Bucs general manager Mark Dominik addressed the media after Wednesday's press conference and discussed some different topics, such as Mason Foster remaining at middle linebacker in 2012, Tampa Bay's linebacking corps and more. Find out what Dominik said in this PewterReport.com article.
Tampa Bay general manager addressed the media and took some additional questions from Pewter Report and the other Bucs beat writers about free agency after the Vincent Jackson, Eric Wright and Carl Nicks press conference. The following is a transcript of Dominik’s comments. Dominik on the Glazers following through with their commitment to spend money
“When Mr. Glazer stood on the stage and talked about doing whatever it takes, we did that with an exhaustive search to get a coaching staff, a head coach and then we took our time with the assistant coaching staff because that was really important. Then we took a lot of time to get to this day today to prepare. All along, the owners were behind it all the way and making it all happen.”Dominik on whether this year was different in terms of that commitment?
“It’s a little different, because what’s lost in here is we brought back Jeremy Zuttah, who’s important, because last year when we were involved in free agency, Davin Joseph re-signed, and that’s not as sexy. But I was darned happy about it. We spent money last year. Obviously, we spent it at a different level this year. But the important part, the difference was, when you have the ability to bring in three guys with the salary cap and the way it is, it speaks volumes of how we were really focused on how we were putting it together and how we were doing it the last couple years, because in 2010 we really came off a lot of wins at 10-6 and going into 11, we were hoping to build off of that so we didn’t get as involved in free agency. For two reasons. One we had young players and two, we really didn’t like the feeling that you wouldn’t have any time to jell as an organization with guys that had not been a part of your football team before. And I think that’s what’s important about this. You actually have an offseason to spend with the players so they all come together as one and that’s how it’s come together this time.”
Dominik on if you expect to have more than a rebuilding team in 2012
“I think we’re tired of rebuilding. That’s not what we’re trying to be. We want to be the best team we can be in 2012 and we know that these guys can help us become that. Along with the player we have and the draft. And we know we are not a finished product, but I do sincerely mean that our eyes are toward the NFL Draft, and what we can do with the fifth selection. Whether we can stay there or move or whatever happens, will really be the next moves for this team in terms of acquiring talent, and that’s our goal. Today was a big day. I’m a big believe in quality. That’s important to me and today showed, you can do it different ways and we’re going to do it the quality way.” Dominik on whether the Bucs are done in free agency
“I would say our eyes are still on free agency, but [we are] watching it because you should. As a good general manager and as a good organization, you need to continue to monitor free agency, but I don’t see being really active or involved in it after today for a while there, just to let it calm down and then see what’s there. We’ve made our mark for what we wanted to accomplish.” Dominik on Jeff Faine’s future regarding the speculation he would be cut
“We’re talking to Ben Dogra, we’ll talk to Jeff Faine later today and discuss that and figure that out.” (Editor’s note: Faine has been released by the Buccaneers) Dominik on what Wright’s arrival means for the Bucs re-signing Ronde Barber
“Nothing. Other than the fact that it gives him a teammate if Ronde decides to come back, which I hope he does. That’s the truth. It doesn’t change anything for Ronde Barber or anything like that. Nothing has changed in terms of our desire to have him back on this football team. But again, out of respect to him, I’ll let him decide. He’s earned that.” Dominik on not yet addressing the linebacker position in free agency
“Again, I think we’re at the tail end of what we’re doing in free agency already. Certainly we have some players who will have the opportunity to see what they can do at certain positions. I know we’re talking to the team about Mason Foster being the Mike linebacker of this team. And I think the coaching staff that has been in here evaluating that tape feels like he has a great opportunity to keep the green dot and stay as the middle linebacker.” Dominik on the timeline of the signings
“Carl didn’t officially sign until this morning. We were negotiating all through the night, working on language – and that’s the hardest part that sometimes gets lost. You can talk about the numbers, but then you have to write up the big contracts and make sure that everybody is on the same page and feels comfortable about the way it’s written and how it’s written, how it’s paid out, how it all plays. So it’s taken a while, but obviously, the timetable between them, it’s kind of a blur right now. But last night we were able to get Vincent Jackson done and we got Eric done really late last night, past midnight was when we got him to sign the contract. And then his agent flew in today to make it official from his perspective. Vincent was about 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. From the first signing to the last one, it was about 12-13 hours.” Dominik on the possibility of re-signing the Bucs’ own free agents like Geno Hayes
“They’ve all hit the market now and certainly we’ll monitor them just like we will all the free agents, and that’s where we sit today.” Dominik on Jackson’s history of DUIs and his age (29)
“I’d say production speaks volumes. The guy’s been a 1,000-yard receiver every time he’s played. He did have DUIs and we’re aware of that we dug very deep into that before we made the decision because that’s important, but that was something that we felt like, the time, what happened, his punishment, how he’s responded over the last few years. That spoke volumes to us.” Dominik on if spending money in free agency will silence some critics
“There’s no debate that people look at salary cap and say, ‘What are you doing, why aren’t you spending.’ But I knew what we wanted to do going into this season and being involved in free agency and that’s why when Joel [Glazer] stood up on the podium and said, ‘We’ll do whatever it takes’ I knew what we were going to do, because we had discussed it. I understood. When you look back at these three players – and Calvin Johnson just did a tremendous deal, and great for Calvin, he’s a phenomenal football player – but that freed up room for Detroit. Detroit didn’t have a lot of room and that made it hard for them to keep Eric Wright. We studied all of that to see if he could become free. Certainly the Drew Brees situation allowed not only [Marques] Colston, but Carl Nicks to become a free agent, which is rare. That’s why Mario Williams is being pursued so hard, because that just doesn’t happen often. And then you have a chance like Vincent Jackson, who you know if they’re going to tender him another franchise number your talking huge number. So you have to look at each one of these individuals and say these are not just your every day free agents. These guys all got out under rare circumstances and that’s what made them all so attractive to us, because it’s not just free agents. These guys are all great players that they’re teams really wanted back.” Dominik on not liking the term rebuilding any more
“The last three years, we built a foundation with draft picks. Obviously, we had some injuries last year with some of those key pieces, particularly at defensive tackle. We all know that. So we still have a core group of young guys. That’s why this group, knowing you have young players that are already here, and all three of these guys signed five-year deals for a reason. They’re all going to grow with this young football team, and now the goal is to have those young players continue to ascend, reward them with contracts and that’s how you build the whole thing going forward. Certainly, Josh Freeman is a big part of that and being able to protect him. Something I’ve always talked about protecting the quarterback. It’s one of my fundamental beliefs and why you’ve seen Tampa most go with veterans up front, because that’s how much I believe in trying to keep Josh Freeman healthy and upright and to give him an opportunity to stretch the defense and then play defense.” Dominik on if the Bucs had signed quarterback Dan Orlovsky, which has been reported on the Internet
“That’s a guy that we’re talking to and are interested in. I’m hoping the entire team feels more confidence and competition. There’s going to be more competition with these guys here and I hope they’re going to feel more confident that we can get it done.”
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