Dimitroff On Vital: Hire Him!January 14th, 2014
Joe didn’t expect many NFL heavy hitters at yesterday’s afternoon practice of the East-West Shrine Game at St. Petersburg High School. Boy, Joe was wrong.
Oh, sure, Packers general manager Ted Thompson was there. That’s no surprise. The guy is a fixture at these practices. An old school scout, Thompson still likes to get his feet on the grass of a football field and eyeball players. Sometimes in years past, the only general managers Joe saw at the Shrine practices were Thompson and former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik, and in part, Dominik was there because the practices were all but held in his back yard.
But it was bustling yesterday, there was Bruce Almighty, the Redskins general manager, and Bears coach Marc Trestman. After practice, Joe also found Dixie Chicks general manager Thomas Dimitroff milling around.
It didn’t take long for Dimitroff to start lobbying for one of his disciples, Lionel Vital, to fill the void left by Dominik. Dimitroff believes Vital has learned from some of the game’s top talent evaluators and is ready to run his own team.
“I have said this categorically: I believe Lionel is one of the best pure talent evaluators in the league,” Dimitroff said. “He’s been around some of the best team builders with Ozzie Newsome, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Dick Haley. He has, humbly, been around our system in Atlanta where [there is a] a really good understanding of putting a team together from a scouting standpoint. Great people person in the way of his dealing with [co-workers in the] building. They really respect him and respect his approach. Good man with a really good understanding of leadership qualities. My feeling is he and Lovie would have a really nice personality mix. Really, really congruent and beneficial to the organization.”
A former Redskins running back, Vital has logged 23 years in scouting and player personnel. He is one of a few general manager candidates reported to be going through a second round of interviews with Team Glazer.
Of all the reported candidates Joe has heard of, Vital appears to be head and shoulders the most qualified.