Patriots Talk Podcast

Who should lead Patriots' front office? Ex-NFL GM offers perspective

Mark Dominik believes it's important for New England to establish a clear hierarchy.

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The New England Patriots started their offseason with a bang when they parted ways with Bill Belichick and named Jerod Mayo their new head coach.

But they still have plenty of work to do -- most notably naming a general manager.

Our Phil Perry reported earlier this month that the Patriots aren't expected to hire an external GM candidate, and that director of player personnel Matt Groh and director of scouting Eliot Wolf both could have "prominent" roles in New England's personnel department. But would the Patriots be better off having one official GM with "final say" instead of splitting those responsibilities?

Mark Dominik, who spent 16 years in the Buccaneers' front office including five years Tampa Bay's general manager, joined Tom E. Curran on a new Patriots Talk Podcast and noted the importance of having a defined hierarchy within the building.

🔊 Patriots Talk: Former NFL GM Mark Dominik weighs in on Patriots’ power structure, OC search Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"That would be too much, I think," Dominik said regarding a setup where Groh and Wolf collaborate as co-GMs. "I think that would have to be defined behind closed doors: You could say it's collaborative, but we all know who's actually making the final call.

" ... It'd be interesting to see how it plays out, but I think that would be too many people in the kitchen."

So, who should be making the final call in New England? That could depend on where Belichick ends up, as there's speculation that Groh could follow his former colleague to Atlanta if Belichick lands the Falcons head coach job. If that's the case, is Wolf the right person for the GM job?

Dominik crossed paths with Wolf during Wolf's days in the Green Bay Packers' front office from 2004 to 2017 and believes he has the resume for the GM job. But for Dominik, it all comes down to the relationship Wolf has with Mayo.

"He's been around a lot of championships. He's been around a lot of different ways to do things," Dominik said of Wolf. "He's been around arguably the best coach of all time (Belichick), and his dad was obviously arguably one of the best GMs of all time (former Packers GM Ron Wolf). So I think Eliot's very much capable of the job, because I think he's been so experienced.

"It would be an interesting move to have two people from within. To me it comes down to, what was their relationship in the building, truly? This is where I would talk to Coach Mayo and be like, 'I don't want you to have somebody just because he's in the building and it's comfortable. Did you like him? Did you guys collaborate? Did you talk?'"

Dominik had a close relationship with Raheem Morris during their time together in Tampa Bay, and that helped them work very well together when Morris was promoted to head coach in 2009. If Mayo and Wolf enjoy a similar relationship, then Wolf would be a great fit at GM in Dominik's eyes.

"He would just come down my office even before he became head coach and I became GM. We would just hang out and talk," Dominik said of Morrris. "We just had this really natural communication, very casual. He knew that it was very comfortable to come into the office, and we were very close in that regard. So, that made it helpful that we knew that we both were going to work really well together.

"That's the thing I would want to know with Coach Mayo: 'How many times did you actually have individual, intentional, conversations with Eliot?' And if that feels like that's a good fit, obviously he's been around the building and the Kraft family has a pretty good sense of him, that would be comfortable."

Also in this episode:

  • What the Patriots need to do to set Jerod Mayo up for success
  • Why does Atlanta have cold feet with Belichick?
  • Mark Dominik on the next steps for Mayo and the Patriots
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