Lost amongst all of the commotion of the Bucs firing/hiring Head Coaches was the promotion of Pro Personnel Director, Mark Dominik, to General Manager. Mark joined the Buccaneers organization in 1995 after having spent a little more than a year in the Kansas City Chiefs organization as a scouting intern. Since ’95 Dominik has steadily climbed the ranks: 1995, Pro Personnel Assistant; 1998, Pro Scout; 2000, Pro Personnel Coordinator; 2004, Pro Personnel Director; and now General Manager.
As a Pro Personnel Director here’s what Dominik managed for the Bucs:
So although he didn’t have final say over who the Bucs signed and acquired he certainly had a voice over the past 15 years. Over that time period the Bucs have enjoyed the most successful years of their franchise. Mark has seen it all; Brooks, Lynch, and Sapp enter the fray… Lynch and Sapp exit the fray. The Buccaneers website credits Mark with being intricate in making the following Free Agent signings:
WR Antonio Bryant, KR Clifton Smith, LB Shelton Quarles, P Josh Bidwell, K Matt Bryant, T Donald Penn, FB B.J. Askew and DT Chris Hovan.
With the deciding factors having been Bruce Allen, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy, and Rich McKay it’s impossible to criticize Dominik for player moves that he may or may not have been responsible for (Signing Luke Petitgout, Charlie Garner, and Derrick Deese OR Releasing John Lynch & Warren Sapp etc). With that said Dominik sheds a little light on the type of General Manager he feels he is:
"I guess my leadership style is really going to be about open communication, being able to have real dialogue with the players," he said. "I have what I think is a good working relationship with a lot of agents. And I want to create the atmosphere in Tampa that this is where players want to come." - Buccaneers.com
His relationship with Head Coach Raheem Morris:
"It's going to be a very easy working environment between him and myself," said Dominik. "I think one important part for any successful franchise is to have open communication between the front office and the coaching staff, and I think we'll have that. I'm not saying we didn't have that previously, but I know that Raheem and I will have it" - Buccaneers.com
Dominik on what he’s taken from all of his mentor’s over the years:
"Tim (Ruskell ) [Seattle Seahawks G.M.] was a very organized leader," said Dominik. "I thought he did a great job of making sure that everyone was accountable. I learned that facet from him. Jerry Angelo [Chicago Bears G.M.], to me, was a great thinker. He always had a reason why he was making a decision and not just change for change. Rich (McKay) [former Bucs G.M.] taught me a lot about communication in terms of working with the media. Bruce was great for me. I am very thankful for Bruce and what he's taught me. He's allowed me to enter into contract negotiations, get involved in the salary cap. Those things helped me get here today. " - Buccaneers.com
Dominik on how he will sell Tampa to prospective Free Agents:
"We live in a great state and a great town, with no state taxes," he said. "We've got great weather and we have a beautiful stadium and great fans. We're excited to put that in front of a player and say, 'This is an opportunity for you to shine.' And we think we're going in the right direction. " - Buccaneers.com
There’s a lot of questions surrounding Dominik and Morris. Do they have the necessary experience to excel as this franchise’s Head Coach and General Manager? Will Raheem struggle at commanding his players respect? Will Dominik continue the Buccaneers recent struggles in Free Agency and the Draft? With the offensive staff yet to be filled, over $45 million in salary cap space, and an NFL Draft a couple months away, a lot of those beckoning questions can be put to rest early on. The others will be taken care of on the field…
By the way, the greatest nugget from that article is this:
Supporters call Dominik approachable, straightforward and driven. There is and always will be information behind the wall – he spoke, for instance, of a specific plan for the quarterback position but declined to elaborate in order to keep that information out of competitors' hands for now – but there will be free-flowing and productive dialogue within One Buccaneer Place. - Buccaneers.com
A specific plan for the Quarterback position? Hmm you've got my attention.
Hat tip to Chris from Arrowhead Pride for the Mark Dominik info.