Former Bucs general manager and current ESPN NFL analyst Mark Dominik went on record as saying that if he were still calling the shots in Tampa Bay he would select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. PewterReport.com caught up with Dominik at the Senior Bowl weigh-in to discuss his favorable opinion on Mariota and also Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, whom he believes to be just as talented as the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner.
“Everything you’ve seen so far on film and with the things you do know, they’re both excellent quarterbacks,” Dominik said. “I’ve gone on record in saying they are going to go 1-2 in the draft. I mean 1-2 overall because they are both franchise-changing quarterbacks. If you told me I would have to take one quarterback today it would be Marcus Mariota because I know everything about him off the field. Jameis Winston has some things that you still want to check.”
What gives Mariota the edge over Winston in Dominik’s mind is the Ducks quarterback’s impeccable character, especially given Winston’s well-documented off-field transgressions.
“You’ve got three and a half months until the draft and you better be able to come together with your head coach and tell the owners that this is the quarterback you want to lead our franchise,” Dominik said. “You have to dig into Winston because he has a lot of talent. He’s an excellent football player and Tampa Bay is fortunate to have to make a tough decision because they have two good choices.”
Dominik, whose first draft pick as Tampa Bay’s general manager was quarterback Josh Freeman in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, rattled off three key traits that he liked about Mariota and Winston.
“The top three things I like about Marcus is his quick decision-making, his athletic ability and the fact he’s football smart,” Dominik said. “With Winston it’s his arm mechanics and arm strength, his football intelligence – I think he’s very smart – and he’s an athlete, too. That’s why this is a very difficult decision because there are traits in both of them you like, even though they played in different styles. The number one trait between them is that they both understand the game of football and love it.”
The biggest question about Mariota is his ability to transition from the Ducks’ spread offense to a more conventional, pro-style offense found in the NFL. While Mariota will have a scripted pro day workout to prove he can operate under center and that he is not an Oregon system quarterback. The key for NFL teams interested in drafting him is to get Mariota off script.
“With Mariota’s private workouts that will be everything,” Dominik said. “You have to script it and put him in uncomfortable situations and make him do things he’s not used to doing, such as taking a five-step drop [from under center], and deliver a quick slant or a hitch. You want to put him in those uncomfortable spots and then say, ‘Am I comfortable with him now? Can he play in a traditional, pro offensive system?’”
With Winston, it’s not the on-field audition that scouts, coaches and general managers need to have. It’s sitting down and talking to the 2013 Heisman Trophy face-to-face and getting an understanding of his character. Dominik said that if Winston’s character checks out with NFL teams like the Buccaneers, he has great charisma and leadership skills.
“He lives and loves football, and his players in the locker room know it,” Dominik said. “Winston’s into it, and that’s his identity and he knows it. The players saw that quickly and that’s why he has such leadership ability.
“Regardless, I firmly believe Mariota and Winston are going to go 1-2 in the draft because they are both really deserving of going No. 1 overall. The guy who doesn’t go No. 1 is going to go No. 2. That’s the amount of talent they’ll bring to your football team. They will bring hope to your franchise.”
To Dominik, a 2-14 franchise like Tampa Bay needs lots of hope and the Bucs can’t go wrong with either pick.
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How can Dom praise Mariota’s quick decision making? In that scheme, Marcus would look to see if his #1 option was wide open, if it wasn’t, Marcus tucked and ran. Not too complicated. Hopefully decisions like this are why he’s the former GM.
If you think Mariota tucked and ran when his first option wasn’t wide open, you didn’t watch many Ducks games.
ufojoe- Exactly- Mriota went through his reads all the time, this again shows why most fans have no frikken idea of what they are talking about they just like to think they do
Watched a handful – particularly the playoffs – and I didn’t see very many NFL throws.
This is even more reason to take Winston. If Dominick could make these decisions he would still be employed.
I AM SO GLAD HE IS NO LONGER THE BUCS GM.
Amen! It is unconscionable to play the character card against Winston for a horrible complaint that never happened. As to the character issues? Except for some crab legs not paid for whatever reason being the sticking point to or not to draft someone is absurdity. Dominick is certainly welcome in his choice for QB and considering his track record picking draft picks that is an indictment rather than endorsement.
Well those comments from Dominik helped me to support Winston again. After Dominik poor 1st round picking and trading of a 1st round; his opinion means squat! So far Dominik can take credit for McCoy and that’s it. How many 1st round picks are on this team with Dominik; How many 2nd round picks; 3rd round picks?
I remember Dominick selecting Mark Barron with the 7th pick over Luke Kuechly because he wanted someone with some “pop” on the defense… In a league that was clearly moving away from and fining players with that ilk. Not understanding how the league was shifting and evaluating long term trends appears to be one of his downfalls. Clearly, QBs that excel in the pocket and can stand and deliver have a much higher success rate that QBs that cannot. All of the playoff teams this year had QBs that could stand in the pocket and deliver. None of these QBs were running QBs that learned to be pocket passers. Either you are, or you are not. I think Winston’s odds of becoming an eventual top-10 QB are better than Mariota’s chances. Let’s not get caught up in “nice guy” and “Boyscout” talk. This is football. There are plenty of characters in the league today that are not high character individuals that win a lot of games and Championships. Blount? Revis? Talib? Sure, they are a headache… but, you’ve got to ask yourself one question; why would the smartest guy in football history want all of them on his team? e
Scott, I need to clear up a bit of ambiguity here. Any minute now pinkstob and Jon Gruden will be along to agree that Dominik said that Mariota will be the first pick and Winston will be the second pick. That is not what Dominik is saying. He is saying that Mariota and Winston will be the first two picks off the board.
Otherwise, he has changed his opinion overnight because in an ESPN podcast he clearly states that he believes that Winston will be taken first. Listen to the first 60 seconds of the podcast as he grudgingly admits that he believes that Winston will be the first pick.
Mac, I wasn’t aware my reading comprehension had such a poor reputation. At any rate, I’m just glad PR is attempting to provide opinions from all angles. I didn’t see much that Dominik said during the Senior Bowl that was different than what he said in the podcasts you provided the link for. So the post I posted there is still valid in that the key takeaway is that the Glazers will have final say on the pick and they ain’t picking Winston. People will be more comfortable with Mariota as the Bucs pick after he runs, interviews and has a great Pro Day.
Pink, You know I meant that in jest as you are an ardent supporter of Mariota and you have every right to be. He is a fine QB and is just as likely to be a Buc as Winston. I’ve said so many times.
I have exited the debate on Mariota/Winston as I have no interest in praising or damning either guy. When the Bucs pick that will be my QB.
The point of my post was to call out Dominik because in the intro of that podcast he clearly states that he believes that Winston will be the first pick.
He may have changed his mind in two days, but there is no doubt that he said it. Listen to the intro again!!
There’s a slight difference in rhetoric between who he THINKS will be the number one pick versus who he personally WANTS to pick.
In the above article Dominick states he WANTS Mariota if he had a choice. In the first ESPN podcast he states who he THINKS will go number one overall. In the second ESPN podcast he states that Mariota is #1 on his big board.
He said “if he had to choose it would be Mariota”
Now this is a man we should listen too? The man that has been drafting for the Bucs the last 5 Or more drafts and has put us in such great shape it will take another five to get any depth on this team. The players he picked were and are not even good enough for backup players.Like I said earlier, who ever Duminik likes go the opposite!
It’s hard to believe Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik have joined the Charlie Caserley’s of the world and have turned their failed careers into offering expert opinions. We are the Champs 2002 got it right. Dominik said the Bucs would draft Winston at # 1 but if he still called the shots at One Buc Palace he would prefer Mariota. Funny, how he apparently didn’t do enough vetting of Josh Freeman who after starting off his career as a “franchise QB” and within five years is out of the league. Of course Mark would draft Mariota. He fits Dominik’s model better.
“Bucs would draft Winston at # 1 but if he still called the shots at One Buc Palace he would prefer Mariota”
Now we know why Dominick no longer works for the BUCS.
Ah scubog, you have seen the brilliant scheme of failing upwards. Happens a lot in the business world. These guys are called consultants. They fail miserably, then they hire themselves out and offer advice on how not to do what they did. It’s genius.
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Fellow PRites…before I start, I will just reiterate that I will cheer for either QB. Now, @runole: “it is unconscionable to play the character card against Winston for a complaint that never happened”…the incident happened, the only thing unclear is whether it happened as “she said” or “he said”, but even as “he said” it was not an act of high character…that is without question, as are a number of other questionable acts of character around Winston. That doesn’t mean he should be demonized or passed over by the Bucs, just that calling this kid a man of good character is silly…let’s make sure we understand the bed we’re making because we’re going to be lying in it if we pick him. @e: “none of these QBs were running QBs that learned to be pocket passers”…well except for Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson – who is still a running QB…if by contrast Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are what you mean by pocket passers. One could make so many arguments here about how pro-offenses are not like FSU’s offense and more like Oregon’s…Peyton Manning took 70% of his snaps from the shotgun, 3+ WR sets are used on 50%+ of plays, hurry-up/no-huddle offense is used more than 1/3 of the time, and so on. There is just this fallacy being touted that FSU (and hence Winston) is the same thing as the NFL, and Oregon is like Pop-Warner…the reality is that Winston will be more prepared for some aspects of NFL life and Mariota will be more prepared for others…
East, yes… While Rodgers and Wilson can make plays on the move, they are excellent pocket passers. Mariota has not shown that he has that skill. Can you name a QB that came from a spread system like Oregon and made the transition to the NFL, David Klingler, Andre Ware, Ty Detmer, etc. These guys had gaudy numbers in college like Mariota, but could not make the transition. e
@e: I appreciate your view on MM, and I’m not trying to sway you or anyone (I have decided not to enter that debate), but I am trying to correct when people are posting inaccurate things about either QB….hence my comment about Wilson and Rodgers. So, first, I feel compelled to correct that “Mariota has not shown that he has that skill”…in fact he has shown it time and again making more passes from the pocket than on the run (which he can also do) and doing so with better accuracy than any QB in college. If you’re looking for an NFL comparator right now, the best match would be Russell Wilson. To answer your other question, “name a QB that came from a spread system like Oregon and made the transition to the NFL”, well, first there are not a lot of systems like Oregon’s so not easy to find a subset of QBs; second, if you’re looking for a percent success rate then I would suggest the success rate is probably just as poor for “traditional” QBs transitioning to the NFL as it is for “Oregon-like” QBs (and again, I would not compare Oregon’s system to that of most “spread” teams, e.g. Georgie Tech this year), and third, how about Steve Young.
And I appreciate your intelligent and thoughtful analysis of my random commentary… I don’t know that an offense that allows MM to throw from the pocket occasionally qualifies as “time and time again,” but the offense that he would be running with the Bucs would require him to change his entire game. I don’t see a true pocket passer that can scramble (Russell Wilson) in MM as much as I see a Michael Vick. I’m not implying anything with character, but many people became enamored with Vick when he first came out… The ultimate QB, if you will. Bottom line: When you put both players on the scale and weigh the good and the bad; MM has a lot of positive traits, but he has to make an almost historic transition from his previous offensive skill set to the future Bucs offense, which will be completely different. Winston will not have to alter his game much, but will have to be mentored off of the field. While there is never a certainty, I think looking back at the recent QB history, I’m betting on the latter. e
Dominick gets a lot of blame for busting on Freeman and some other picks, but what gm has been succesfull? McKay? yes you can say that but he also drafted Marcus Jones, reidel Anthing, Anthony mcfarland, Regan Upshaw, traded up for Kenyatta Walker, gave away a slew of #1’s for Gruden and Keyshawn which you argue it was a good choice, he also put us in salary cap hell which bruce Allen had to come in and clean up for him. Yeah, so every GM has had their misfires and will be jusged by their draft choices, but what you don’t know is that there is such a thing as scouts and a director of the scouting dept that have a lot to say about drafts too.
yes @jon…funny story: our Director of Pro Personnel from 2001 to 2009……………………………………Mark Domink…so yes, The Dir of Pro Personnel has a lot to do with drafts too, LOL
Is that that same job as “Director of pro scouting”?
It is the Head of the scouting department (all scouts reported to him)…so yes.
Btw- This room is so bias if the guy says ” he would take Mariota then he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about”, hilarious, NFL Teams need to hire some of our own posters who have all the answers including a crystal ball at their disposal
Real experts disagree too. It’s the essence of debate. This will go on up to the draft and sometime afterward. BTW, I hope you know that referred to you in my first post in jest. I hope we know each other well enough to disagree in fun. That was my intent! You might enjoy the differing opinions below.
Mac- I did, and we can debate things in good fun, heck we only have 4 more months to do so, lol
As a season tkt holder bucs don’t need a smart thug like Winston. Anyway, M.M. will be better qb in year 2
I’d agree with some of the fans. Lets not give some of these teams to moved up.I LIKE JAMEIS WINSTON VERY MUCH. NFL IS A MAN’S GAME NOT BOYS IN COLLEGE. I BELIEVE THAT WINSTON IS THE REAL DEAL/ Isay draft Winston NO#1 and OFFENSIVE LINEMAN no#2, at #3 a LB’ers and the rest the best player available.GO BUCS
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