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Former GM Mark Dominik favors Marcus Mariota

2/11/2015

TAMPA, Fla. – Former Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said Wednesday on WDAE 620 AM that he prefers Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota over Florida State’s Jameis Winston.

“I just think it’s easier to get to a point where you’re comfortable with Mariota,’’ said Dominik, who now works as an analyst for ESPN.

Dominik acknowledged there are off-field questions about Winston. But he also said there are on-field questions about Mariota, who played in a spread offense in college.

”Mariota, to me, has a lot of talent, a lot of tools that you really like,’’ Dominik said. “He’s got the quick delivery, he gets the ball out of his hands, he makes smart decisions. You look at his touchdown to interception ratio. I know he plays in a system that’s certainly suited to what he does. That’s not his fault. Chip Kelly, everybody wondered if his offense could work in the National Football League and it worked just fine. The things on Mariota are the dropbacks, the five-step, the seven-step, how is he going to handle pressure? Those are the things you can figure out.’’

Dominik said Mariota's pro day and his private visit with the Bucs will be chances for the team to see if he can transition to a pro-style offense.

“When they do that, certainly the big thing for Tampa Bay is going to be take a snap under center, give me a three-step, give me a five-step, give me a seven-step,’’ Dominik said. “Obviously, the moving is great for both quarterbacks. We think of Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. There aren’t as many Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings anymore. There’s a lot more of the movement and both quarterbacks do that well. With Mariota you’ll have the time to figure that out with those two workouts because those are critical as to if you’re going to make the pick or not.’’