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May 15, 2012 @ 11:50 am
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Dominik On Barth: "He Hasn't Signed Anything"

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik discussed the arrival of franchise kicker Connor Barth, the injury to Da'Quan Bowers and Josh Freeman's weight loss with the media during Tuesday's OTA practice
During Tampa Bay's first OTA (organized team activity) of the year on Tuesday, Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik addresses several issues, including Connor Barth's presence at One Buc Place, the injury to defensive end Da'Quan Bowers and quarterback Josh Freeman's weight loss. PewterReport.com has the transcript of what Dominik said.

On Connor Barth showing up for OTAs despite not being signed

“No update right now. Obviously you guys know what is going on. He decided to come in and be with his teammates. He hasn’t signed anything. That’s just who Connor is and what makes him [special] and that’s why we franchised him. Number one because of what he did on the field, but then who he is as a teammate is part of the reason why he came here today – just to be around the guys again and watch. I don’t think there are many franchised guys that have ever done that. We are still in constant communication between he and his agent. We’ll see.”

On the negotiations with Barth and his agent
“We are talking about the youngest kicker to hit free agency. Two years ago he was at 83 percent. Last year he was at 92 percent. The last two years he’s hit 86 percent of his kicks. He’s been a consistent guy. I understand where his agent is coming from. We just had a good, fun talk now. That’s what makes Connor a unique guy and a good teammate.”

On what makes Josh Freeman great
“His desire to be great. He really, really wants to be great internally. You guys have talked to him a lot of times and the calmness can kind of overshadow how hungry he is inside and what he wants to be and how bad he wants to be successful. That, to me, is what makes [Freeman] a different character and what has made him so eager to learn with this new staff and work his tail off to make sure he has the chance to be what he wants to be. At age 24 years old he understands the clock is ticking for everybody.”

On the Bucs’ new weapons at wide receiver
“It’s a lot of fun for him, fun for the organization and hopefully for the coaches, too [to have more weapons],” Dominik said. “And to see the offensive lineman line up in front of him, it’s exciting.”

On Freeman’s weight loss
“No, it was his call. I wouldn’t say it was a need. He carried 258-260 or 262 sometimes last year. You felt like he was a little heavy, but it wasn’t [too bad]. [Strength and conditioning coach] Jay Butler has done a good job of goal weights for this football team and re-establishing what he wants guys to play at. That’s a big deal for Coach [Greg Schiano] also. These are the numbers we want guys to be at and they have to put the time in to be there and they are. I’m encouraged. As you guys stay out here and look at the physiques of our football players and the difference as the time goes on, you’ll see the difference in the conditioning and the physiques. We’re asking them to do different things than we have in the past.”

On the depth at left defensive end right now since Da’Quan Bowers tore his Achilles tendon
“Right now we’re just trying to evaluate the men we have here. We want to see what we’ve got here first for a little before we do something. If it gets to the point and we feel have to do something, obviously it’s an important position. The surgery was successful so it all comes down to his rehab. He’s going to do his rehab here with our staff, and we have what I think is one of the best rehab groups in the National Football League, which is why guys have been able to come back when they have for us at a quicker pace. We’re hopeful it does the same thing for him.”
On what was Bowers doing when he got hurt
“He was coming off the ball and going into a bag drill. It’s disappointing, but that’s the NFL. Sometimes you have unfortunate injuries. His spirits were in the right spot after the surgery and that’s good.
 On why isn’t Doug Martin working out
“He had a little slight hamstring [injury] and we didn’t want to risk it. He’s got that Rookie Premier thing he’s got to go to this weekend. It’s mandated by the NFLPA so for one day of practice it wasn’t worth it.”
 On if the Bucs are hopeful that Bowers can still play this year
“We’re hopeful. We’ll certainly see in the next couple of months to see where his rehab his going before we have to make a decision and what list he goes on before he gets to camp.”
 On how much better the running game is with Doug Martin
“Those two players specifically bring ‘make-you-miss’ with speed, and they have that run after contact (ability) that we like as an organization. But I think they bring big-play ability. They both have really good hands and can catch the ball in the backfield. I think the big thing is, those explosion plays, those big chunk plays that you want to have, those guys can deliver those when they get the opportunity.”

 On the competition at running back
 “I think [Martin and LeGarrette Blount] should complement each other and make each other better because they’re going to push each other for playing time. There’s not a running back that doesn’t want an extra touch or an extra opportunity or carry, so it’s going to be a good competition.”
 On Vincent Jackson and the competition at wide receiver
“The thing about Jackson that he brings to this organization is not just [the big plays], but his leadership and they style with which he practices and the way he helps the younger players, by continuing to show them the ropes and the right way. Vincent Jackson has been a consummate professional since the day we signed him.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 08:57

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  • avatar

    Dominick, let's not get cheap and sign this guy to a deal. He was one of very few bright spots on that bad team last year!
  • avatar

    At least Dominik gave us some actual information; not like the 4 minute and 50 second session Schiano gave to the media. I feel for the media, but the tV guys love it because he gave out enough information for their 15 second spot. Coach pretty soon I am going to be addressing you as Senator Schiano because you are telling us very, very, very, very, very, little. Nobody is asking Schiano for detail plays, strategies, plans.
  • avatar

    Believe they might have asked Schiano until they were blue in the face. He, and all the other coaches, are saying nothing. Scott has written about this more than once. It applies to all the media.
  • avatar

    I am hoping that Bowers can get back and play some by early October and be ready to go as we come into mid November; Just hoping.
  • avatar

    Love the comment about Jackson. Sorely needed in that room.
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