Mark Dominik prefers Marcus Mariota to Jameis Winston. That's not news, but his reasons for doing so are. Dominik prefers Mariota because he learned from his time with Josh Freeman, the former Bucs general manager told the Tampa Bay Times. Josh Freeman was wildly inconsistent in his five seasons with the Bucs, eventually getting cut mid-season after three years of declining play and a lot of drama after his benching for Mike Glennon.
Freeman didn't get into off-field trouble, at least publicly, but his commitment to football was not very steady -- which is why he played horribly in his final year with the Bucs, and is currently out of the league. He couldn't even stick with the New York Giants.
I'm not sure how that serves as a lesson for Dominik when it comes to Jameis Winston, though, because Dominik has no doubts that Winston is fully committed to making football his career. And while Winston has had plenty of off-field issues, his work ethic has been universally praised. Instead, Dominik's worried whether he can trust Winston to be the face of the franchise.
"But you've still got to go through the whole process and say, "Can I trust him? Can I put him on the brochure of our football team three years from now and not be worried about him?' Or put him on the stadium and believe he can do that. That's the biggest thing I think Tampa is working through the next seven weeks.''
That's a valid concern. And it's not just Jason Licht and Lovie Smith who will be making these decisions: the Glazers will have to sign off on whoever the Bucs decide to draft. They have to be comfortable
That's not just speculation. Dominik noted that the Glazers will push back on any recommendation, both in that interview with the Tampa Bay Times and on 620 WDAE with Tom Krasniqi and Ronnie Lane (via JoeBucsFan).
"What [the Glazers] want to know is, they just want you to be able to answer the questions," Mark Dominik said. "‘Why do you feel comfortable with Mariota?' or ‘Why not Winston? Give me examples.' You always feel like you are on an interview when you talk to the owners. They are always kind of pushing you and probing you, saying ‘OK but,' or ‘Lets take a step back, but ... ‘"
While we can get a feel for the kind of players Lovie Smith and Jason Licht want, trying to understand the Glazers' thought processes has always been a lot more challenging.