Bucs GM Dominik preps for draft with LS spot in question

Tampa Bay Buccaneers long snapper Andrew Economos suffered a torn Achilles' tendon this offseason, general manager Mark Dominik told the St. Petersburg Times on Thursday.

Economos appeared in all 16 games for the Bucs last season and has played in 67 games since Tampa Bay signed him in 2006 out of Georgia Tech.

Dominik broke the news as he and coach Raheem Morris gathered with reporters to discuss their approach to next week's NFL draft. Dominik cited his inspiration for building on the Bucs' recent first-round scores of quarterback Josh Freeman in 2009 and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in 2010.

"A team that I admire in terms of their more recent history is (the Baltimore Ravens) and Ozzie Newsome, and how great they've been in their first-round choices," Dominik told the team's official site. "I've studied that organization, certainly lately, because they have done such a great job with their first-round selections. I try to look at what they did -- why Todd Heap? Why did these players continually hit?

"There are so many players that have hit in Baltimore in their first round -- Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata -- that you say, 'Whoa, how are they doing this?' So you look back at the reports and you also try to dig back into the character of the guys, and (find out) what is it about those players. So as a historian, to help learn from history like anything we try to do to get better, that's a team that I've been focused on."

Dominik responded to speculation that the team again will look for a pass-rusher with the No. 20 pick after the Bucs ranked 30th in the NFL in 2010 with 26 sacks.

"I don't disagree with (the need for pass-rush improvement), but it doesn't mean that that's what our first pick is going to be," Dominik said. "So when we have our draft-day party over at the stadium, if our first pick isn't defensive end, it doesn't mean we can't get to the quarterback ever again."

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