on whether to trade up or down it they like a player worth trading up for or whether they think they can get value further down and gain another pick. This is just good teamwork. Dom probably rules the actual negotiations with other teams however as that is his strength.

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If Dominik is the “final say”, how do you explain this last stellar draft we had ?
    We never had a draft like this last one, before Schiano and his guys were here.
    LOL, someone said “Dominik is hitting his stride” and I agree, because Schiano is kicking his ass!

  10. the_buc_realist Says:

    if you think that The Pop-star is calling the shot i have an igloo to sell you.

  11. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Any chance someone wants to explain how a coach (that was back in the NFL for the first time in over a decade) was able to contribute absolutely anything in last year’s draft?

    How could he “command” Dominik to do anything? He was a college coach only weeks prior to that draft. What could he have possibly known about guys that he didn’t play against or with? Barron? David? Martin? How could he know anything about these guys let alone demand Dom to draft them?

    Schiano himself said that he spectated last year. Are you calling him a liar? The two guys Schiano could have had any input at all on (Tandy and Goode) contributed NOTHING last year.

    how do you explain this last stellar draft we had?

    I don’t know, progression? Is it crazy to think that a young GM got better at his job the more he worked at it? He signed Derrick Ward and resigned Michael Clayton and Quincy Black early in his career as GM. He signed the likes of Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, and Dashon Goldson later on. (And YES Eric Wright too who is playing for ~$1.5 million this season.)

    Look, Schiano had little to no effect on last years draft other than possibly stating the “type” of players he needed. He said so himself so to think/say otherwise is asinine. This year Schiano actually will be able to contribute and should have a MUCH larger say in what players are selected. (But still ultimately Dom’s decision and Dom’s responsibility if a player does or does not pan out. Nobody is going to be calling for Schiano’s head if a player is a “bust” for lack of talent. I promise you that.)

  12. lightningbuc Says:

    Apple Roof hit the nail on the head! All the Dom lovers always claim it was Raheem who made him trade up to REACH for Freeman, yet they want to give the alleged “rock star” all the credit for last year!

  13. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Dominik will get a contract extension after this season. He’s that good and he certainly deserves it. I’m going to love when that happens, too, as we sit back and watch the whiners whine some more. lol

  14. TrueBlue Says:

    Dominic is far closer to GM of the year than he is to getting fired. If this team stays healthy and goes deep in the playoffs, look for the accolades and awards to come his way.

  15. lurker Says:

    paul said:
    “then I guarantee that the pick will be player B.”

    i’m soooooooooo glad your “guarantee” means diddly squat.

    also, the earlier drafts dominick was partnered with raheem. that was a hindrance.

  16. lurker Says:

    dominick can make the final decisions under both coaches…but the information he received under raheem could be wayyyyyyy different than the information he receives under shiano. and that could be for various reasons, but the person acting as coach was one reason.

  17. Karl Says:

    Awesome article Joe.And I agree 100% with you.

  18. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    So that’s a no?

    No one can tell me how a guy with no NFL experience to lean on from the last decade came in and ran the draft while Dom went and got Starbucks?

    That’s what I thought.

  19. Paul Says:

    “i’m soooooooooo glad your “guarantee” means diddly squat.”

    I’m not talking to you, Nancy. But since you decided to come stalk and me troll my post then go ahead and answer me this question.

    When it’s time to submit the name and Dom says lets take player A and Schiano say’s let’s take player B. Are you saying we get player A then?

  20. paul Says:

    “information he received under raheem could be wayyyyyyy different than the information he receives under shiano”

    Get off the board, you add nothing worthwhile to it. We had the same scouting staff with Raheem. wow

  21. Vic66 Says:

    @Paul. Do you read your posts before you hit the submit button?

  22. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    Hey I didn’t mention you by name but my comment(s) were aimed at your line of thinking. I would like to hear your input.

    Also, yes, if Dom and Schiano can’t come to an agreement then Dom has the final say. He is in charge of personnel. There has been nothing to indicate it would happen any other way.

  23. lurker Says:


    awwwwwwwww, i hurt your wittle feelings 🙁

    also, from this article from jbf back in 2010, april, 18…

    last 3 paragraphs:
    “Dominik went on to explain to Cummings that much has changed in how information is gathered, studied and broken down.

    In fact, one of Raheem the Dream’s first duties once the 2009 regular season was over was for to evaluate tape of potential Bucs draft choices with his staff. That was not done in previous years.

    This only makes sense. The guys who will be coaching the players should have a say in the evaluation of the players. What was Chucky doing, ogling over tape of Brett Favre?”

    soooooooooooooooooooooo in other words, the bucs can have the same scouting personnel in place, but the input of the coaches are different because they evaluate differently. chucky would evaluate players one way, raheem a different way, a schiano still a third way, especially since they were running different schemes and their experience and skill sets would be different.

    that is a lot of supporting eveidence than just a suposition by a keyboard bandit, such as yourself and your “then I guarantee that the pick will be player B.” right pauline?

  24. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Get off the board, you add nothing worthwhile to it. We had the same scouting staff with Raheem. wow

    Paul comes in here and drops this line and then runs. Provides no evidence to support his stance and says we are wrong.

    YOU need to get off the board, “PAULINE”.

  25. Paul Says:


    You have some terrible reading comprehension.

    “We had the same scouting staff with Raheem” Is my evidence you pole toker.

  26. Paul Says:


    Also, I don’t come to this blog to take shots at people unless they comment directly to me.

    Whenever I post on an article, my first comment will be about the article. I don’t take unsolicited shots at individuals. Then If some simpleton takes personal shots at me, that’s when I repost the personal insults. Just so you know.

    I’d offer you my email address so we can set up a meet if you wanted to talk this out in person and not clog up the board with our babble.

  27. Paul Says:

    “talk this out in person” should say “talk about this in private”

    Didn’t want it to look like I was threatening to beat you up or anything lol.

  28. lurker Says:

    awwwwwww paulie wanna cracker?

    i was nice in saying your guarantee means diddly squat. you post your useless opinion, but a least my useless opinion has some supporting evidence instead of just spouting crap.

    other posters would just call you a moron, elementary school child, etc. i wasn’t harsh, but your mamby-pamby namecalling….whatever. this is page 2 now.