Getting to Know a GM: Mark Dominik

Mark_dominik_medium

via www.buccaneers.com

Primetime and I both have a feeling that the Kansas City Chiefs' GM search will end this week so we're trying to get these profiles out as fast as we can. 

Adding to the plethora of GM candidates we've already profiled, 37-year old Mark Dominik is currently the Director of Pro Personnel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a position he's held in some capacity since 2000.

Mark Dominik is from the Midwest and has a Chiefs' connection. He grew up in Lawrence, KS, graduated from Kansas University and then became a scouting intern for the Chiefs in 1994. A year and a half later, Dominik left KC for Tampa Bay.

After working as a scout with the Chiefs when he came to Tampa Bay in 1995, Dominik was promoted to pro scout in 1998. In 2000, he was again promoted to the position of pro personnel coordinator before being named the Tampa's pro personnel director in 2004.

Click through to see how Dominik would fit in in Kansas City.

Dominik has been with Tampa Bay for the last 13 years and has a number of responsibilities. Here's what the Bucs count on Dominik to do for them:

  • Coordinating the recruiting and signing of all NFL free agents
  • Monitors NFL transactions and handles player tryouts
  • In charge of Tampa Bay’s scouting efforts of all other professional football leagues, including the NFL, NFL Europe, the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football Leagues

Let's take a quick look at what notable free agents the Bucs have dealt with since 2002. Players are signed by the Bucs unless otherwise indicated.

2002

QB Rob Johnson, WR Joe Jurevicius, CB Terrell Buckley

2003

WR Snoop Minnis (!), Re-signed LB Shelton Quarles

2004

RB Charlie Garner, Released S John Lynch, OL Todd Steussie, Traded WR Keyshawn Johnson for WR Joey Galloway, Placed Sly Mo on IR (!)

2005

Traded a 6th round pick for QB Luke McCown, WR Ike Hilliard

2006

Re-signed QB Chris Simms, QB Bruce Gradkowski, Signed CB Ronde Barber to a contract extension, CBPhillip Buchanon

2007

QB Jeff Garcia, DE Kevin Carter, OT Luke Petitgou, LB Cato June, Acquired DT Ryan Simms from KC, LB Jeremiah Trotter, Acquired RB Michael Bennett from KC

2008

C Jeff Faine, TE Ben Troupe, WR Antonio Bryant, TE Jerramy Stevens

It's possible I missed a solid signing or didn't include one you would have for a particular reason. Check out the Bucs' transactions to see who they've signed over the years. The list isn't blowing me away but it's obvious the Bucs are active in the free agent market and they have signed some solid place-holder players over the years.

Tampa Bay as a team has been hot and cold while Dominik was evaluating free agents over the last seven years. Of course, they did win that big game called the Super Bowl in 2002, which makes everyone's career look better. A coach who is mainly involved in free agent signings won't receive much of that winning praise but Dominik has been an integral part in the successes and failures the Bucs have had as a team.

All you need to know about Mark Dominik is contained in this long Q&A session (Part 1 and Part 2) from 2004. If you read anything on Mark Dominik, read those Q&A sessions.

In those sessions, fans pick Dominik's brain about all aspects of his job. Here are a couple of snippets that I especially liked.

What is the Buccaneers' philosophy when considering free agents?

Dominik: “I would say that we kind of look at a complete package. We sit down and talk with our coaches and they give a great definition of what they’re looking for at the position. We require a lot out of our coaches in terms of how much film work they do on the player, their interaction with the player, in terms of talking to them on the phone or just getting a feel for how coachable the player is. So our coaches play a major role in our player acquisitions."

What would be the most consistent characteristic that you and your team of scouts looks for in a prospective player?

Dominik: “I would say the most consistent area would probably have to be his production, in terms of what he’s done when he’s gotten his chance to show what he can do on film. Granted, some players have just a limited amount of play time in the preseason to really show what they can do, but it’s what you make of that moment and how you do it. It may not be that you have 15 plays on your tape, but you may have three that we’re able to see. And the nice thing about scouting is that we can rewatch a play 25 times and make sure we look at each individual player per snap. That gives us a better opportunity to see if we can see something that maybe the casual fan can’t see and hope we pick up on that trait and find that player.”

Great stuff there. Make sure you check it out.

Does he fit Clark Hunt's criteria for a GM?

  • "Shrewd Evaluator Of Talent" - Yes. Dominik is relied on to make decisions about free agents in the NFL and has done a solid job of signing good players. His track record isn't amazing but it's pretty good. He's also a former scout, adding to that evaluation experience.
  • Experience With Winning Teams - Yes. He was with Tampa Bay in 2002 when they won the Super Bowl.
  • Strong Leader - Not sure. I don't have much info on this.
  • Effective Communicator - Same thing here. Can't really tell.
  • Blends Into The Chiefs Culture - Definitely. The Chiefs used to be a defense first team and the defensive scheme they run is based on the Bucs' Tampa 2 defense.
  • Someone Outside The Organization - Yes but he did briefly work for the Chiefs in the mid 1990s.

Does he fit as the Chiefs' GM?

Mark Dominik isn't the strongest candidate but he isn't the weakest either. Clark Hunt could choose to go with the 37-year old coach, setting the foundation for another long term GM tenure. His track record in Tampa Bay doesn't wow me much but then again, I've never met the guy. He'll be interesting to keep an eye over the next couple of days. Clark Hunt could have already interviewed him for all we know.

One interesting twist to Dominik is that he would be the GM candidate most likely to retain Herm Edwards. Dominik and Edwards worked together in Tampa Bay.

Personally, I think he's down on the list of candidates because his experience in evaluating players isn't as comprehensive as other candidates. I think you'd like to see a guy with a better rounded resume than Dominik, not to take anything away from his accomplishments.

To read about all of the GM candidates we've profiled, click here.

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