Dominik: Fan Opinion Shaped Decisions

August 2nd, 2014

TCDominik11The man who cut Derrick Brooks, re-signed Jerramy Stevens, kept Bucs payroll painfully low at the start of his tenure, and dumped fan favorite Cadillac Williams against the desire of his head coach, says the opinions of Bucs fans and media played a role in shaping team decisions.

Joe had to listen to former rockstar general manager Mark Dominik’s take twice to be sure.

Dominik joined the local studios of WHFS-FM on Thursday and was peppered with loads of Bucs and NFL questions. Here’s the exchange in which Dominik explained influence of fans and media:

Jim Lighthall: You mention the fans, how much behind closed doors do the fans ever come up? You know, when you’re making decisions, do you ever say, ‘This is really going to piss off our fan base, or this is going to make our fan base happy? Does that ever come up in those discussions?

Mark Dominik: Well you certainly are aware of it. From a media perspective and fanbase, you have to be aware of it. You think about that when you do deals, or who you’re drafting, or the players you’re going to sign. You know, the likability part is a big part of it. And you want to make sure, you want people to want to want to like your football team. That comes from social media and that comes from our fans. That does actually play a bigger role than I think people want to admit inside NFL offices. But at the same point, we realize that social media is growing stronger and stronger every. And with that, you have to be on top of your football team and decisions you make.

Joe hates to get cynical, but damn, Joe’s not buying that Bucs fans were a significant factor in anything the football front office did in recent years. Yes, Joe realizes Team Glazer told fans otherwise.

“Our fans are our stockholders. They’re what we play for — the people in our stadium and the ones that watch on TV. That’s what it’s all about: winning and how they feel about the team. If they don’t feel good about the team, then there’s something wrong. . . I think you all know the sense that’s out there. It was time for a change.” Team Glazer, following the firing of Jon Gruden in January 2009.

NFL teams, not just the Bucs, nurture their own interests far more than the fans’.

A healthy organization finds a way to balance that, but it’s a business. And money comes first. It always will.

37 Responses to “Dominik: Fan Opinion Shaped Decisions”

  1. chris Says:

    Making the move to send 1st and 4th round picks for Darrelle Revis was a fan based move. Revis island to tampa bay got so much media attention it was a joke. The real football gurus like Bill Polian, called it one of the worst trades in the history of football. I never wanted Revis from the start nor Dashon Goldson for that matter.

    Dom made some stupid moves and stupid contracts. While fans say he set us up financially by setting the deals up to get out of after two years, most GMs do that as well. He also held us back with poor decisions and having too many of those big contract guys fall flat. I can’t even give him credit for Gerald McCoy bc the decision was too easy there for that matter.

  2. Jon Says:

    Polian traded for booger. Gave up a 2nd round pick and if you go back drafted horribly in his final six years, he just happened to have the #1 pick and manning staring him in the face. What’s he suppose to say, “nah, we could care less about the fans”. I use to think JBF liked the Dom. The defense was one of the worst in nfl history so to sign a top DS (who LOvie likes) and trade for a 5 time pro bowl corner don’t seem so dumb. It didn’t work but not a joke verner. Is an island now. Hope he steps up! Still wonder why a team headed by former buc Ruston Webster would let a good corner walk?…

  3. That Guy Says:

    If you take that quote from the Glazers in 2009 at face value, I’m sorry, but you’re dumb. They pulled a salary dump ahead of an upcoming uncapped year back then, plain and simple. It had nothing to do with the fans.

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    Nice to start off the morning with a laugh for Bucs fans.

  5. Jon Says:

    I agree with that guy.

  6. Eric Says:

    However this man made decisions, consultation with a wiji board or magic eight ball would have been more effective.

    Thank goodness he is not in a position to cause any more damage.

  7. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Had to bring up the firing of Gruden BS line the Glazer’s sold us. So they made a change, and hired incompetent people to run their business, all in the name of the fans. Hey these guy’s can hire bozo’s to run the business and still rake in the dough. The last 7 years or so of mediocrity (or worse) for us Buc fans, I put the blame squarely on the Glazers.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Its not about making decisions for the fans as much as it is making the fans like the decisons you make.
    Dominick is a pretty good PR guy (seeing that now) but not a good decision maker.
    When you have teams automaticilly profitable from NFL Television rights then you have a prescription for poor management.
    If teams were totally dependent on fanbased support then things would be done differently (Brooks/Cadillac)

  9. SteveK Says:

    After a 28-52 record, if listen to the fan base too.

  10. DooshLaRue Says:

    I’m impressed Joe.
    You didn’t refer to Dom as Rockstar.
    Was it intentional?

    Actually, Joe did. You just missed it.–Joe

  11. MegaDaveUK Says:

    “Joe hates to get cynical, but damn, Joe’s not buying that Bucs fans were a significant factor in anything the football front office did in recent years.”

    1 word – Revis

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I totally think a lot of moves were fan and media influenced, Joe. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone could not.

    Schiano was brought in because fans felt the team was not disciplined. Revis was brought in for the fans.

    Maybe not all moves are, but a good number are.

    That was a mistake too. If I owned the team and a coach had two losing seasons, but I saw the team talent heading in the right direction, I might have stepped in and said, “What can I do to help this coach take the next step?”

    I wouldn’t have fired him if I believed in him.

    I believed in Schiano. Yes, I thought he went overboard in some things. As an owner, I would have pulled him aside and pointed those things out. As an owner, I would have told him hands off the offense and brought in someone to run that side. I would have brought in a better DC as well.

    I would have let him draft a QB his first year as well.

    If he refused those changes? Then I would have fired him.

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Or traded for a better one.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Really, you could argue the hiring of Lovie Smith is a fan move. You cannot tell me honestly that his history here and his popularity with the fans because of it did not play a role.

    His record helped in the decision.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I would have fired Mark Dominick when I fired Morris though.

  16. Eric Says:

    Rock is working on his memoirs now.

    Losing streaks for dummies.

    Ought to be a big seller.

  17. Chris Says:

    Uh jon,

    Polian made a bold move to trade for booger and actually shored up the run defense in that Super Bowl run. Did it pay off long term? No. But in a sense it was worth it bc he played exceptionally well in a Super Bowl run.

    Every gm makes bad moves. His was more I wards the latter part of his career. But you’re saying studs like Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, bob sanders, edgerin James, Dwight freeny, etc. I can go on. A lot off his later round picks developed and did well in this league. To compare him to Dom is out of this world my friend. I just named all these studs and I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Oh yeah Mathis. And that was AFter Peyton manning.

    Dom continuously made bad move after bad move. Lavonte David was a great find. But Dom was more of “every squirrel will find a good nut” once on a while and I give more credit to schiano in his talent evaluation there even though he was the worst in game adjustment/scheme planner he knew talent and how to develop it. (See how Rutgers grinded out quality prospects when he took over the program).

    Dom: signed Michael Clayton to big money. Dashon goldson after watching him get torched in coverage, to big money. Drafted mark Barron 7th overall , when his weakness was coverage. I could go on but I don’t have time to list all these mistakes. 2010 draft. 2009 draft. What’s looking like the 2011 draft minus mason foster.

  18. OB Says:


    Regardless of why people say and do, we haven’t won a playoff game since the Super Bowl and we have, until this year, had many blacked out games, so the fans may not have said what they wanted in social media but they did at the box office. As what happens with the Rays and no money they trade there best players, the Bucs are not making the money they used to and that again is the fans talking.

    I personally believe that because of replays, cost of refreshments and parking, the hassles, and the loud commercials at the stadium, it is just a matter of time until the fans at home will have to buy season TV tickets to watch the games.

  19. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Can’t totally fault the Gruden decision based on where the team was heading in 2008…the Bucs looked old, slow, and like they had reached a plateau and sliding backwards. It’s really a similar scenario to what got Lovie fired up in Chicago, sometimes for better or worse a change is needed to move forward. We have the benefit of hindsight to realize it didn’t pan out as I’m sure fans and ownership had hoped, but something had to be done to light a spark.

  20. Stevie Blart Says:

    Wow Joe,

    Your integrity as a sportswriter is completely nonexistent. Dominik was asked to comment on whether NFL front offices take into account fan opinion on players and he responded with a GENERALIZATION. He says NFL offices in general are aware of fan opinion but he doesnt state that he made decisions based solely on them. I can believe you choose to put a title like that just to get clicks and then go on to put the quote in just to cover your own ass. You’re really pathetic. Seriously.

    You really might want to check your reading and comprehension skills, and stop making stuff up. –Joe

  21. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Agree with Bonzai just like Schiano’s firing was absolutely in part a PR move to placate a hostile fanbase, Lovie’s hiring was a feel good nostalgia hire to harken back to the Dungy era. I hope the Bucs have their guy in a Lovie, a coaching carousel usually is not a good recipe for winning. That said if he doesn’t get it done in a couple years then next coach up…if fans condemned Schiano for two losing seasons then Lovie should be judged on results as well

  22. buc4lyfe Says:

    He’s so pathetic….. No wonder he only had one winning season. No wonder they paid 16 million to an injured player and gave a huge contact to a safety that’s exactly like mark baron. Hell never be a gm again, fans like productive players regardless of big names you twit. Pathetic pleaseeee don’t interview him again that just ruined my morning

  23. Chris Says:

    I’m still not all in on lovie smith just yet. He’s a very good defensive minded football coach who has lacked the offensive philosophy to win in this league. Defense gives you a chance. Even sapp and brooks said it. You need an offense. You can argue brad Johnson all you want but he threw 22 tds to 9 ints back in the day in 13 starts and in a league that didn’t gear the rules towards inflation of offensive stats. And was a pro bowler.

  24. gt40bear Says:

    Maybe he let the media, ah hem, duemig, ah hem, influence his decisions but what the fans wanted NEVER entered unto it! Evidence is the release of 55, the allowing to leave of 99, 47 and others! Don’t buy revisionist history Bucs fans!

  25. Michael Duggan Says:

    A lot of good points from the posts here and I really don’t have a clue any more than anybody else what really goes on, but I will say that one time I sat in Bruce Allen’s club box with him and watched the after game press conference with Coach Jon Gruden and he said it’s funny how much that goes on behind these doors that they don’t have a clue about……”Go Bucs”

  26. Joe Says:

    the allowing to leave of 99, 47

    Sapp leaving was Chucky’s doing.

    Bruce Allen got rid of Lynch.

  27. Hawk Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “If he refused those changes? Then I would have fired him.”

    Just like the Glazers did with Dungy. What concerns me is that Lovie ‘learned’ under Dungy.
    BTW, I agree with that entire post.

  28. Eric Says:

    Sure hope he learned under Dungy.

    Of course the man has a nine win per season average and a Super Bowl team so I think he has an excellent record in his own right.

    Hes Lovie Smith and needs to apologize to no one for it.

  29. Hawk Says:

    My POINT, Eric, is that Dungy had a Super Bowl caliber defense in ’99 and subsequently ran it into the ground because he refused to ‘allow’ an offense to be built (or refused to build one himself. whichever you prefer). Lovie hasn’t been known to have offensive powerhouses either. BTW, BIG DEAL about how many wins per year. The goal (definition of ‘absolute’ success in the NFL) is Super Bowl WINS. It is just as frustrating (and probably more so) to be in the playoffs, each year, but never win (or even go to) the Super Bowl. Were you happy in 1999 with just making it to the championship game? You were content with ‘winning seasons’ in 2000 and 2001?
    I’m ‘content’ with winning seasons ONLY when each season shows it is getting closer to the big prize.
    Both Dungy (Tampa) and Lovie (Chicago) were fired for not doing that. Can Lovie be a better coach than his mentor? Absolutely. Maybe he just hasn’t done it… yet.

  30. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Sure the Fans play a big part in things. I can remember many Tampa Fans calling for Jon Gruden’s head, and look what that got us ?
    Regardless, the past is the past, and we have what is looking like a playoff team emerging.
    And, Joe only called Mark Dominik a “rockstar” once, in this post!
    Things are looking up in Tampa, and as long as EBOLA don’t replace MRSSA in our locker room, I think this will be a very very good year for us!

  31. johnnyc Says:

    If I were Dominitwit I’d blame the fans for my incompetent decision-making as well. Better than looking in the mirror and acknowledging the useless Lackwit staring dimly at me

  32. Eric Says:


    Oh I understand your point. Its typical of the attitude many ungrateful fans have toward Tony Dungy.

    For the second year in a row a player Tony developed is going in the Hall of Fame.

    If Lovie could get this defense even close to 1999 id be dancing the jig. That was nothing less than one of the greatest defenses ever.

    Tony saved the bucs from 15 years of futility. Im eternally grateful.

  33. Hawk Says:

    You are so right, Eric. I am NOT grateful to Dungy. He was given a team that was on the rise (win/loss and talent level) and continued the up-surge until ’99. From there, his stubbornness cost the Buc players two years of their ‘prime’ in a downward spiral. Gruden saved the Bucs from 26 years of futility. BTW, Sapp and Brooks were picked and coached by Wyche/Kiffin.
    I remember Lynch saying that ,”If the Bucs lost a game, 0-3, Coach Dungy would blame the defense for allowing the FG”. That’s the kind of mentality you want in a head coach?
    I agree , with you, 100%, that a defense like the ’99 defense would be awesome, but it will be painful if Lovie doesn’t bring something better than the ’99 offense. It ‘looks’ like he will. I have skeptical-optimism. I’m hoping he convinces me and am willing to give him more than just this year to show where he can take this team.

  34. Eric Says:

    oh yeah. a team on the rise.

    No playoffs or winning seasons for 15 years.

    And I suppose all the players who said Tony was the key to turning it around are all wrong too, including the two Hall of Fame Inductees.

    what the heck do Sapp and Brooks know?

    You sir have an amazing level of football ignorance.

  35. Brandon Says:

    chris Says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 7:17 am
    Making the move to send 1st and 4th round picks for Darrelle Revis was a fan based move. Revis island to tampa bay got so much media attention it was a joke. The real football gurus like Bill Polian, called it one of the worst trades in the history of football. I never wanted Revis from the start nor Dashon Goldson for that matter.
    I stated before that trade that it would’ve been the worst in NFL history. I was right. Who goes and trades a 1st and 3rd (at the time) for a player coming off a major injury and then turns around and pays that player over 50% more than the next highest paid player at his position?

  36. Hawk Says:

    A team on the rise, yes.
    1994 season ended with a four game win streak. First time in over a decade.
    1995 season ended at 7-9. First non double-digit losing season in 14 years.
    In 1993, Wyche convinced Hardy Nickerson to come to Tampa. To me, THIS was the turning point of this franchise.
    In 1994, Wyche drafted Sapp and Brooks. Sapp, Brooks and Nickerson were the foundation of the future great defense.
    All this was done, I might add, under the Culverhouse ownership. Dungy got the luxury of the Glazers’ wallet.
    I do not argue that Dungy helped this team continue upward. I argue against the notion that he was THE start of that movement AND I contend that he also wasted, at least, two years of their prime by continuing with the same offensive philosophy and expecting different results (and ignoring the downward trend). Before Gruden was brought in, this team was demoralized.
    I, for one, would have loved to see what Wyche could have done with an open wallet.
    Those exact same players had harsh words for Dungy so what they ‘say’ means nothing.
    I’ll put my “football ignorance” up against yours any day. There is no doubt, in my mind, that your NFL background doesn’t match mine, but what we are debating here is ‘opinion’ and mine is no better or worse than yours. I’ve given the facts to support my position, let’s see yours.
    If name calling is your best retort, then the discussion is over.
    If you have facts to back your position, I am always interested in a different perspective.

  37. Stevie Blart Says:

    LOL love it when a sportwriter comes back at you with name calling. Not as creative or smart as youd think..