The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been transformed from the Jon Gruden/Bruce Allen philosophy into the Mark Dominik philosophy quite quickly, all things considered. This season, we witnessed the Buccaneers continue to develop the identity they have set out to build by bringing in the proper coach for the job, and drafting players who match his personality. Take a look back at this article from Gary Shelton of the Times from the days following the 2012 NFL Draft:
In some ways, it seems as if the Tampa Bay Bucs have selected the same guy three times during this NFL draft. Even at hello, you cannot help but notice the similarities to Mark Barron, Doug Martin and Lavonte David. Their eyes are focused, and their voices are soft, and the character reviews are glowing.
Together, they are the new Bucs.
As it turns out, this is what he likes: physical players, mature players, versatile players. Driven players, productive players, follow-me players. Players who attack the game like balled fists.
As a result, perhaps we should start to focus on players like these for the offseason, and consider the type of players Dominik will draft based on his history. As we know, and as Shelton pointed out in his article, Dominik has been particularly partial to college team captains. Dee Milliner was not a team captain, but Johnthan Banks was. Xavier Rhodes wasn’t a team captain, yet Jordan Poyer was.
Kenny Vaccaro was not a team captain, and has been arrested during his college career. Twice, actually. And while neither is an earth shattering disrespect of the moral fabric of mankind, it’s probably enough to keep Vaccaro away from Tampa Bay. However, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones was named captain of his team, and is described by many as a natural leader.
In fact, Jones seems to fit all the requirements. He’s hard-working, versatile, productive, physical, and mature. All the things that Shelton pointed out this past April. The more I think about it, the more I believe that Jones might be the number one target for the Buccaneers. Quincy Black’s future is in serious doubt, and Jones is a dynamic pass rusher who can also drop back in coverage. Combined with the quicker Lavonte David on the other side, the Buccaneers would be set at linebacker for years to come.
Consider these bits of information as you look forward to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offseason. There are certain players that Mark Dominik prefers, and it has worked to great effect so far. When looking for a franchise player in the first round of the NFL draft, don’t be surprised if the Buccaneer GM sticks to his guns, and brings in leaders, hard-workers, and Greg Schiano’s idea of “Buccaneer Men.”