Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Dominik: This draft crucial for Bucs

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik just did his pre-draft meeting with the media and it was more entertaining than these things usually are. Believe me, I sat through more than a few of them when Marty Hurney and John Fox didn’t say anything that was remotely quotable.

Dominik wasn’t revealing anything dramatic about Tampa Bay’s strategy and nobody does that in these situations. But he did throw out some pretty good lines as he danced around any specifics about any specific players.

But Dominik did admit this draft is critical for a team that has gone out of its way to say it’s building through the draft. Now, he’s got to back it up and he admits it.

“If this draft doesn’t succeed, I won’t either," Dominik said.

That may sound pretty dramatic, but it’s simply fact. The Bucs -- from ownership on down -- are building this team through the draft. Although fans might not like it, that’s the plan. You can at least see some traces of the plan playing out with some of last year’s draft picks, like Josh Freeman and Sammie Stroughter, already playing important roles. The 2010 draft is the next step in this process and Dominik isn’t hiding from the fact, the Bucs have to hit on most of their 11 picks.

A few other notables out of Dominik’s session:

First, for the fans that are constantly screaming about ownership being cheap, and I’m not saying that’s inaccurate, Dominik had a response.

“Money is not an issue for anything in this draft … at all," Dominik said.

Dominik also was asked about the Bucs not getting receivers Santonio Holmes and Brandon Marshall, who recently were traded to other teams.

“I know there was a report out there that we were one of the four finalists for Brandon Marshall," Dominik said. “That’s not true."

The Bucs weren’t in the market for Holmes either. Dominik wouldn’t get into specifics, but he certainly implied that character issues were considered when the Bucs pondered pursuing either receiver.