Report: Bucs To Interview Lionel Vital For GM

January 8th, 2014

The Tampa Bay Times is Twittering that the Bucs will grill newly-promoted Falcons director of player of personnel Lionel Vital for their vacant general manager position.

Here’s some background on him from

From 2005-07, Vital served in his second stint with the Ravens and covered schools across the country as a National Scout while being responsible for reporting on defensive linemen. During his time in Baltimore, he was honored with the inaugural Fritz Pollard Alliance Scouting Award, which is given to the top African American scout each in the AFC and NFC.

Vital served as the Assistant Director of College Scouting with the New England Patriots from 2001-04 after maintaining duties as a National College Scout in 2000. It was during his tenure with New England that he worked directly with Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli and Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff.

Prior to his stint in New England, Vital spent three seasons as a Talent Scout with the New York Jets, covering the Southeast region from 1997-99. He entered the scouting ranks with the Cleveland Browns in 1991 and spent five seasons as a Talent Scout, after being hired by Head Coach Bill Belichick. Vital followed Belichick and the Browns when the team moved to Baltimore for its inaugural season in 1996, working as a College Scout. For two seasons (1990-91), Vital was the Director of Player Personnel for the Montreal Machine in the World League of American Football.

A native of Loreauville, Louisiana, Vital graduated from Nicholls State and was selected by the Washington Redskins as a running back in the seventh round of the 1985 NFL Draft.

Joe’s knows little of Vital, 50, who played in the CFL. But he seems like the prototype potential GM the Bucs will pursue —  an up-and-comer that will be a complementary 1a to Lovie Smith.

76 Responses to “Report: Bucs To Interview Lionel Vital For GM”

  1. Patrick in VA Says:

    Sounds like a pretty solid resume. I like the influences he’s had on him and the mentoring he inevitably got from some accomplished personnel men in the league. Can’t say I would be opposed.

  2. ROBERT6 Says:

    there seems to be a continuing theme here…just hope it works out.

    not very confident though……

  3. BFFL Says:

    sounds great..has roots in talent evaluation and worked with some good minds. He has actually played football at a high level which is a great change over some recent GMs the Bucs have had.

  4. NJBucsFan Says:

    If this is the guy, I hope his Cap Management is top notch.

  5. Mr. Brian Says:

    Thank you for not making me click to read the whole article.

  6. Architek Says:

    Resume looks solid just don’t let Red McCombs see or hear about this…

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    Fritz Pollard Alliance Scouting Award. Give me a break, why does color have to be given awards?

  8. Buc1987 Says:

    And before everyone jumps all over me and labels me something I’m not. Does the NFL have a top hispanic, or asian scout award? If not, then that’s not fair at all.

  9. Rob Says:

    “If this is the guy, I hope his Cap Management is top notch.”

    My first thought too. If Smith is going to be in charge of personnel decisions, the GM needs to be able to work the hell out of the salary cap and manage things – that was one area I thought Dom did a decent job.

  10. Joe Dunn Says:

    Buc 1987 is right…..I thought we wanted UNITY and INCLUSION???? They have their OWN award??

  11. patrickbucs Says:

    Well see if that happens; I would rather have Ballard from KC. The Falcons roster wasn’t’ exactly deep this year and he started a former right tackle of ours that is horrible!

  12. Tomcin Says:

    Bucs1987. Agree with you 100% & Rooney rule is about as stupid as it gets. Makes a team have to interview a person of color even though it has no interest in that person.

  13. biff barker Says:

    I like the scouting background but the cap mgt experience is unknown.

  14. My Buc-O's Says:

    We need experienced GM. Not an experimental project. We have a mess that needs to be straightened out by an experienced GM. There are plenty GM’s with experience out there right now. So far all the moves for a new staff have been good let’s not screw the pooch on the GM.

  15. Bucsfan11 Says:

    We need someone with cap management skills in this role. It’s as simple as that. Why have another bonofied scout in the GM position. Go get a director of football administration for this position. Bring up Mike Greenberg from our own organization, who was actually the one who should be getting credit for cap management and the contracts we have signed the past 2 years. Why keep stacking up on the same type of personal – ex players who evaluate players.

  16. sho-nuff Says:

    1987 and tomcin…really? that bothers you? seriously what do you care. how does honoring a specific group affect YOUR lives…grow up….haha yeah right….

  17. Que589 Says:

    The Rooney Rule was put in place because individuals weren’t getting an opportunity to interview (display & articulate their competency and skill set). There have been situations where a prospect got hired off the strength of his interview, even when he was not the leading candidate for the position. So forcing owners & execs to interview individuals that they may have overlooked, is always a good thing. Especially when your business, organization and product is being supported by all….

  18. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Bucsfan11 – If Mr. Greenberg is responsible for the cap management the past 2 years and is still on the staff then what’s the problem with the hire we have? Clearly the cap issues will be dealt with properly because the talent is still in the building. If everyone is losing their minds about Lovie’s amount of power that he’s been given then you want a personnel guy in there that knows what he’s talking about when he disagrees with Lovie on personnel. Otherwise you just have a guy that is just trying a way to make the numbers fit Lovie’s whims.

  19. Chef Paul Says:

    Joe Dunn, Who’s “they”? Didn’t you learn from Bush, you cant say that word when talking about other races?

    Haha, I’m just kidding.

    I agree with 1987 too. I don’t care about skin color. Just like I said earlier, Jared Allen is annoying, but I would like to have him on this team. All that matters is how they do their specific job. Skin color means the same to me as what that person ate for breakfast, or which hand they use to, well you know, spend time alone with a Glamour Magazine. All I care about is if he was good at his job, not if he was better than other people that fit a specific criteria.

    I am impressed with his resume though. Lots of good people he worked for and with.

  20. Mike83 Says:

    Mike Greenberg is still with the team he worked hand and hand with Dom on cap management.

  21. Jon Says:

    50 year old up and comer! He also signed all those veterans in Atlanta. Ron Edwards, Asante Samuel, Jeremy trueblood, etc. I think they will find better

  22. SombreroBro Says:

    I love the Lovie hire, but things seem to be trending to the darker side.

    I guess we can call our OC Token Ted

  23. Patrick in VA Says:

    @sombrerobro – why don’t you take your bs agenda to another site

  24. Eric Says:

    Who is doing the grilling?


  25. lurker Says:

    grillin? I love me some good barbeque!

  26. SombreroBro Says:

    Patrick in VA Says:
    January 8th, 2014 at 2:49 pm
    @sombrerobro – why don’t you take your bs agenda to another site

    No “agenda” here bossman.
    Simply making a point.
    What if things were exactly the opposite in terms of all the new hires?

    Do you think that just maybe there would be some “unfair” grumblings about lack of diversity?

    Think about that my fellow theologian.

  27. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I’m sorry but I see nothing wrong with the Rooney Rule. Teams are forced to interview, not to hire. And for those of you complaining about the award, it was likely put in place by an African American. Nothing wrong with that.

    You should be glad. It shows us that this guy is a very good scout.

    The Bucs have already satisfied the Rooney Rule, btw. So this is an actual candidate.

    Just about all GMs start off as scouts. Usually they get a little training in the financial side of things though. Just because it isn’t listed in the above description doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

    Pft is reporting “Chiefs director of pro personnel Chris Ballard has become the leading candidate to succeed Mark Dominik as the Tampa Bay General Manager.”

    Found the following in a may 2013 article when he joined the chiefs
    “The former Chicago Bears personnel staff member spent 12 seasons with Chicago, including one season as the director of pro scouting (2012). He spent the previous 11 seasons as the Bears Southwest area scout (2001-11). During that time, Ballard helped Chicago draft Pro Bowl players Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Charles Tillman, Tommie Harris and Nathan Vasher.

    Prior to his time with the Bears, Ballard spent seven seasons as a coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville (1994-2000). Ballard started his coaching career in 1994 tutoring the wide receivers. From 1995-99 he was the secondary coach. In his final season at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Ballard served as defensive coordinator. During his time with the Javelinas, Ballard helped mentor future NFL players including current Chiefs defensive assistant/secondary coach Al Harris.

    Ballard played football for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He and his wife, Kristin, have five children.”

  28. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Also during his 23 years of experience, Vital worked with men like Bill Belichick, Ozzie Newsome, and Scott Pioli.”

  29. Joe Dunn Says:

    NHL doesnt give out awards for best Czeck player, Best Canadian player, best U.S. player etc.

  30. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Patrick in VA Says
    “@sombrerobro – why don’t you take your bs agenda to another site.”

    SombreroBro Says:
    January 8th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Patrick in VA Says
    “No “agenda” here bossman.
    Simply making a point.”

    Actually, Patrick, that means you have an agenda, technically. But you are also mistaken. Jeff Tedford is not African American. Neither is Chris Ballard is he gets the GM job.

    The best person for the job that is available and willing should get the position. Regardless of color. We’re all of the same race…human.

  31. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe Dunn Says
    “NHL doesnt give out awards for best Czeck player, Best Canadian player, best U.S. player etc.”

    NFL didn’t give out this award either. Educate yourself.

  32. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Jimmy Graham of the Saints is a free agent this year (I think). I gotta say, getting him signed would rock, because I am sick and tired of him burning us.

  33. Patrick in VA Says:

    @sombrero – I shouldn’t have commented on your post in the first pace and i’m sorry to everyone else on this site for giving this guy’s nonsense any acknowledgment. go Bucs.

  34. Orca Says:

    If anyone wonders if Tampa is still a racist redneck town, this thread is exhibit A.

  35. Couch Fan Says:

    Jimmy Graham would be awesome. Hopefully this offense uses the TE.

  36. Chef Paul Says:

    “Also during his 23 years of experience, Vital worked with men like Bill Belichick, Ozzie Newsome, and Scott Pioli.”

    That right there speaks volumes. If he is good enough for those guys, he sure as hell is good enough for me

  37. PRBucFan Says:

    Can we not debate anything to do with race here?

    Thank you.

  38. Que589 Says:

    Joe, I got a question. ARE YOU GOOD (COOL) WITH SOMBRERO BRO’s POST AT 2:27?

  39. PRBucFan Says:


    Anyone know of any of the good players he’s responsible for finding on any of these teams?

  40. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    How exactly does it bother you that they have an award? Believe it or not, there are Asian American awards in other fields, and I’m sure the same applies for Hispanic awards in other fields too. It wouldn’t make sense to have an Asian award in football, because there’s probably like 3 Asians (at most) in the NFL. You may not want to believe this, but in the past there has been discrimination against blacks in football. I know that’s a difficult concept to wrap your head around, but it is true, and it doesn’t go that far back. This is why there are Rooney Rules and Fritz Pollard awards. In the future, there hopefully will be no need for a Rooney Rule, but judging by commenters like you and boosters from Texas, there still is a need for it. You may not be a racist, but there are still plenty out there, and many are in control of football teams (both college and pro). Without the Rooney Rule, who knows if we ever hire Tony Dungy. Who knows if Lovie got the job in Chicago or Tomlin in Pittsburgh. Stop complaining about stuff that shouldn’t bother anyone.

  41. lurker Says:

    why would graham leave his qb for our qb? it would have to be way more $$$ than is worth it.

  42. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Wait did I just read that. smh …Lawd we still got a long way to go. Wow..speechless

  43. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Guess you never heard of the “Good Ole’ Boy network” (aka bunch of maggot SOB’s) eh?

  44. Orca Says:

    LMB… This board here is kind of a good ole boy network itself… By the way, if you wanna see some really crazy good ole boy gun-lovin’ liberal-hatin’ conversation, check the off-topic message board at pewter report. Scary people live there.

  45. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    In a leagues where the players are predominantly African-American (SINCE THE MID 70’S)

    (Sad recent timeline)

    *First African-American referree: Johnny Grier (University of D.C.), 1988

    *First African-American head coach, modern era: Art Shell, 1989 -(Over the last 25yrs) Only 15 African American Coaches have been hired as Head Coaches.(15)
    -Currently, 12.5% of NFL head coaches are African-American
    -It’s been six years since an African-American head coach was hired via external search

    *First African-American general manager: Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore Ravens, 2002

    *First African-American referree in a Super Bowl: Mike Carey, Super Bowl XLII (2008)

    *First African-American head coach to take team to Super Bowl: Lovie Smith, 2006


  46. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *First African-American head coach to take team to Super Bowl: Lovie Smith, 2006 Chicago Bears; Tony Dungy, 2006 Indianapolis Colts

  47. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Patrick in VA


  48. Joe D VA Says:

    SombreroBro Says:
    January 8th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    “I love the Lovie hire, but things seem to be trending to the darker side.

    I guess we can call our OC Token Ted”

    You do realize that most of Tony Dungy’s coaching staff was black too right? You know the same staff that helped build what we are now trying to duplicate? Funny how as soon as a few black guys get hired race diversity is an issue. I don’t recall anybody complaining about race when Schiano first started hiring his staff, or any mostly white staff for that matter.

  49. Joe D VA Says:

    Kudos to all of the people who can look past race and see/respect another human being. Go Bucs!!

  50. PRBucFan Says:

    I’m still banking on Ballard to become our GM. An up and comer IMO

    “As I was told, GM title designates a promotion PERIOD. Regardless of how much actual power he has or will have.”

    Per Gil Arcia

  51. Joe D VA Says:

    It’s also crazy to me that some of you are finding race a problem when ALL 4 black head coaches to coach in a Super Bowl have ties to Tampa Bay and Dungy’s staff. *Food for thought*

  52. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “NHL doesnt give out awards for best Czeck player, Best Canadian player, best U.S. player etc.”


    Stupidest and most worthless argument possible. First of all, neither does the NFL, or any other sport. There is no such award in the NFL as best black player. There is also no such NHL award.

    What many don’t understand (or care to understand) is that when someone breaks the race barrier, it is a big deal. For years and years and years there have been minorities that have not been able to have an opportunity to have a job that they deserve, simply because of their race – and it really hasn’t been that long ago. So when someone finally does get the job, it opens the door for others of that same race (especially if they are successful). The one who opened that door is often times celebrated, and for good reason. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, it’s a good thing.

  53. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc

    Amen Brotha

  54. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Joe D VA

    So true

  55. Joe D VA Says:


    I’m just glad that there are genuinely good people that comment and not just the ignorant. This is a Bucs forum! No matter the race nor religion we are all Bucs fans. That’s all that should matter. It’s not like the others are complaining about his character, morals, or credibility. Their issue is something you can control as much as your own birth place. Smh…but anyway Thank you & kudos again to all of you who judge others by what TRULY matters. GO BUCS!!

  56. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Joe D VA

    Well Said Brotha. GO BUCS!!!!

  57. Luther Says:

    It pisses me off when I see guys dumping on an award given to someone to recognize excellence by his race. Lots of minorities do it to highlight the people in their communities doing good things. People look up to these guys because there are not a lot of them in the workforce.

    I work in the IT business and I’m very good at it and I can tell you there are not a lot of minorities unless you consider Indians minorities. Lets give the get over the “Let’s just call everyone Americans” nonsense. Personally, I don’t care what color he is as long as he does a great job but in his community, this is a big deal.

  58. hamilton Says:

    why a black coach allways have to go thru this.

  59. Pruritus Ani Says:

    This is nonsense. Hire the most qualified candidate regardless of race. The Rooney Rule needs to go if that is what is behind this. Otherwise, I demand Jose’s Rule. I’m a Cuban and there are no Cuban GM’s

  60. Tee from TB Says:

    I just have to say this.. It’s a shame and disgrace as human beings and Americans that some of the things that are being said in this post about race… It’s funny that none of this came to ahead when the Bucs hired Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen and it didn’t come up when Mark Dominik hired Greg Schiano, but because the Bucs have hired Lovie Smith and are simply interviewing Lionel Vital nnnooooowwwww it comes up for discussion. Some people are truly ignorant and classless. Joe u should monitor this a lil better. We all are entitled to our opinions but just as much as you block post for someone disrespecting you, you should think the same a little about things being said about those who come on to this site. #GoBucs

  61. Luther Says:

    I totally agree Tee…the topic should never been brought up. A line on his Bio that was a nice peace of recognition is twisted into something it shouldn’t be. As a Buccaneer fan, I want the best candidate available. As a minority, him being recognized by his community is a good thing. God knows we need positive role models other than ball players.

  62. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Tee from TB


  63. Joe Dunn Says:

    I have ZERO problem with Lovie being black, nor am I bothered that his wife is white.

    I also wouldnt care if every QB they ever signed was black……but these “special” groups that are carved out of the larger group of anything seems divisive. I also think isnt there a black sportswriters group as well??


    And to BuccaneerBonzai……I dont care WHO gives out the awards, they still raise eyebrows and cause controversy, bro.

  64. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    You obviously are bothered his wife is white, or you wouldn’t have brought it up. Its completely irrelevant to this conversation, yet you feel the need to go there. You probably feel you aren’t a racist because you have black friends too.

    It has been thoroughly explained to you why these awards and honors exist, yet you choose to completely ignore these reasons and come back to your same ridiculous argument. There’s no compassion or understanding coming from you, which is unfortunately why you’ll never get it.

  65. stanglassman Says:

    Some of you guys need to get off the sports websites and go to the library and crack a book every once in awhile.

  66. Joe Dunn Says:

    Sorry, my mom called me for lunch and I dont have enough memory on my Xbox series One to see ALL the posts (nor the desire to read ALL of them)

    I guess if a white person does not like ALL black people and ALL the things they (you) say or do we are haters/racists/bigots…….

    YOu want to be included and equal, yet you still want your own awards and sub-groups I guess……I really and truly don’t see color when the Bucs hire a coach, GM or player…..but you will never believe me.

    And for the record, some of my ‘black friends’ admit that there is more prejudice WITHIN the race than there is from outside. Educated, middle and upper class black people , for the most part, do not care to hang with the parking lot attendants/trash sweepers of the world.

    Do I think there are white folks that HATE seeing a black man with a white woman? Yep, know some. If you think that describes me, then I cant change that.

    I also have NEVER H E A R D of the guy this article is about, so I had somewhat of a credibility question…..

  67. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Joe – Can this thread just go away? This is awful

  68. PRBucFan Says:

    Whelp, we are going to be stuck with one of these guys cause Chris Ballard is now officially off the list. He chose to stay in KC.

    He was not blocked like some people wanted to claim KC could do cause a move to GM is considered a promotion regardless of whether he has final say or not.

  69. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    First of all, I didn’t call you racist. I don’t know you just like you don’t know me. However, you already said you don’t have the desire to read the posts, yet you still feel the need to repeat your opinion. That’s the very definition of being closed minded. I could repeat some of the points, but you’ve made it clear you don’t want to hear it, and it’s not like you’re going to change your mind anyway.

    And for the record, I’m white. It doesn’t bother me one bit that there are awards for minorities. What’s the problem with recognizing someone who has done well in a field that is traditionally not held by a certain race? Why would that get you so upset? It’s not degrading to another race, it’s just recognizing achievement, with the purpose of having others follow. Like it or not, people tend to identify and relate to people that look like them. Even though I want him replaced, I can’t help but have a soft spot for Glennon, because everyone tells me I look like him. What’s wrong with a kid seeing a person of his race being recognized for doing well? How can that be a bad thing? It has absolutely nothing to do with equality or inclusion , and everything to do with motivating and teaching people that they can do what they want, regardless of their race. But I doubt you’ll be open minded to comprehend one word I’ve written, because it’s so much easier to continue to believe you are right.

  70. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Please lie to me and tell me you had heard of Chris Ballard before all this. The “credibility because I’d never heard of him” excuse is completely laughable.

  71. PRBucFan Says:

    Who said that?

    Please tell me, cause that never came out of my mouth.

    Especially the “never heard of him” crap

  72. PRBucFan Says:

    It’s called research

    Doing some will easily show you why he was indeed a very good up and comer for the GM position.

    Or what do you expect that all these GM’s just came into the job full blown vets?

    That all of them didn’t start fresh off as rookie GM’s at some point?

  73. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    That comment wasn’t directed at you at all. It was directed at Joe Dunn. My apologies for not making that clear.

  74. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Joe Dunn said:

    “I also have NEVER H E A R D of the guy this article is about, so I had somewhat of a credibility question…”


    I think the Bucs should limit their interviews to those that Joe Dunn has heard of. That is the gold standard as to what all GM’s should be judged on.

  75. PRBucFan Says:

    Ok lol 😀


  76. Joe Dunn Says:

    Sorry fellas….I was not saying I was RIGHT and others were WRONG…..I just said I thought having a best “anything” award for blacks, women, people with poor eyesight, etc was divisive. It is my opinion. I was NOT trying to get everyone on here to switch to MY views… doesnt work that way. I also thought the Bucs might have some reasons to keep Coach Greg one more season but they didnt. I like the L Smith hire.
    I will always believe that Tony Dungy was a better overall coach than Jon Gruden and made more of a difference.
    Do I study blogs and lots of football sites to learn everything about every potential coach and GM hire?? Nope. Not that into it…..and it is OK that I never heard of this guy before…..I doubt most on here did either until the article was posted.
    Maybe this will get some more fired up…..did you watch the presser from Texas with Charlie Strong…..he sounded like he has trouble reading English……but I also have said that Mark Dominik sounds weak on the interviews also (and he is white). I just call them the way I see them.