Biggs: Dominik remains upbeat after 3-13 season

Nearly a month remove from the season, either time makes 3-13 look a lot better or Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik is an eternal optimist as he prepares to embark on his second season in his role.

The Bucs have 10 draft picks and are at the Senior Bowl searching for a few good men to help them along in what was a sometimes painful move toward youth last season.

What made the situation maddening was the inability of the club to pick a plan and, you know, stick with it under Dominik and first-year coach Raheem Morris. Both coordinators were fired, one before the season. Rookie first-round pick Josh Freeman was supposed to learn the whole season on the bench. He ended up starting after a disastrous trip to England.

The Bucs were making changes on the fly and it looked like it for much of the season.

“I feel like Raheem did a very, very good job of keeping this football team upbeat and motivated,” Dominik said in a meeting with Bucs media. “I feel like Raheem did a fantastic job calling the defense and being head coach at the same time, and I feel like it actually improved his head coaching ability. I think he had a chance to not only get back in the defensive meeting room, but I felt like he came even more alive in practices.”

Dominik is smart enough to realize the public’s support for the franchise has waned. The sentiment is that the Glazer family has stopped pouring resources into the club with the massive debt it has with Manchester United. The stadium wasn’t packed like it has been in the past.

“I think you have to win,” Dominik said. “That's a key element to anyone showing up. But we have to have a team that this town is really excited about and wants to fall in love with, like we had. That's important to us as we spend time preparing for this 2010 draft.

“I'm aware that 3-13 is the reality, but I'm still excited about the direction we're headed. You can pick apart the roster, but I do believe that the guys that are in our locker room, the guys we added in 2009 and the success we had with our trades - every trade we made over the last 12 months - were all correct. All the decisions we had to make were difficult, but I believe they were correct and I do believe we had a successful draft last year. And I think those are things we can build on.”

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