Dominik’s Headset Isn’t Just For Listening

December 20th, 2011

Bucs fans and the nation saw rockstar Bucs general manager Mark Dominik wearing a headset in a sky box during the Bucs-Cowboys game on NFL Network on Saturday.

Listening to sports radio this week, Joe has heard many fans wonder aloud why Dominik is doing such a thing, and even Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud was on The Fabulous Sports Babe Show on WHBO-AM 1040 today saying he had no clue why Dominik would wear a headset, and then Stroud whined about not having access to the general manager to ask him.

Allow Joe to shed some light.

First, Dominik routinely wears a headset. In fact, he’s an active participant and in communication with coaches. Raheem Morris talked about it on his radio show on WDAE-AM 620 back in November. The head coach was asked about whether he knew about Saints being down several live bodies in their secondary. And Raheem explained that he’s getting a steady flow of personnel information from his eyes in the sky.

Raheem Morris: We do a great job of in the box of handling a lot of that stuff. You know, Mark Dominik’s on with us. He tells us exactly what’s going on up there. We got our trainers, Todd the trainer, all our coaching staff is the box to see what’s going on and how many players they got what, who’s going out when, and who’s coming back in and all that kind of stuff. We get a bunch of information over the sets.

Also, just two weeks ago, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune noted how he spotted Dominik walking out of the coaches’ box during the curb-stomping at the hands of the Panthers. Additionally, it was Morris who admitted he spoke with Dominik in the middle of the game when the Bucs played the Patriots in London, letting Dominik know he was putting in Josh Freeman in his first NFL action.

Joe gets that some fans and media will have a knee-jerk reaction to this information about Dominik, something like, ‘what the hell kind of power trip is Dominik on to be meddling with his coaches during games?’

But the reality is that if Dominik knows the playbook and is supposed to be constantly evaluating talent, then he should have a headset on to know what play is coming next so he can most effectively scout the team.

As for Dominik communicating to coaches during games, one can speculate all day long, but there’s no way to know the depth and scope of the communication. Only the guys with the headsets know that.

Joe has done research in the past six weeks on whether this is common practice among NFL general managers. Joe’s gotten a wide range of answers, so Joe really can’t offer an intelligent take on that.

One thing is clear, though; Dominik is extremely hands-on.

29 Responses to “Dominik’s Headset Isn’t Just For Listening”

  1. Matt Says:

    As long as he’s not calling the plays, I’m fine with it. I’d rather have a hands-on GM like that than a glorified salary cap expert like Bruce Allen.

  2. Anthony Says:

    Sayuing Stroud “whined” is petty, but Joe inserts his own name into every story, so why doesn’t this surprise me?

  3. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Anthony – Of course saying Stroud whined was petty, which is why it’s not the focus of the story. However, he did whine, and some fans might find it relevant that a beat writer is moaning about not having access to the general manager. Joe writes what’s interesting, if some it’s petty, then so be it.

  4. Anthony Says:

    it’s not the focus of the story, but you felt the need to put it in there as a shot against Stroud, which is odd since you post stories about things he writes.

    Him saying he doesn’t have access is interesting, agreed. Saying he “whined” is not needed. It’s the way you worded it that is petty, not the content.

  5. BucForce Says:

    Joe, I believe Dominick calls wearing the headset “C.Y.A.”…he doesn’t want to be blindsided by his head coach doing one thing and then saying something else to the media.

  6. eric Says:

    Whatever scouting methods the guy uses they have resulted in the assembly of one of the worst teams in the league on the verge of accomplishing new lows for futility – which is tough for the Bucs.

    Doesn’t take a headset to understand that.

    A simple gaze at the scoreboard will do.

    Perhaps someday I will understand Joe(s) unyielding and unequivical support for all things Mark Dominik.

    At this point is it perplexing.

  7. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @eric — Please don’t spread lies about Joe saying Joe has “unyielding and uneqivocal support for all things Mark Dominik.” Lies won’t keep you around here very long.

    Joe continues with the “rockstar” nickname for Dominik because Joe’s a nickname kind of guy. Long before they proved to be subpar 2011 performers, Joe was hammering personnel decisions on Kregg Lumpkin, Cadillac Williams and Quincy Black. And Joe made it clear he bought in to the notion that Barrett Ruud would have been a positive to re-sign for this team. Joe could go on. … Again, please don’t spred BS about Joe.

    That written: Joe has been clear that he places the blame of this season far more heavily on coaching than on the workings of the GM.

  8. Joe Says:


    Joe has read all of your comments since you began chiming in. If Joe sucks so bad, why come here?

    You’ve heard of the saying of what happens when you keep throwing rocks at a dog, right?

  9. RastaMon Says:


  10. Morgan Says:

    These ugly, rotten seasons make everyone testy. What a shame during the holiday season. That being said, can we please get on with the firings?

  11. Anthony Says:

    Wow, are you actually threatening me? That’s classy.

    I actually like the site, Joe. I never said it sucks. Joe should learn reading comprehension. I do despise how you refer to yourself in the 3rd person in every article b/c it makes it look amateurish and difficult to read. All of your success with this site is DESPITE that, not b/c of it.

    And I am well within my rights as a commenter to point out things that I feel are silly and petty. I even agreed with you that it was good to put that in the article, I disagreed with you on the you worded it by insulting Stroud. Seemed petty and beneath you. Obviously, you disagree.

    If you have such an issue with people disagreeing with you, turn off the comments. Otherwise, be a man and deal with it. Insulting Stroud was not needed in this article. That was my point. I fail to see how that is throwing rocks.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    “Hey Rah, Olie, this is Dom”

    “Yeah Boss, whats up?”

    “Guys, I think we should run Benn on an end-around”

    “But, but…… Okay Boss. Hey Olie”

    “Yeah, I got it, my favorite play”

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    “And we need to see more of Lumpkin”


  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    “Rah, what are Talib & Blount smoking over there?”

    “What do you think boss? You’re the one that got it for them? Hello?”

    Yeah, right. I need to find a new source.”

    “Huh, yuh think?”

    “Blue Martini?”

    “Yeah sure, I’ll give Joe a call too.”

  15. eric Says:

    end the madness.

  16. passthebuc Says:

    I can tell you exactly why he was wearing a head set. He was listening to a good football game. Plant HS in the state championships.

  17. jvato24 Says:

    Stroud sucks and Joe should point it out if the guys is wining a bit

  18. ElioT Says:

    I never saw Rich McKay or Bruce Allen having any input in-game with either Dungy or Gruden… However, I would imagine that Mark has to micro-manage Raheem & Co. because he knows they are in over their head’s, have too much on their collective plates and are probably just not qualified to do their jobs at this point.

    This happens in the business world all the time and also is very prevalent when ownership decide to cut corners (i.e. having Raheem as both HC and DC, keeping Olson on as OC after Jags got the boot).

  19. Brad Says:

    This is just another reason to fire Dominik. So he’s no doubt giving Rahhem his marching orders so being he’s pretty much coaching ( can’t he just evaluate what the players are doing by watching game film) he deserves the same fate as Morris.

  20. GenocideD Says:

    No one knows how long it’s been going on. If this listening or chiming in on the headset has been going on since at least England then it’s been going on all year and he wouldn’t just start it THIS year? …which means he was listening in last year, too. Last year was a good year for us so that doesn’t tell me that MD listening in or participating during the game is hurting our team in any way.

  21. Anthony Says:

    The bottom line is we don’t know what he is doing and since NFL officials lie all the time, we won’t ever likely know.

  22. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    If Mark Dominik is “Hands On”, I submit we would be better off if he was “Hands Off”.
    I totally agree with Eric that he could have done a better job stocking Tampa with talent.
    Why he took McCoy, and did not trade out of that pick and down in the draft for additional picks is beyond me. Both Jason Paul Pierre and Terrance Cody were there for the taking. Both Jason Paul Pierre and Terrance Cody are difference makers for their teams, McCoy is looking like another Bust who can’t stay healthy. The NY Giants Beat the Cowboys, largely because Jason Paul Pierre took over the Game!
    He even blocked the potential game winning field goal, and played College Ball right here at USF. Yet, the so called “Rockstar” totally missed him.
    Think about it, Who would you rather have on your Team, Jason Pierre Paul, or McCoy ?

  23. GenocideD Says:

    Apple Roof,
    Hindsight is 20/20. NOBODY can honestly say back then that they’d take Jason Pierre Paul over McCoy. We need a new DC, let our DEs get a bit more experience and get Brian Price up to par and once healthy I think McCoy’s going to do just what we drafted him to do. Not to mention the new LBs we’ll draft this spring. I think we made the right pick with the pick we had.

  24. Patrick Says:


    I totally agree with you. We selected McCoy and Price both high in the draft and we’ve gotten no real impact from them. Even if McCoy is injured…..bottomline we’re paying him money to be on IR AGAIN. Our defense has shown no improvement and we’re still at the bottom in rush defense and sacks. 2 years and really…..what have we gotten from them?

  25. GenocideD Says:

    Patrick, you’re scoring him while playing between Stylez White and Roy Miller last year which isn’t a fair speculation. It is frustrating that he’s been hurt but I can’t wait to see him at 100% now that our young DEs are beginning to learn what it’s about to play on the next level.

  26. rdbucfan Says:

    Apple: I agree with you 100%. I told my wife before the draft if we couldn’t get Suh we should trade down to aquire more picks and select Brian Price in the 2nd. What did the Bucs do, they selected a player that had less than 70 tackles in his college career 3rd overall in the draft. We did select Price exactly where I said we could get him.

    I hope the Rockstar realizes this year that we have more needs than just one position. 2 defensive linemen in the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2010 draft, 2 defenseive ends in the 1st and 2nd round of this past draft.

    We can’t continue to select the same position in the first 2 rounds of every draft. We need LB’s, DB’s, OL, RB, TE, WR. What every happened to drafting the best player available or trading down for more picks?

    Are you going to tell me that the best player available in the last 2 drafts just happened to be at the same position in both the 1st and 2nd round.

    I’ve always had the impression that drafting for need and not the best player available was not the way to build through the draft and causes a team to reach.

    If they fire Raheem, they need to fire everybody in the football side of the operation.

  27. vince Says:

    I like that the site refers to itself as “Joe” in the third person. I think it gives it a personal charm. Just my opinion.

  28. GenocideD Says:

    rdbucfan, I agree with what you’re saying but don’t agree with either of our first rounders being reaches or based solely on need if you meant that. We just got lucky landing the positions we had to have when we picked who we got. Everyone’s board had McCoy next to go off the board last year and Clayborn was the best player available this year. The only other I would’ve been interested in selecting at that point was Prince Amukamara.

  29. GenocideD Says:

    …if he would’ve fallen an extra pick that is.