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April 28, 2012 @ 5:49 pm
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Dominik: "We Wanted To Become A Smarter and More Physical Team"

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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General manager Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano met with the media Saturday evening to discuss their Day 3 selections, and their early impressions of the entire 2012 Draft.
Mark Dominik's opening statement:
“We've been very busy upstairs, wrapping up the rest of the draft with the college free agency. We're in the midst of signing maybe 10, probably closer to 15 or 16 players.

"To wrap up the draft, we started our fifth round with Najee Goode, a LB from West Virginia that we have a lot of expectations for. He's a guy we watched a throughout this whole process, a guy that we felt could play all three positions. He's physical, fast, I think he has one of he best use of hands of any LB in this draft. It's real exciting. He's going to have an opportunity to play all three and compete, whether we put him at Mike, Will, or Sam. A two-time captain at West Virginia, going along the same theme. Just the things we're looking for as a football team.

“Then we went in the 6th round with Keith Tandy, his teammate and, it turns out, his roommate. Sometimes you don't scout everything; you don't find out everything about the guys. But two quality guys out of one university, one program, another captain, a guy that's been able to play corner, also has the ability to play safety. We're going to give him a shot at corner and see how he does because that's what he did at West Virginia. Has really good ball skills, tough, physical, tackles well. So he's an exciting element to our team.

“We went to the top of the seventh, took Mr. Smith from Utah State. Michael. A running back that's really an explosive guy. He had a teammate, [Robert] Turbin, who went earlier in the day, who was a very productive back, and every time you watch the tape you end up seeing Michael. I think the best feeling about that draft pick is when you get a call from another GM, wanting to trade a round ahead just to pick the guy you just took. I've never had that happen before so that's one of the best things to have happen on draft day is when you know that you took somebody's guy. Here's a guy 5-8, 210 pounds, consistently runs in the 4.3’s –a very fast explosive guy – that can play some fullback.  For the leverage and toughness that he has and can also catch the ball coming out if the backfield. He took over an All-Star game and really a productive player, averaged over 6.0 yards per carry, and a good addition to this football team to give us more speed on offense.

“Wrapped up the draft with Drake Dunsmore. His dad was a member of the '85 Bears, a TE for Northwestern. He is very smart, catches the ball well, runs excellent routes and a guy we really think can help us at that position. We thought we wanted another pass-catching TE because of the way the league has evolved and how important that position is. We felt like he was perfect addition to wrap up our whole draft. Again, another leader on this team another high-character man and a guy that we're really excited to add on."

How unusual is it to get two players from the same apartment?
“Certainly coach knows those two players and is familiar with playing against them. But I also think they stand out like beacon lights at their university. They are really what they built West Virginia around and the toughness and the physicality that those two players play with… quite honestly I did not know they were roommates. But I am not surprised one iota that they are. They really stood at their university at their respective positions and as leaders on their team and I’m excited that we were able to grab both of them in this draft.”
 What were the objectives of this draft?
“Consistently, we were looking for tough, smart, character football players, guys that when you watch the tape you feel them. They’re able to either make plays with their speed or their precision or they are physical football players. We wanted to become a much more physical football team with this draft and I think we did that. That was a main concern. We wanted to become a smarter football team with this draft. And I think we did that. We wanted to create a lot of competition and we were aggressive moving around throughout the draft early on and then settling down in the final day and waiting and letting the draft come to us and selecting the players that come to us and we did.”
Commenting on those who have given the Bucs good draft grades:
“You always feel great after the draft. I think every GM sits up here and say well, what a great day, but this feels like a really good draft because of the character of the men we took, the production they had, how they’re going to fit into this football team. We didn’t draft guys that are just going to be special teamers, we have guys that are going to have roles and I think the guys, all the way, one through seven, have a role on this football team and a chance to contribute, not just on fourth down, but on first, second and third, and I think that’s what makes this draft feel so much more powerful. And the other thing that’s going on upstairs is, the scouts have been working really hard with the coaches and recruiting well and putting together a heck of a college free agent class, too, and I’m really excited about releasing some of the names here shortly and letting you see that, so I’m really excited. There’s a lot of work as you know, there’s a lot of work that goes on with the coaching staff and working with Coach Schiano was really awesome. We had a great relationship. We sat there side by side, made tough decisions together and picked the guys that we thought would be great for our football team in the short and long run.”
Can you go to 90 players on the roster now?
“We are able to go to 90. But unlike years before, in the past draft picks wouldn’t count against your 80-man roster. They do count now. Connor Barth counts against your 90. Any player counts against your 90. We probably won’t maximize that because we want to have a rookie tryout camp and we want those guys that don’t have contracts that earn one, get one, if that happens.”
Will you still need to add some bodies in the offseason?
“I do think we will continue to look. With the draft wrapping up and the guys we’re looking to sign now, we’ll have at the end of the day, like I said, between 20-25 players added to the roster. We’ll still look to free agency a little bit and the opportunity, to add a couple more players if it makes sense. We won’t close our doors.”

Greg Schiano’s opening statement:
“It was good. Good picks and then working hard on the free agents. Was up there trying to finish some of those off. Thought everybody did an awesome job and it was good to talk to all those guys that we took today. It seems like a while ago that we got started, but very excited about the type of players we were able to bring in. The whole class. The whole draft class. I mean there is a common thread. There are tough guys. There are leaders. There are guys who love the game of football. When you look Najee Goode, you know obviously I know a lot about both the West Virginia kids playing against them for four years. They were both a royal pain in the rear, so as I told them it is good to be on the same side now. Both of them you know Najee (Goode) a two time captain and Keith (Tandy) a captain his senior year and just the stuff the production on the field on both of them whether it is tackles, interceptions, and all those things. Truly run and hit guys and defensive coordinator there – and some of the defensive coaches there I am very close to from competing over the last eleven years – could not speak more highly about these two young guys. You know the scheme they play over at West Virginia is very, very complex. So I mean you have to be a smart, tough football player to play in that scheme and they certainly are that.

“Then Michael Smith from Utah State. Every time Mark and I would watch tape he would jump off the tape at you. Just a different kind of speed than everybody else on the field. How we utilize that is going to be our job. We got to make sure we find a way to utilize that speed and there are several different ways you can do it, but speed wins. This guy brings quite a bit of that as well as being a very athletic guy. Again, captain of his football team. Is that prerequisite? No. Are we going to have players here that aren’t captains? Absolutely, but it is nice when that leadership is something that have proven already at the collegiate level.

“Then Drake Dunsmore again a guy that we are very connected with. Coach Fitz and I are good friends and there are some other connections where you know this guy is a very productive player—consensus all big ten player. You know tight end catches a ton of passes, scores touchdowns. Again a clutch player and a leader. So very, very excited about the guys and I know Mark when through them, but just overall the class and then to be grinding away on free agents right before we came down and some guys that we really like as players that we think are going to end up coming here is exciting. We got better this weekend really.”

What on field impressed you as coached against those guys?
“Well I love those two guys are football maniacs. I mean they love the game and they play it with such passion. You know, and Tandy has picked us off and hurt us in many ways over the years. I am glad to be looking out here and seeing him in a Buc uniform instead, but you know very heads players too. I mean guys that understand the game. That is one thing you don’t get-you know they make plays now. Are they just great athletes? Well yeah they are great athletes, but when you know their coaches and they tell you how hard they study and how hard they work at it. You know that’s great and they are really good friends too which is going to be cool.”

Are you convinced Dunsmore is beyond those injury issues?
“Well, we are or we would not have taken him. Again relationships kind of give you that insight into what happens. Some guys you know how it is. You can be healthy all along and then all of a sudden you hit a stretch, but certainly the level of play that he can bring in our offense as a guy that can create some mismatches we really like that.”

Do these picks make you a faster team?
“You always want speed. And I think we may be a little faster than maybe people think we are. Mark and I were talking – and I stand out there on the practice field and I can feel some speed out there. And this will be good. With Mike and the addition and Drake, those are going to be two good additions as far as some now speed.”

Where do you see Goode's position?
“You what we have to do? Just like when we were talking about Lavonte (David) – we have to figure out – Lavonte was either outside position. I think Najee could could play the Mike (middle) and I think he could play the Sam (strong side) too. I think we just have to figure out what the best combinations – with the guys we have – get a chance to work with these guys and we really get our hands on them and figure out what the best mix is. Cause I think especially when you go to nickel packages and you have two linebackers who are in the box, then it doesn’t really matter. You are either the bubble back or you are not the bubble back. It doesn’t really matter about Sam, Mike, Will and all that stuff. So I think there are a lot of different packages we will play. And if you have good linebackers, now you don’t have to play the same guy every play and can give them a rest in certain packages. And what they all bring – or better bring – is the ability to play on all four – the big four special teams – or at least a few of them. And when you guys that are intelligent football players and are bigger guys and can run, and enjoy contact, then that is the kind of the job description on special teams.”

You said you are better? How much better are you than when you were hired?
“It is work in progress. I wish I had one of those thermometers that go up when you have a fundraiser. You won’t know until we hit the field and start competing with other teams. But I can feel a sense we are moving this thing forward with our team. I can’t wait to get these young guys down here Thursday and work with them and introduce them to what we are about. It is a process for sure. And that is the biggest thing. We will focus on the now. And we will get better now. And in the end it will add up.”

Commenting on the rookie mini-camp:
“You have all different levels of guys. You have guys that you know – if they aren’t in the starting lineup on opening day then I am going to be angry at myself, angry at them. Then you have guys you are bringing in for free agent tryouts. So you have such a spectrum there. I think the easy thing to do is just go out and run a practice. But I don’t think that is the best thing to do. I have spent a lot of time kind of thinking it through. But as a staff we really have to make sure –personnel, football coaching – what do we need to find out about these guys? Then put together workouts and things like that that give us the best decisions moving forward.”

-Victoria Horchak contributed to this report

Last modified on Saturday, 28 April 2012 22:22

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  • avatar

    man oh man, 2 days after the draft and scott hasn't graded the draft. I don't know what we are paying PR for. all they seem to do is cut and paste off the web. comeon man
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    LOL. I've always said, other than staff opinions, Their really isn't anything here that you can't get for free on other sites!
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    Overall a very good draft on paper. From his comments, it's clear what Schiano wants. Good fundamental football players. That's something this team needs to get back to. I like the attitiude from this new regime and I have a feeling this draft could turn out to be a good one.
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    Rant sports gave the grade of A- for Goode. They also said that he might be the STEAL of the draft.
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    Im happy to hear coach shiano vouch for the two wedt virgina picks cause those were the only two picks that puzzled me. I aslo felt better about missing claiborne when it was revealed he wasnt big on tackling. I hope kuechly doesnt end up a regret im really rooting for mark barron, also hope some how TOMMY STREETER WIDE OUT FROM DA U UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT ENDS UP IN TAMPA AS A UNSIGNED FREE AGENT ACOMPANIED BY VONTAZE BURFICT I WISH I HAD HIS NUMBER I WOULD GO GET HIM AND TAKE HIM TO ONE BUC PLACE MYSELF FREE OF CHARGE HE HAS THAT MEAN STREAK THAT OUR DEFENSE NEEDS REMINDS ME OF DA LATE GREAT NICKERSON on the field.
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    Collins is getting over serious neck surgery and the Packers don't think he will be able to come back and continue his career. They didn't want to release him but feel like his career might be over.
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    @romero, where did you hear the Bucs were looking at Nick Collins? I haven't seen that anywhere. I would think the only reason the Packers would release him is if he was really really injured...
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    What impresses me is that this year we picked guys who actually did something on the football field. Guys that put up the numbers. In the past, we got too fixated on combine results and "potential" (Kyle Moore). That's Schiano's influence this year. No guarantees these picks pan out. But, I like this philosophy a hell of a lot better.
  • avatar

    BARRON AND COLLINS WILL BE THE DEADLY DUO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    I think overall it was a pretty good draft. I like Barron, only knock against him is that I kind of talked myself into him, but I did feel he was a top-10 pick, so I am OK with him. My two favorite picks were David and Tandy. We are definitely a better team than we were on Wednesday. But I would guess every team feels that way. Hopefully the defense is better than we were last year, but it's a QB league, and we will only be as good as Freeman is. This is a huge year for him. I hope he turns the corner. Go Bucs!!!
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    I love the direction this team is heading.. Cudos to mark, Greg and staff!!
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    I gotta say that I did not see Barron as our pick. I was absolutely sure that Bucs would pick Claiborne. Maybe the statement : We wanted to be smarter is telling. Anyone who has seen Claiborne in an interview knows what I mean. I knew that Safety was a need but in my mind Corner was a bigger need. After TJack was shown the door I should have seen this coming, Barron is a fantastic athlete, who was the best at his position in a weak group. Bucs played it smart by moving back a couple of picks but I thought they could have gotten more especially when you see what it cost Cleveland to move to 3. That said, our first three picks are awesome. Barron will start from day one and I think he is a future pro bowler. I would love to hear what John Lynch thinks of this pick.
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    Just to see an improvement in the tackling department of this team would make me feel so much better than the fiasco that took place last year. Starting to see what a difference the coaching is starting to show in organization and discipline from Rah's joke of a team. It was really embarrassing to watch the defense miss tackle after tackle last year and nothing done to improve it. Big woDSk along with being tougher this year is SMARTER!!!!
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    Word misspelled.
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    After hearing Dom and Sciano talk about, "Smarter and more physical" the Barron pick really makes sense. No, I don't mean Mo's wonderlic--but Mo wasn't known as a hitter, and Barron has great instincts. It's interesting to watch the DB, LB, and RB rooms get redesigned. I feel like they're still short 1 more play-maker in the LB room, but David even without a single pro snap seems like an upgrade over Hayes. With the rookie mini-camp I believe 1st year guys are still eligible. If so, it will be good to see how Gant's rehab is going. Briscoe can't start breathing easy just yet. Exciting to hear the kind words about the Bucs' chances from Mayock, Davis, and Lombardi.
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    mjmoody, I agree. I think we can win 6-9 games this year. It will all depend on the players ( like McCoy, Price, Talib,Trueblood, Zuttah, Penn, Williams, Benn, Stocker to step up and do much better). We can then get rid of those who we now realize aren't going to be Buccaneer players. Then we can go through free agency and the draft and we are back to being a good team. I think we are better than New Orleans and Atlanta right now and Carolina and us are about the same. Atlanta and New Orleans are on their way down and the Bucs and pathers are on their way up. The NFC South is going to be bloody and ugly. I believe a 9-7 this year will win it.
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    We got three starters for sure. The rest look like they will be able to contribute on special teams and in certain packages. Can't wait to see these guys in Pewter and Red. This coach is a no nonsense guy. Maybe throwing TJack out on his heels was the best thing he could have done. We will have to see how the rest of the team responds when they get to Camp. GO Bucs.
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    It all just makes sense. It has been a long time since I have felt this good about a coaching staff and a draft. Now we see how well they do in putting the puzzle together, then it will be the players who will or won't make it happen. I feel like about half the previous players we had on the 2011 team, the players we signed during free agency, the players we just drafted, and the players we are about to sign as free agents, means we should be a very competitive team. I think most fans might agree that we had some poor coaching the last three years, and maybe some of the past players will perform as was expected or maybe some of them will be gone earlier than thought. I guess we will see in the next few months how all of this is coming together. Hey, I am very excited about our future and I am glad that I bought into all of this including being a season ticket holder again. It truely is the Buccaneer Way and we are now starting to see the Buccaneer Men. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Coach must be happy with the O-line. Not one lineman on either side of the line, can't remember anything like that.
  • avatar

    I hope that it's a type-o,5-8,210 lbs. fullback ? This is the NFL, not college.
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