Does Licht Believe In The “Vacuum” Approach?

April 19th, 2016
A former Bucs GM has a message for Jason Licht and his NFL peers

A former Bucs GM has a message for Jason Licht and his NFL peers

Too many fans think former Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik absolutely sucked at the draft.

Joe doesn’t get it; just look what 2012 produced. It’s not Dominik’s fault Greg Schiano didn’t get the most out of his talent and was run from the NFL. History might label the Bucs’ 2012 draft haul the best in the league for that year.

Nowadays, Dominik is a very busy draft and Xs-and-Os analyst for BSPN and SiriusXM NFL Radio. And Dominik is fantastic at his new jobs.

Yesterday on NFL Radio, Dominik talked about how general managers must force themselves to “stay stuck in a vacuum” when evaluating college prospects. It’s simply wrong, Dominik said, to get influenced by trends from a player’s college program.

In other words, don’t get caught thinking all Clemson defensive ends are garbage, or thinking Wisconsin offensive linemen are special, or believing DeForest Buckner might have issues because his college teammate at Oregon, Dion Jordan, was a massive bust as the No. 3 overall pick in 2013. Dominik believes you evaluate players on their own film, talent, off-field habits, etc.

Co-host Bruce Murray said it’s nearly impossible to ignore those trends when considering a player. Dominik reiterated it takes strong will, and he said it was a rule he followed. (Insert the Da’Quan Bowers screamers here.)

It’s an interesting take by Dominik during the growing era of analytics. The stat nerds must have strong opinions on denying clear trends from college programs.

Bucs GM Jason Licht has grown Tampa Bay’s analytics department and believes in the value of the data freaks. So will Licht stay within “the vacuum,” as Dominik calls it? Or will Licht strongly consider, for example, the NFL performances of Clemson defensive ends that preceded Shaq Lawson or Kevin Dodd, two top pass rushers in this year’s draft?

It’s a fascinating debate.

Joe believes Licht will indeed try to stay in “the vacuum.” After all, Licht is the guy who ignored the NFL pasts of previous Florida State/Jimbo Fisher quarterbacks and drafted America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston. Licht also was the guy who snatched Ali Marpet in the second round, a first for a Division III lineman.

Those picks proved Licht wasn’t about to be influenced by a college program’s history, or lack thereof.

43 Responses to “Does Licht Believe In The “Vacuum” Approach?”

  1. Capt. Tim Says:

    So thats why that idiot Dom kept picking lousy DEs from Clemson!!

    Anything Dom says, do the opposite. Guy was worse GM in NFL history

    Espn was BSPN, but they are “FantStic ” now that they’ve hired Dom?
    Futher proof of how bad they suck

  2. d-roca Says:

    Sounds like youre in a vacuum if you think dominik was the worst gm ever. Plenty plenty worse gms in the history of football. Im just glad, so far, licht looks much better than him. Go bucs

  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    I remember….

    Notre Damn had a good run on Quarterbacks
    Penn St. had a great run on Linebackers
    USC & Michigan had a great run on Offensive line man
    Florida St. & Alabama had a terrible run on Defensive Lineman

    Now its Clemson’s turn.

  4. LargoSamIM Says:

    Yeah… right joe(s)… 2012 was a banner draft for the Bucs…. drafted a guy in the first round that they let o for basicaslly nothing three years later and in doin so PASSED on Luke Kuechky who is off to a HOF career ! Good example, Joe(s) !

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Reality is that certain schools play tougher competition. Although each player’s talents must eventually stand on their own merits, players who excel playing against tougher competition should most likely stand out to GMs and scouts more than players whose college experience is playing against softer competition. Is it possible to find someone like Ali Marpet at the smaller schools who can succeed at the NFL level? Of course. It just seems to be harder (and riskier?) than finding a player like say Zack Martin who excelled at Notre Dame.

  6. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Notre Dame
    Daryle Lamonica
    Joe Theismann
    Joe Montana

    No Doubt the Best Quarterback Run in NFL history.

  7. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ron Mix
    Ron Yary
    Anthony Munoz
    Bruce Matthews
    Roy Foster
    Don Mosebar
    Keith Van Horne
    Marvin Powell
    Tony Boselli

    No Doubt – The Best Offensive Lineman Run in NFL History

  8. 1sparkybuc Says:

    You also have to take into account the coaches involved with the player. Great coaches can make mediocre players appear to be better than they are.

  9. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    There’s a reason Dominik hasn’t received any job offers as an NFL GM since he was fired. Even his boy Hickey got canned in Miami after they realized his Dominik-inspired abilities left a lot to be desired. Being a below-average GM who hit on a player every once in awhile is nothing to be proud of. His best role is as a PR guy or television personality, and that’s it. He’ll never be a GM in the league again.

  10. Wombat Says:

    Ummm, who hired Greg Schiano??? Saying the coach you hired didn’t get the best use of the players is just passing the Buc…… Dominik’s hire was the Glazer’s promoting a guy who worked his ass off for the organization. It just put him out of his league. It happens in the workplace all the time. Not Dominik’s fault, just he is not a GM yet. Maybe the Browns might hire him one day…

  11. James Walker Says:

    Bruce Allen can’t draft beer.

  12. d-roca Says:

    Lol. Good one. N probably true. He should of drafted beer instead of paying for all those old ex raider free agents

  13. Deminion Says:

    Bruce Allen cant draft beer… lol that made my morning

  14. Dooshlarue Says:

    Come on now guys……if Joe says “The Rock Star” is great……it is a fact.
    Just like when Joe said Johnny Foosball was a sure thing………oh wait…….never mind.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Dominick had 5 drafts… I guess maybe he scratched out one good one out of those….
    Joe has managed to rally JBF readers on this issue……as with Johnny Football, most all of us disagree!!!

  16. Joe Says:

    Bruce Allen can’t draft beer.

    Good one!

  17. The Buc Realist Says:

    The pop-star is so bad, I am not even sure he works for Bspn, I am starting to think that he pays them to be on, like an informercial!!!!!!


    Its time for a Poll!!!! We want to decide who is the worst Buc GM of all time!!!

  18. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Until Dominik gets hired by another NFL team, the proof is in the pudding. Matt Millen also worked for the network after he was canned.

    Hell, Millen drafted a Hall of Famer. We can all bend an argument with fruitless facts.

  19. SB with Jameis Says:

    I think we should re-word our currency to instead read: “In Licht we trust”

  20. BucTrooper Says:

    “History might label the Bucs’ 2012 draft haul the best in the league for that year… It’s not Dominik’s fault Greg Schiano didn’t get the most out of his talent….”

    I had to go back and look that up…. did I miss an awesome draft?

    THAT WAS THE MARK BARRON YEAR??!?!? WTH JOE???? I am now FIRMLY convinced Dominik is some kind of family friend that you can make an excuse like that for his drafting. “Oh the COACH didn’t do enough with the FINE TALENT he brought in.” I don’t care if Barron is producing for another team – he drafted a SAFETY 7 overall to PLAY SAFETY – PERIOD. It was a REACH pick for a questionable impact position.

    Sorry Joe. I love the site and I’ll come here until I type my fingers off, but your credibility took a hit with that one.

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bucs 2012 Draft Class
    Round 1, Pick 7 (7) Mark Barron SS
    Round 1, Pick 31 (31) Doug Martin RB
    Round 2, Pick 26 (58) Lavonte David OLB
    Round 5, Pick 5 (140) Najee Goode ILB
    Round 6, Pick 4 (174) Keith Tandy CB
    Round 7, Pick 5 (212) Michael Smith RB
    Round 7, Pick 26 (233) Drake Dunsmore TE

    We got Martin and David out of it, and that is all. 2 of 7 picks worked out. That is not a good draft. We probably would have been a playoff contender by 2014.

    Imagine if we had taken Luke instead of Baron.

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The thing is…nearly EVERYONE here knew Luke should have been the pick at the time.

  23. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I don’t know if BUC fans will ever get over the fact that we took Mark “bust” Barron over arguably the best MLB in the game in Luke Keuchley. Even before we knew what kind of players they were gonna turn out be we knew right then it was the wrong move.

    One of the worst decisions in Buccaneer history. And that says alot.

    Jumping back in the 1st and grabbing the Douggernaut and stealing LVD in the second rnd almost makes up for that terrible mistake, but not quite.

    That was the NFL version of the Rays taking Tim Beckam over Buster Posey. Maybe not as bad, but Two decisions Tampa Bay Fans will never forget unfortunately.

  24. Big Marlon B Says:

    you know what REALLY hurts even beyond passing on Kuechly in 2012??

    in this video Joe posted here yesterday,

    Dominik explained that when it was time for them to make their 5th round pick, the top 3 players on their board were QB Ryan Lindley, LB Najee Goode (who didn’t even make it to the final 53), and some CB named Josh Norman. seeing the Bucs end up with a guy who barely made it out of training camp and a guy who didn’t last 3 years, and a division rival end up with 2 All Pros, that’s really a kick in the nards.

    now i will admit that nobody could have predicted Norman exploding into the player that he has become. but i remember there was a VERY strong buzz around him after he dominated during Senior Bowl Week. yea they had Talib and just threw a ton of money at Eric Wright, but they were both well known to be headcases, and there was no depth whatsoever behind them. that year ended with the Bucs trotting out the fearsome foursome of Leonard, EJ, Danny, and LeQuan.

    think of how much would be different. they would have had a filthy defense these last few years, and Schiano would probably still be the coach. but then again, we wouldn’t have had the Lovie debacle and Jameis wouldn’t be here. it’s just fun to consider all the factors that lead to the present day.

  25. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    “BuccaneerBonzai Says:
    April 19th, 2016 at 9:37 am

    The thing is…nearly EVERYONE here knew Luke should have been the pick at the time.”

    I was definitely screaming at the screen for Luke

  26. pick6 Says:

    judging players based on school and position is not analytics, it’s a logical fallacy. every college roster completely turns over in 4 or 5 years, and 50% of coaches won’t last that long at their program. add in that ebb and flow across other programs and conferences, and there is almost no common ground between daquan bowers’ or gaines adams’ clemson and the clemson that went to the title game last year

  27. James Says:

    The Norman story is a good point but lets consider the coach at the time. He would have probably crushed Normans spirit and if you haven’t noticed, Norman is turning in to a nutcase because of his new found fame. Of course this all speculation, Norman could have been a superstar and saved Schianos job.

  28. bee Says:

    Pure click bait. I’m convinced that Dominik saved the Joe’s first born from a house fire, that’s why they ride his d!ck so hard. 2 out of 7 picks that year amounted to anything and it’s only the coaches fault? And who hired the coach? Joe’s, cmon! Your reasoning holds no weight. As countless others have mentioned, he doesn’t work in the NFL anymore. That’s how stellar he is. He sucks! Period. He didn’t even do the contracts so in reality he was completely worthless which is why he spouts nonsense on espn. Your fav GM wanted to draft Mariota over Jameis, don’t see you bringing that fact up. I’m so glad he’s gone. Too bad he couldn’t get hired in our division so in the next few years we’d be beating the breaks off the team that hired him. Sheesh…

  29. unbelievable Says:

    Haha 2 good picks + 1 decent player that was taken way too high for his level of play.

    Best draft of 2012? Get outta here Joe.

  30. salish_seamonster Says:

    Joe says:
    “Dominik believes you evaluate players on their own film, talent, off-field habits, etc.”

    I think that’s what all GMs believe. Valuing the coincidence of failed Clemson DEs is called superstition. Unless you can demonstrate some kind of causality between the school and busts or successes, the history is irrelevant.

  31. Tampa Tony Says:

    Dom must’ve given the Joes Rachel Watson’s phone number to get this much love for doing so little

    Dude was awful

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    What they said.

    I’m pretty sure that Dom has pictures in his safe of one of the Joes with a tranny or a billygoat or something….

  33. BucTrooper Says:

    I know there’s a Joe/Dominik connection. I can feel it deep in my midichlorians.

  34. The Buc Realist Says:


    The pop-star always played “nice’ with local media, so he could blame ERRRR get his side of the story out there!!!!

  35. Tom S. Says:

    Aw, they love you Joe, they really love you! Ha.

    All it took was constant reminding of Dominiks many failures and people are now in agreement that he was a bum, as if the 28-52 record wasn’t enough of an indication, or the fact the team was even worse the year after (with mostly his players).

    Dominik had 5 drafts, you like to pick at one. Let’s also remember that Matt Millen drafted Calvin Johnson, so even blind GM’s can stumble upon a good player or two if you give them enough chances.

  36. Tom S. Says:

    BTW can anyone imagine how Bill Polian must feel if he has to share a set with Dominik? It’s would be like pairing Peyton Manning with Johnny Manziel on a discussion about how QB’s in the NFL.

  37. buc4life1979 Says:

    What is with your undying unwavering man love for Dominik? If it WASN’T for Schiano, he would’ve gone down as THE WORST GM in NFL history, apart from Gerald Mccoy literally falling into his lap at #3, what else can you claim Dominik should be given credit for draftwise away from his ONLY successful 2 drafts alongside Schiano?

  38. BucTrooper Says:

    In his tenure, who got a second contract? Who were the keepers?

    Luke Stocker
    Mike Williams (gone the year after he signed)

    So Dominik averaged finding <1 long-term player per draft. and Joe says it's the coach who didn't do anything with the TALENT?

    How many of those schlubs are still in the league?

    Mark Dominik was the worst GM in Bucs history – period. End of story. The absolute worst.

  39. Trubucfan22 Says:

    We still have Keith Tandy to! Can’t forget that monster.

  40. BucTrooper Says:

    Look, just because Keith picks up towels and windexes the mirrors, that doesn’t make him an NFL player….

  41. pick6 Says:

    @Buc Trooper – Bruce Allen trumps Dominick. Yes, he was doing Gruden’s bidding, but ultimately he made the roster older and steadily less talented, while drafting zilch. He was a good but not great cap manager who never seemed to sign talented enough players to make really awful contract mistakes on.

  42. BucTrooper Says:

    @Pick6 I don’t really consider Bruce Allen a true “GM” insofar that his big claim to fame was the fact that (and this gets lost in the hate) he was a MASTER cap manager. I know you said “good, not great” but he got some bloated contracts under the cap year in and year out and when FA signings didn’t work out, it never seemed like the Bucs were strapped for cash. Yes, I will agree Gruden called the shots on the draft and there were misses, but I didn’t see the “reaches” like Dominik had.

    Ironically, I think Dominik’s and Allen’s biggest mistake overall both involved the same player!

    Allen drafted Michael Clayton (w/ Stephen Jackson still on the board).
    Dominik EXTENDED Michael Clayton w/ $10M guaranteed.

  43. Capt. Tim Says:

    Worst. GM. In History. Of. NFL

    Only Joe disputes this. For reasons that have yet to be discovered
    At this point, its gotten so bad- that we dont want to know why. It must be horrible