On this date in 2010, Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik sat down for a pre-draft chat with the local media.
All around the league, those sessions are as generic as possible. General managers aren’t going to tell you who they’re going to draft and they only speak in vague terms. But Dominik did say one thing of note that day.
“If this draft doesn’t succeed, I won’t either," Dominik said.
I think Dominik was talking about the long term and the long term is approaching for Dominik. He’s been Tampa Bay’s general manager since 2009 and the Bucs haven’t made the playoffs. I wouldn’t say he’s on the hot seat right now, but he could get there if this season doesn’t go well.
And Dominik’s 2010 statement is ringing true. He needs a good season from the class of 2010. He also could use some help from the players from the 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 drafts.
But he was talking about the class of 2010 that day, so let’s stick with that. That class included Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Arrelious Benn, Myron Lewis, Mike Williams, Brent Bowden, Cody Grimm, Dekoda Watson and Erik Lorig.
Six of those nine players are still with the team, which isn’t a bad ratio. But Price and Benn were second-round picks and they’re no longer with the team, which doesn’t reflect well.
McCoy and Williams have become very good players. Lorig, who was drafted as a defensive end, has turned out to be a solid fullback. Lewis, Grimm and Watson are role players at best.
Dominik’s statement rings more true today than it did three years ago. He needs a big year from the class of 2010 to succeed.
He needs McCoy to have another Pro Bowl year (and stay healthy). He needs Williams to turn in another big year opposite Vincent Jackson. And he needs Lorig to keep clearing the way for tailback Doug Martin. It wouldn’t hurt if Lewis, Grimm and Watson can’t contribute a little.
As I said before, Dominik also could use some help from his other draft classes. But if the class of 2010 succeeds this year, Dominik also has a good chance at success.