A Character Assault On Mark Dominik?

July 27th, 2011

Before Joe goes deep into this post, one point must be made up front.

Mark Dominik has spoken repeatedly about the importance he places on good character throughout the Buccaneers organization. He’s said it dozens of times. And it should be clearly understood that Dominik also includes himself in that mix.

So Joe has to ask the question: What kind of ass would Dominik have to be if he cut or punished Aqib Talib right now when all the evidence in the assault case against Talib has yet to be presented publicly, nobody got hurt during the incident, and the information now available via public records from the Texas courts crafts a flimsy case against Talib? (Read all the cops stuff here yourself, unedited.)

The answer is Dominik would have to be a man of low character to come crashing down against Talib without a comprehensive understanding of what happened in Texas that led to Talib’s March arrest for assault with a deadly weapon, especially considering it was a family dispute and Talib was in a peacemaker role, albeit a non-traditional one.

Joe brings this to light after hearing Bucs beat writer Stephen Holder say Dominik and the Bucs would hypocrites if Talib remains a Buccaneer much longer. Holder spoke passionately on the topic during an interview on The Fabulous Sports Babe Show on 1040 AM this week after the lockout was lifted.

Here are Holder’s words verbatim:

“I’ll tell you something. I just feel like, ok. Let’s go back and look at the situation here. We sat down before the draft with Mark Dominik. He looked us all, the beat writers, looked us all in the eyes and told us character was important. You know, everyone remembers all the string of arrests they had around here, you know, certainly for far less serious offenses than maybe shooting at someone, or alleged offenses. But the fact is they’ve been tarnished a little bit. Mark Dominik is extremely sensitive to that. And I get that. I get it. It reflects on him.

“So he looks us all in the eyes and tells us, ‘Look, I take this very, very seriously. Character is No. 1.’ Well, is it really? If you sit here and defend Aqib Talib, a guy who has a history of not following rules and getting out of line? And if you give him another chance, you know you’re certainly not setting a tone.

“Look. I’m not here to be judge and jury. That’s not my job, and I’m not here to also say whether it’s right and wrong to keep the guy on the roster. I’m just saying if you accuse them of being hypocritical, I wouldn’t say you are wrong, if they keep him on the roster. I’m just saying. It’s just a fact.

“I didn’t put words in anyone’s mouth. This is what they said. They said character was important. Well is it? We’ll see. The fact of the matter is, if he wasn’t Aqib Talib, if he was a lesser player, he’d be gone. I think we all know that. So, let’s just not hide from it. It is what it is. And I don’t mean to offend anyone in the building, but that’s just what it is. If he was a lesser player, if he was not Aqib Talib, he’d be gone. He’d be Jerramy Stevens, who doesn’t have a job right now.


For Joe, Holder’s take is out of line at this point. There’s an awful lot of gray area when you’re defining bad character, and how it blends with an organization’s commitment to help players on and off the field.

Heck, one could easy to make the argument that the Dominik and Raheem Morris are dishing out plenty of character-building for the entire team by sticking by a guy like Talib, with legitimate anger problems, and trying to guide and mentor him.

Joe’s not defending Talib’s actions, but it’s not like the guy has been convicted of heinous atrocities.  

Joe recalls an interview this year with Father Dungy, the annointed king of the character issue in the NFL. Father Dungy explained he was the first guy to red-flag a player on his draft board for questionable character, or while considering a free agent. However, Dungy said that once a guy entered a team family he would get counseling and patience after misdeeds.

Talib’s presence on the Bucs roster this season can be interpreted many ways. But, if nothing changes, for Joe it won’t mean Dominik’s a hypocrite.

37 Responses to “A Character Assault On Mark Dominik?”

  1. CanadaBuc Says:

    The beauty of the system – Innocent until proven guilty
    MD seems to be running a tight knit ship over at One Buc Place and when all the players are lobbying for Aqib to stay they are for good reasons.
    I’m tired of these beat writers trying to make a name for themselves.

  2. Dave Says:

    Sounds like Holder could not get an interview with Talib and is upset.

    Seriously though, I agree with the “…once a guy entered a team family he would get counseling and patience after misdeeds.”
    to a point.
    Right now Talib deserves to be on the team until:
    1. He is convicted of these charges
    2. He screws up again

    Other than this allegation, nothing he has done has been extreme, they have been fairly minor anger issues.

    If anything, they are showing more character by keeping him and mentoring him.

  3. Dave Says:

    …. but it doesn’t hurt that he is arguably the best DB on the team 🙂

  4. sunrisejeff Says:

    Holder is a complete jackwagon imo and continues to show it in every article he puts out. Just accept the fact that YOU jumped to conclusions about the team cutting Talib instead of spinning it to sound like you were “tricked”.

  5. CanadaBuc Says:

    Sunrisejeff – I agree with you. Holder is a clown.

  6. Brandon Says:

    I just read the majority of the police report, and the only person that said Talib shot at him was the idiot, Billings. What it sounds like to me is that Billings is trying to fry Talib and that Billings was the one that was shooting the gun. Billing’s story is not corroborated by any of the witnesses and there is almost no evidence against Talib that would seem to hold up in a court of law. This is a very weak case where Billings tries to paint himself as the victim and clearly makes him out to have done no wrong…. which is funny because he is a complete and total POS.

  7. Tuggz Says:

    lol peacemaker. Get outta here

  8. Brad Says:

    Man we have a lot of sports writers in this town that just suck. I’m cancelling all subscriptions and only getting Buc news here.

  9. Joe Says:


    Man we have a lot of sports writers in this town that just suck. I’m cancelling all subscriptions and only getting Buc news here.

    Joe’s humbled by that statement but Joe doesn’t want you to cut the knees out from some of his brethren.

  10. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Is it just me, or when Holder’s speech is put on paper, he comes off like a drunken fool? He was going on and on repeating himself.

    Dude, say your piece and move on.

    I’m wondering if he is lashing out due to a possible job loss. I don’t know another reason someone in his position would talk like that. His words read like a betrayed child. You know? You know? You know?

  11. jb Says:

    I find it more and more to be the case where only the “CASUAL” Buc fans get their information re: the BUCS from Holder & Stroud. Too bad that fine paper has those two as their BUC beat writers. As has already been mentioned here, it sounded like Holder had started his binge drinking a little early. We KNOW what Stroud’s deal is, He’s upset that McKay left and won’t be having him over to dinner anymore so he can write his articles on the BUCS for him. But, it’s starting to sound like Holder is just trying to match up to Stroud in the Hate Dept. for their local football team.

  12. Gary Says:

    I think you all are being harsh on holder. its clear he does the best job of them “over there”.

    All this Talib business can be summed up in 9 words, whether it makes Dom a hyrocrite or not:


  13. td32 Says:

    Sports Babe is on 1040, not 1010… The good news is no one heard the interview;)

  14. Theodore Says:

    Hey Brandon – How did Billings get Talib’s gun? Oh, I know, Talib left it there previously for Billings to get for such a high-noon shootout at the coral occasion.

    Talib pulled a gun, and did his Mom. The evidence for this is staring you guys in the face. Is it beyond a reasonable doubt? After the Anthony trial I have no clue, seems like jurors demand high-def videos of crimes these days.

    But with all that said, yes I would keep Talib in the “family” for now. Nothing has been proven and this country’s court system is founded in due process. Dominik is no hypocrite and Holder is not Talib’s judge and jury.

  15. MVPFreeman Says:

    Besides, Holders point is flawed. Stvens was caught with weed in his car. Period. Its an open and shut case. Talib’s is a completely diffrent story, save me the “lesser player” argument Holder.

  16. Steve from Oregon Says:

    Talib is a loose cannon and if he werent so talented, he would be gone….there is no sugar coating that. Somebody said Talib’s offenses arent that major…..really…..that is an ignorant statement….hitting your own teammate….hitting a taxi driver while the car is moving….yeah, thats not anything to serious.

    Sorry Dom…..I don’t agree with you on this one…..

  17. McBuc Says:

    I thought the gun belonged to his mother for some reason, did I miss something?

  18. TampaTerror Says:

    Keep Talib,but for god sake go get Nnamdi Asomugha. Being a Bucs fan can give you a heart attack.

    All my Buc’s fans could you imagine that cornerback dou?

  19. Dew Says:

    @td32. That was so funny, and true.

  20. SkookumSmitty Says:

    Steve and Tuggz have this exactly right.

    1) The prior incidents WERE serious. He attacked people, unprovoked, and did serious bodily injury.

    2) Despite anger management classes and counseling, he STILL chose to be a “Peacemaker” by bringing a gun to a domestic dispute. BAD choice of words, Joe…I counsel men with anger issues, and the very last thing I would EVER do would be to encourage them to get involved in that way,because they have already proved by BEING in AM classes that they do not react correctly to these situations. That is what 911 is for. I could list five different ways he could have effectively (and safely) helped his sister…NONE of them involve showing up armed.

  21. Tampa2 Says:

    Dominik trashed Donald Penn last year before the contract was signed. claiming he came in over weight, questioned his work ethics, etc. Then did a 180 after Penn was inked, even apologized to Penn. So don’t think every word that comes out of Dominik’s mouth is the gospel truth. And don’t think that if Talib were a lessor caliber player he would still be on the team. Talib will hurt or kill someone before his career is over. And it would be preferable if that someone was in a City not named Tampa.

  22. Steve from Oregon Says:

    Well said Tampa 2…..does anybody really think that we have heard the last of Talib getting into trouble with the law?

    Sadly….this story is probably going to have a VERY bad ending.

  23. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @SkookumSmitty — The post here is about assessing character, Dominik’s and Talib’s, not about downplaying Talib’s screwups. Like it or not, Talib’s intent is important in assessing his character and, however twisted, it seems he was in a “peacemaker” role.

  24. Ash Says:

    St Pete Times guys are just pissed that they goofed on that Talib was good as gone during the off season. Pathetic

  25. digitalone Says:

    Holder sounds like a clipboard holder on the High School Football filed. What? He didn’t know the world we live in? Quarterbacks get the Delta Gammas and Tri Delts. The legal system is designed for people with coin. People who can ball in the NFL will always play. Hello..Mike Vick? He should go cover soccer. Dominick is the man. Someone send him some Viagra.

  26. digitalone Says:

    Oh and @ Joe

    I don’t even read articles from those guys anymore. Your site has the best Bucs coverage period. Kudos to cornering the market. Simply brilliant..Ms. Watson would be proud.

  27. Joe Says:


    LOL. Thanks for the compliment. Joe encourages readers — after they read Joe and click on his ads, or course — to read other sites including some MSM sites. There are a lot of guys Joe respects who do good work, Joe’s good friends at TBO, of course, and Gary Shelton (obviously) and Joe Smith and Tom Balog and Rick Brown. There’s also one guy Joe won’t mention who in recent months wants to slit Joe’s throat he hates Joe so much but this guy usually does dynamite work. Just because the guy turned on Joe and hates Joe now doesn’t mean Joe doesn’t respect his work.

  28. Garv Says:

    IMO those who are assaulting Dominik character have no character themselves. What a load of crap. Nobody knows the full Talib story but I DO know the best thing for that young man AND my Buccaneers would be for him to remain on the team.

    FOOTBALL is BACK!!!!

  29. Thomas "the Truth" 2.2 Says:

    Joe, you couldnt be further off on this one. As some stated earlier, if Talib was marginal he would be cut, but he isnt, he is very good so the org is keeping him until his freedom is taken away. That decision places character secondary- that is all that Holder is pointing out.

    Talib is a multi-time offender, Even if he slips out of the discharging a weapon offense, he is still obviously guilty of other offenses .i.e lying to police. To say it shows character to keep a repeat offender (because not found guilty by jury yet) is distorted. It is easy to stick your head in the stand and do nothing when the player is excellent, but hard to release him and make your roster worse even when it would demonstrate real leadership to the other guys.

  30. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Mark Dominick is probably a world class poker player, in another life. He does a lot of posturing, but has Tampa’s best interest at heart.

  31. Capt.Tim Says:

    Thomas “the Truth”- that’s the truth , truth!

    At least to a point. While I have been hard line about his actions, I wouldn’t cut him. At least not until trial. Innocent until guilty.

    Buuut, I would definitely impose some team discipline- I.e a fine, etc, for again violating the teams behavior codes. All the ” hero rescuing his sister “nonsense aside, he should have called 911, and stayed out of it. Again, it isn’t some stranger. The guy was Talib’s sisters common law husband. They have a long history of mutual violence together. The guy( convicted child molester- felon) is family. So is the mother( convicted felon). The more I read about that ” environment”, the more sympathy I mustered for Aqib.

    But that doesn’t mean he slides. Until someone hits him with some real consequences, he will continue to escalate. If the team really wants to help him- then make this incident painful enough that he doesn’t want to go thru it again. Sadly, they won’t. They Wil ignore it until it is so bad that he can’t be helped- instead of trying to intervene now.

    I feel bad for the guy. But we can’t depend on him. If Mark Dominick depends on Talib again- it will be one of the first blunders of an incredibly good start to his career

  32. Eric Says:

    Gotta agree with you Joe, and support Dom on this one.

    Those charges against Talib are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy overblown.

    Besides, when football gm’s are talking “character” what they mean is a guy who plays hard. listens to coaches on the field, and is a leader. It isn’t the common “character” Sunday School variety others refer to.

    Ray Lewis – great football character, not so much regular person character.

    Sapp too.

  33. Pete Dutcher Says:

    …well….I guess people have come over to my view of this situation. People are allowed to change their minds…


    Thomas “the Truth”- that’s the truth , truth!

    Are you Little Jimmy?
    (PS – If you don’t watch wrestling you have no idea what that means, lol)

    Thomas “the Truth” 2.2 Says:

    July 27th, 2011 at 1:48 pm
    Joe, you couldnt be further off on this one. As some stated earlier, if Talib was marginal he would be cut, but he isnt, he is very good so the org is keeping him until his freedom is taken away. That decision places character secondary- that is all that Holder is pointing out.

    Talib is a multi-time offender, Even if he slips out of the discharging a weapon offense, he is still obviously guilty of other offenses .i.e lying to police. To say it shows character to keep a repeat offender (because not found guilty by jury yet) is distorted. It is easy to stick your head in the stand and do nothing when the player is excellent, but hard to release him and make your roster worse even when it would demonstrate real leadership to the other guys.


    I agree that it is harder to do the right thing at times. But I disagree that Talib is a multi-time offender. How many suspensions has he had?

    The fights in OTAs and Camps are nothing…players get into fights all the time. Media just happened to witness it the first time, and that put a looking glass on him.

    The Cabbie thing was stupid, but the driver was a complete racsist. I don’t care where you are, no cabbie charges in advance for a fair. His reasons were totally driven by the color of his passengers skin. If anything, Talib could have counter-sued for that reason alone.

    The exchange of words with Raheem in London, by Raheems own confession, is just how they communicate sometimes. It amazes me that people have so quickly forgotten Jon Gruden and the way he use to speak. Who drafted Talib? Gruden.

    Even if you count this encounter…

    …the guy was abusive to Talib’s sister. I have assaulted someone for doing just that to my sister…and hurt them bad….even though it happened months earlier.

    Talib was justified for his actions in my way of thinking. In the NFLs way of thinking?

    Well, he might get a suspension, but seeing as how there were reasons for each situation, I don’t think he should get cut. That would be stupid at this point. Someone else would just sign him and he would get into the hall of fame playing for them.

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    I trust Dom, he knows best. I’ve always liked Holder but he has really started to lose it lately. Maybe he is under pressure from his sucky liberal paper to create controversy to boost their hits and readers. Stroud has also been off the mark and the Times Boys may be skating on thin ice. Needless to say this won’t make you any friends at 1 Buc Place.

    Stephen, STFU.

  35. BigMacAttack Says:

    I used to laugh when Raheem would always call Stephen “Anwar” in his early pressers as head coach.

  36. Dferg77 Says:

    Why is this guy complaining sooo passionately over something that goes on around the league? Hell if Ray lewis was not a future HOF would he have been cut by the Ravens years ago…or Ben Roethlisberger not one of the best young QB’s would he have been arrested and gone to jail for sexual battery…the list goes on. I don’t see Tennessee dumping the their troubled yet talented wideout K. Britt!!!! You can look at every team and see something wrong within the players or coaches ranks…why beat down your hometown team Mr. Holder?

  37. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    Everyone forgets that Talib’s sister called 911 only the have the phone physically removed from her and hung up… Aqib showed up after there was an attempt to phone police. I have ZERO respect of Holder & Stroud and will do everything in my power to point out and remind that these two jerkoffs had “inside sources” that said Talib is good as gone. You don’t flat out release lock down corners, especially in the Dirty South.