TAMPA - Nick Caserio and Mark Dominik don't have the same job title - Dominik is the Buccaneers' general manager; Caserio is the Patriots' director of player personnel - but they do share quite a bit aside from that.
They're both young (Dominik is 41, Caserio 36), both climbed the ladder in their organizations honestly and both answer to detail-oriented and demanding head coaches.
Caserio's a bit more taciturn than Dominik but neither one is a slap 'em on the back type. It's all business and the two talk business, according to Dominik.
"Nick and I stay in constant communication during the season," Dominik said Thursday morning as the Patriots and Bucs concluded a practice at One Bucs Place. "It's always good to have a guy you can stay in good contact with. We have a good relationship. It's always been a professional relationship but also a personal relationship where we can talk to each other and see what's going on."
The Patriots, as you may have noticed, are kinda private. That gets irksome at times but their discretion also gives them an advantage in that they are trusted by other teams to keep their damn mouths shut.
"There's a lot of trust that goes on in the National Football League because if you're gonna shop a guy or make a trade, you have to decide whether (the personnel person you're dealing with is) gonna tell everybody or just keep it within the organization," said Dominik. "Those are important things to know that you can count on when you have a relationship with a team like the Patriots as we do."
Dominik's presence in Tampa pre-dates the hiring of Bill Belichick protege Greg Schiano. It will be interesting to see how their relationship evolves given the "one voice" approach espoused by the Patriots that effectively neuters Caserio from being glib in any public setting. Will Schiano want to replace Dominik with someone Schiano can mold? Will he leave the aggressive and sharp Dominik to do his work?
From a brief view of the Bucs operation this week, it seems to be working. And if Schiano wants to mold his team like the Patriots, Dominik seems on board with that.
"I think (the two days of shared practice) was very beneficial for us not only as a preparation but an evaluation of our own football team," said Dominik. "I think that's been a great thing. You like to have a chance to grow as a team and take the opportunity to evaluate how you're doing and how you stack up."