Dimitroff On Vital: Hire Him!

January 14th, 2014
Dixie Chicks GM Thomas Dimitroff brags about the talents of Lionel Vital, a candidate to succeed former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik.

Dixie Chicks GM Thomas Dimitroff brags about the talents of Lionel Vital, a candidate to succeed former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik.

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.

38 Responses to “Dimitroff On Vital: Hire Him!”

  1. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I always heard that the “rockstar” was only there for the ice cream and nothing else!

  2. Captain Stagger Says:

    Does he work past 4 PM?

  3. Patrick in VA Says:

    I’m in favor of the hire. The man’s resume looks solid and if he’s a guy that the team and staff will respect then he should be a great compliment to what Lovie is already bringing in and someone that will do well with enticing FAs to come.

  4. BirdDoggers Says:

    An endorsement from a division rival. Hmm. The last time an opponent endorsed and/or recommended someone, it didn’t turn out so well. And low and behold, both endorsers come from the same tree. Skepticism aside, Vital may very well be the right guy for the job and Dimitroff might be giving props to a guy he thinks is well deserving of a promotion. After all, he doesn’t want Vital to take his own job.

  5. JP4 Says:

    Joe, I’m a big fan of your work, really like your articles and FL related links, but, dude, your site now regularly locks up or crashes my browser on two different PCs (one with 6 GB of RAM, the other with 8). I realize everybody has to pay the bills, but there is a limit! Maybe now isn’t the best time to shoehorn 10 more clickable banner ads into the margins of your site. Just a heads up from a guy who visits joebucsfan.com at least 5 times a week.

    Joe’s sure the problem is on your end. Joe actually has fewer ads than he used to, and Joe’s page load speed measures in an acceptable range. –Joe

  6. Larry Says:

    OK should we take Thomas Dimitroff’s opinion, being as how he’s the Falcons GM, as gospel? Does he truly want Vital to succeed with the Buc’s?

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Another round of interviews is usually a good sign. Let’s get this done and get going!!!

  8. Barry Says:

    A GM with no experience? A OC with No experience? Not good.

  9. Barry Says:

    You all may love him, I know Joe sleeps with a picture of Father Dungy under his pillow but has Dungy ever endorsed anyone other than an African American for anything?

  10. Luther Says:

    Barry…how about Marinelli, Kiffin and Shula. He got fired for loyalty to the guys who were anything but African-American. Give it a rest already.

  11. Chef Paul Says:


    “After all, he doesn’t want Vital to take his own job.”

    I was thinking it sounded like he wanted him out of the building but didn’t want to fire him, and this was a Machiavellian approach. But you bring up a very good point. Everyone has a little bit of an ego, and fights for job security.

  12. Tee from TB Says:

    @ Barry… Come on ,really!!!! Like Luther said, give it a rest already. He can endorse whoever he likes but for the record his coaching tree is one of the longest and most respected and they are not all African American. Heck he endorsed Chip Kelly for crying out loud and the Bucs still dropped the ball. Just stop it. Have a nice day.

  13. William Says:

    @jp4 ~ I used to have the same problem until I switch browsers. Firefox works better for me. I have an old computer with the memory maxed out at 4gb. Good luck!

    All is good Joe!

  14. Bucnjim Says:

    So he still works for the Falcon’s and Dimitroff is saying what a good fit he would be for the Bucs? If he’s a huge asset for Atlanta then they wouldn’t be saying a word and possibly even down playing his abilities. This sounds like me when I’m sugar coating an employee to another employer just to make them someone else’s problem.

  15. hamilton Says:

    barry, just say you hate bucs because they hired a black coach an get it out the way.

  16. mike of Dade City Says:

    Good job Luther for putting Barry on to some game. Not to mention also one of the greatest Buccaneer line backer coaches of all time Joe Barry who Dungy supported. Dungy’ coaching tree has branches all over the NFL and college football which is a very diverse and respected tree. Just ask JoeBucs he loves Dungy.

  17. Que589 Says:


    Tony Dungy was a big time endorser of Chip Kelly as a pro coach while he was at Oregon

  18. Que589 Says:

    Lake Dawson is an interesting candidate. His experience seems to be well rounded (scouting, contract negotiations, team financial (cap)). Though I like Vital’s resume.

  19. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Looks like the GM search is going well. I have to admit I was a bit worried. Dominik’s tenure was full of big hits and big busts… Hopefully the new guy can manage the cap well while doing a better job of building depth. Make the right choice Glazers and get some respect flowing back towards the bay area!

  20. Jon Says:

    Sometimes when people recommend this strongly they want them out of the organization. Wish I saw his pure evaluation skills showing up here in Atlanta…the team (atl) had zero depth on oline, dline and secondary. Sounds like he is going to get it.

  21. Blind Melon Says:

    Same website issue here Joe.

    Crashes my browser often.

    Too much going on in my opinion.

    Has affected me coming around here. (That and the ‘read more’ click through now.)

    My $.02

    Always appreciate the feedback, but Joe is certain there are no issues for at least 99+ percent of visitors. Joe actually tests and tracks this stuff. Unfortunately, with 20,000+ visits a day, there are some left frustrated.–Joe

  22. Brandon Says:

    Joe, I’ve had similiar problems… and other times I don’t, sometimes I restart my computer or tablet and it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I tend to think that the ads are a bit hard to handle on most PCs and when they aren’t working to perfection there are occasional crashes.

  23. Brandon Says:

    I like Tom Gamble perhaps a little more, but Vital is my second choice. One thing that worries me now though is why would Lyle Lovett endorse Vital if he thought it would make a team in his division better?

    But seriously, that is Lyle Lovett in the pic, right?

  24. Clowney Says:

    My browser crashes constantly on this site only. I have a laptop with Firefox and it usually occurs when clicking on the red links.

    Sometimes it’s so bad, I just move on to another site.

  25. Vic Says:

    Joe’s got an awful lot of readers for an unreadable site. lol

    Never had a problem seeing anything here, even when I use my son’s crappy laptop.

  26. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    I once had page loading issues on JBF and I still run Firefox. I then changed my Anti-virus software (I use the free anti-virus as I am a cheap skate) and it picked up a lot of malware, adware and Website tracking that the other software did not and it fixed the page loading straight away. My two cents.

  27. Big Rob Says:

    Try using a different Browser? I always use Google Chrome and never have an issue.

  28. Orca Says:

    Try using Chrome.

  29. JL Says:

    Same stability issues here on one of my devices, which was never a problem a few months ago. At least something to check into IMHO.

  30. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Re Tech issues. I use google chrome and never have a problem loading Joe’s pages. I do have posts that get eaten at times even though they have nothing negative in them. Therefore I assume it’s just a tech glitch but it only happens about 1 out of 5 attempts at posting.

    Re the current topic. I like Vital for all the reasons Joe has just put forth. And I like the bonus we get. If he truly is that talented then we not only improve our team but also subtract from our rivals in Hotlanta.

  31. PRBucFan Says:

    I wanted Tom Gamble but Thomas Dimitroff has me sold on this guy as a solid second option 😀 lol

  32. Iron Man Says:

    I don’t think Dimitroff has any room to recommend a GM. He has done a horrible job in the ATL. They gave Matty Ice $20 mill for one playoff win. They ignored the needs of both lines and now, they don’t have enough money to pursue any quality talent in free agency. His buddy might get HIS job.

  33. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The issue is not the siite, it is the rotating ad content. Some of the use more updated versions of flash and shockwave. The browsers just need to be replaced with newer versions. The crashes will stop, at least until adobe updates again.

    I also use the Page Tweak add-on with firefox.

    On my tablet some of the ads don’t even word. Avast detects 11 sites trying to track, but blocks them.

    Personally, I’m excited for the mobile verion of the website Joe has mentioned.

  34. pick6 Says:

    is this like when belichick urged us to hire schiano? why would you push a candidate you believe will be superb onto a division rival?

  35. Chris Says:

    pick6 Says:
    January 14th, 2014 at 6:09 pm
    is this like when belichick urged us to hire schiano? why would you push a candidate you believe will be superb onto a division rival?

    You do know you wish employees great things right? Dimitroff cant possibly think guys working under him are all not going to seek a huge promotion in their career right? Come on guys.

    It’s like my employer tells me in my quarterly review. Asks me what my future goals are and if they are outside the company he’d gladly assist me bc I’ve been such an asset to the company.

    Vital is seeking an opportunity that isn’t open in Atlanta. It’s a promotion. Promotion !

  36. lurker Says:

    Miami dolphins are interested in vital, too. bill belichick recommends vital.

  37. BoJim Says:

    I used to get (IE not responding) all the time so I switched to Firefox and that fixed it for me.

  38. Pruritus Ani Says:

    lurker Says:
    January 14th, 2014 at 9:24 pm
    Miami dolphins are interested in vital, too. bill belichick recommends vital.