Less than 24 hours after a trade was completed to send former second-round draft pick Brian Price to the Bears, Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik talked about the circumstances that were behind the move.
As the temporary stands were filling, and the first air horn went off under the humid first day of training camp Friday morning, Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik was feeling the heat in other ways. Discussing the trade that sent former second-round draft pick Brian Price to the Chicago Bears, Dominik stood in the northwest corner of the practice fields, talking about what was behind the move to jettison Price.
“What’s important is that all of our team knew a conditioning test was important,” Dominik said. “And not just the conditioning test, but what’s to be expected coming out of training camp and what we want out of our players. Coach Schiano made that clear to the players, and yesterday is a part of the entire process of what we have dealt with, with each individual player. And yesterday we sat down, after everything, and I decided to make the deal to send Brian Price to the Chicago Bears. That’s what seemed to be in the best interest of this football team moving forward.”
Dominik was asked if Price failing the conditioning test was the final straw.
“It’s hard to say that,” Dominik said. “He’s had an unfortunate career and an unfortunate personal life. A really tragic personal life. So it’s very difficult to think about all the things he’s gone through, from losing his sister, to the injuries he’s dealt with and the surgeries he’s dealt with. But at some point we have to go out there and win some football games, and part of the plan for us was to be involved in free agency and find guys like Amobi Okoye and Wallace Gilberry who can help out, so it’s a position that we have focused on, knowing this day could come.”
It is no secret head coach Greg Schiano has clear expectations of what he expects and this move, along with the release of Tanard Jackson and the trade of Kellen Winslow, shows just how serious the organization is about the types of players that want on their roster.
“Again, I would say that there were clear expectations of what we want to be as an organization, of what we expect from our football players, from conditioning, from what they can do,” Dominik said. “Certainly guys can get hurt doing the conditioning test and they can re-run it and move on. But I think it’s important that coach is a detailed guy, a guy that really defines what he wants and what he expects and if it doesn’t come through, there is accountability in everything. That’s where this day got to yesterday.”
PewterReport.com reported earlier this season that Price and Briscoe were not locks to make the squad. Dominik confirmed these weren’t knee-jerk reaction moves.
“It was something we were preparing for,” Dominik said. “Chuck Price (Brian Price’s agent) wasn’t shocked. We’ve been in constant contact, we talked the entire offseason. Dezmon Briscoe and Erik Burckhardt his agent, we had great communication. There really was no one that should have been completely caught off guard because they know what the expectations were for this football team. That’s the way coach is going to run this football team and I’m going to support it completely.”
Dominik was asked where Price fell short of the organizations expectations.
“I would say we’re really focused now on the guys that are here,” Dominik said. “And what’s important is, Brian is on a plane, he’s going to take their physical and if everything works out we have another draft selection that puts us up to nine for next year’s draft and we don’t’ have to wait until next year to use them. If there’s something out there that can help this team in 2012 now we have a little more ammunition to go do that.”
As the impromptu press conference was wrapping up Dominik shared his feelings on Price being unable to live up to his second-round status.
“You don’t go into it and want that to happen obviously as an organization,” Dominik said. “I don’t think anyone in the NFL didn’t think Brian Price wasn’t a second-round talent. When we drafted he there wasn’t anyone saying, ‘Geez he was a fourth-round (talent).’ It just hasn’t worked out. And it is disappointing to us as an organization and I know Brian Price is disappointed it worked out the way it did. But at the same point we have to move and do what we feel as an organization – and me specifically – that are in the best interest of this football team.
“I have a lot of respect for Brian. He has been through a lot of personal drama, and he got a lot of physical drama he has been though too. He got to get everything put together. But we will let the Bears … I’ll will watch from afar, but at the same point I am looking forward to seeing the guys who are here who can practice everyday and play everyday and contribute to this football team.”
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