Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik held a press conference at the conclusion of the 2010 NFL Draft. Dominik discussed the Bucs draft class and the current state of the Buccaneers roster.
On Saturday Mark Dominik finished his second draft during his as Bucs general manager. Tampa Bay had nine selections, including five picks on Sunday. Now that the draft is over, Dominik is looking to sign some undrafted free agents. Below is a transcript of Dominik's session with the media. The questions and comments from the media appear in bold. Dominik's answer follows.
"I'm sure like yesterday when I stood here and talked to you all, I'm sure a lot of general managers stand at the podium and feel really good. I certainly feel great about this class that we put together. We are buys upstairs working on signing between 10 and 12 college free agents. Again that speaks to the volume of this draft and what we liked about it. With that I'll open up questions. You put a lot of stock in this draft where you able to do everything that you set out to accomplish?
"Yes, I mean Rome wasn't built in a day, but the truth is this draft class provided us with the depth that I believe it had. I think we took advantage of our picks and where we had them. I think we added quality teammates, quality kids. I think we had a chance to really look at them and see who they are on and off the football field. That was a big element to us again this year as well. I'm excited about the people we have. I'm looking forward to you all meeting them, and letting Tampa meet them, but at the same point we didn't underestimate the football ability of those players. We aren't just going to try and sign great kids, and not take into account football. Football was very important to us. The love of the game was big, and I think we attacked that at the end of this draft."
What are Bucs fans going to see different about their team?
"I think you are going to see a passionate football team. I think you'll see a young group of rookies that come in and grab the bull by the horns, and take advantage of the situation in front of them. Again we went after team captains in the second day. Especially in the seventh round when we took [Cody] Grimm, [Dekoda] Watson, and [Erik] Lorig. They were team captains, aggressive special teams players. [Lorig is] a guy that can rush the quarterback. That was really important to us to attack the seventh round like we did last year. E.J. Biggers I think has a great opportunity to make this football team and really contribute this year. Certainly you all know what Sammie Stroughter did last year. The draft doesn't end until it ends. That's why we are going to go upstairs and work on finalizing some free agent contracts."
Can you confirm that you signed Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead and Tennessee linebacker Rico McCoy?
"I can confirm that we've spoken to both of those players. I can confirm that I have not received any fax papers back"Does the team have any interest in signing Oregon running back LaGarrette Blount?
"No, and that is not to disrespect the player. We obviously brought LaGarrette Blount in here for one of our 30 player visits, and spent some time with him. I think he is a great kid. We just made a decision as an organization of what we are going to do. With that obviously LaGarrette Blount is going to sign in the National Football League and he's going to play. We made a decision for this football team that we drafted some guys in the seventh round and sixth round, fourth round, that we are really excited about being apart of this football team."After a defense heavy draft, do you feel you are done at acquiring wide receivers and players for the offense?
"Yeah I feel good. We certainly wanted to. Don't make a mistake this draft was certainly one that was better on defense. I think I spoke to you guys about that before. I wanted to take advantage of the defensive side of the ball here. Especially in the seventh round with Cody Grimm, Dekoda Watson, and Erik Lorig all defensive players and all players that we are really excited about. That spoke to the depth of the draft. I was going to take advantage of the depth of the draft. Upstairs we signed a couple of offensive linemen I believe. We'll work the offensive side of the ball a little more with the college free agents because I do think that we did a good job of filling a lot of needs defensively in this draft. Again the point is and I think everybody saw it going into this draft: offense was good, defense was where the talent was."
Can you tell us why you decided to select a punter in the sixth round?
"That's easy for me. I am a special teams fundamentalist. I think you saw that in the 7th round as well. Cody Grimm, Dekoda Watson, are two guy that are not only going to help our football team at their positions, but on fourth down. I am a big believer in fourth down. Punters I think a lot of times go overlooked. We went through three punters last year. I was very excited about this young man. He has a good leg. He really controls the ball. He has great get off time, and he is able to move the ball around the field. It's one of the positions that creates field position. In the sixth round I thought we selected a guy that has an opportunity to be here for ten years. In the sixth round if you have a chance to draft a guy that will be here long term, I think you have to take advantage of that. We felt like Bowden was the only other punter that was worthy of being drafted. Do you have any major concerns with WR Mike Williams?
"We spent a lot of time with Mike. We spent a lot of time with him here at the facilty. We spent time with him at the Combine. We spent time talking to people that have been around Mike Williams. You see a guy that loves the game of football, he's not a quitter. The kids we took in the first round to the seventh round are all passionate football players. You'll see that when you get to know them. Your going to love this draft class because of the type of kids and this type of mentality were bringing to Tampa. He's wonderful. Do you think you've done enough at the wide receiver position?
"I don't see us going out in free agency and doing anything more at the wide receiver position. Right now I see us signing some college free agents, and seeing if they can compete for a roster spot. I'm excited about who we got in the draft. I'm also excited about Sammie Stroughter at the slot receiver. Stovall is a good special teams player, but also played his best ball towards the end of the season. Obviously it was a position that we needed to address going into the draft. The guys we took with our second and fourth round pick, I think could be potential starters. That made a lot of sense to me. Therefore, I don't see us doing any more at the wide receiver position. What position will Dekoda Watson play?
"He can play the Sam or Will. I see more as more of a Sam backer. He's athletic. He's a great tackler.He was a big time team captain, and that was a big part of it. I expect him to contribute on special teams, and let him work his way up. That was the way the Buccaneer family has done it in the past with Shelton Quarles, and Geno Hayes as well. That is what we are used to. They have to earn their way through fourth down, and I believe he'll do the same. Do you think that this means some of the older guys will be on their way out?
"No I wouldn't say that just yet. I think after we get through this draft, coach Morris and I will sit down to talk about about not only who we drafted and we'll make some decisions if we need to.
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