April 6th, 2019

Talks NFL espionage.

Sometimes Joe is convinced NFL types have read way too many Tom Clancy novels.

That’s what Joe thought of last night watching “Total Access” on NFL Network with special guest analyst former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik, who has been there much of this week.

Last night the panel was discussing ways NFL teams gather intelligence on players in the draft.

Dominik, who was schooled by Bruce Almighty with the Bucs, a truly paranoid, Nixonian-like individual, let loose with a doozy about the extent to which NFL teams will try to con people for player intel. For Dominik, this included fake lunches.

Of course, this time of the year, teams host up to 30 players at their facilities for private interviews and board sessions. It was at one of these settings Dominik confessed to one of his biggest CIA-like stunts.

Dominik said he liked to bring in at least four or five (or more) potential targets to One Buc Palace at the same time. There, the group would be served lunch at the team’s dining room. But this is where the charade kicked in. Many of the kitchen staff and waiters were not really staffers or waiters. In fact, they were Bucs scouts posing as wait staff and kitchen help.

After brief pleasantries, Dominik and whoever was in his entourage would excuse themselves while the wait staff/Bucs scouts continued to serve rounds of food and soft drinks. There, scouts would monitor how the players behaved among themselves and how they treated the staff. The players of course fully unaware that the staffers were scouts.

This was a ploy, Dominik said, to find out if there were any bad eggs in the group or any Eddie Haskells who would behave like gentlemen in front of Dominik but treat the other players, staff and scouts like dogs once Dominik was out of sight. The way Dominik talked, it was almost as if the Bucs were trying to dig up dirt and intel on other teams as they were studying film of the players. It sounded, well, obsessive.

While listening to Dominik, Joe thought of the time Dominik told the story of how the team was interested in Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the 2012 draft. However, Dominik heard rumors that Blackmon was partial to a bottle.

Armed with these rumors, Dominik dispatched a young scout to Stillwater, Okla. The scout still looked as if he was an undergrad. So the scout wore Oklahoma State gear to blend in with the crowd and hung out at various known popular watering holes in Stillwater to stake the place out and look for Blackmon.

Sure enough, Blackmon was no stranger to these gin joints and it was enough that it spooked Dominik who took Blackmon off his draft board. Blackmon was drafted by the Jags two spots ahead of the Bucs at No. 5. Blackmon basically drank himself out of the league.

Years ago, Dominik also told the story of how the graciousness and down-to-earth nature of LeGarrette Blount to kitchen staff (scouts?) on his pre-draft visit to Tampa led the Bucs to signing him as an undrafted free agent.

Joe knows of no industry where employees are more paranoid than NFL types, with the possible exception of Secret Service agents.

26 Responses to “Intelligence”

  1. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    If only he was as good at assessing talent as he was at character he’d still be the GM.

  2. Negative Nancy Says:

    Interesting article Joe

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    Too bad nothing Dominick did ever worked. I guess the closest would be lvd but he’s nothing special. He sealed the bucs fate for a decade that fateful night he choose cancer93. Team has never stood a chance since then. I appreciate Dominick’s efforts with veterans and he’s a hell of a dresser but football is a completely foreign subject to him. Workers at wendys achieve the same level of football expertise as the fools at one buc circus tent. Matter of fact, I’m convinced the old drive thru crew from Fowler McDonald’s could produce better results than glazers have outside of Grudens glory year

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    Sounds like a smart way to ferret out the real player personas.

  5. Locked In Says:

    Eddie Haskell, lol!

  6. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Spandau Ballet-lovin’ ex-GM Mark Dominik was clearly consulting “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception” when deciding to hand over the franchise to Josh Freeman. Talk about an exploding cigar!

  7. Locked In Says:

    If anyone looks like Eddie Haskell, it’s Dominic

  8. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    “Well HELLO, Mrs. Cleaver.
    My, you look lovely today.”

  9. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If only he would of had someone follow Josh Freeman throughout south Tampa.

  10. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    ^ Would YOU want to follow Josh through South Tampa, Dewey?
    No thanks! 😉

  11. SB Says:

    “Ward, I think you were a little hard on the Beaver last night!”

  12. DooshLaRue Says:


    Ha ha….. Hollywood Knights!

  13. Buc believer Says:

    Getting ANY football advice or even listening to Domineks takes on who a football team should draft or the direction a team should good like getting beauty tips and diet tips from Rosie O’Donnell.

  14. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Dominik and intelligence should never be associated with each other

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Now we know why Dominick gets all the love…’s the inside scoop he provides (sarcasm)…..

  16. Buc1987 Says:


  17. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Josh Freeman says hold my beer

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    Joe’s you should have a who’s the better GM poll….”

    Dumbnik or Lite!

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    Instead of using scouts and stuff they could have just asked the staff if any of the guys there were dicks or not.

    Also Warren Sapp was notoriously a dick to people – and I couldn’t care less. I kind of want my stars, at least some of them, to not act like normal people.

  20. Joe Says:

    Talk about an exploding cigar!


  21. Arian Nation Says:

    Eddie Haskell = OJ Simpson

    He went a little hard with the Cleaver.

  22. Captain Dan Lawrence Says:

    Obviously a slow news cycle Joe! If you spent have as much time being positive as you do mocking people, regular people would appreciate your work more.

  23. Joe Says:

    Obviously a slow news cycle Joe! If you spent have as much time being positive as you do mocking people, regular people would appreciate your work more.


    “Regular people” seem to like Joe given Joe’s traffic numbers compared to lesser sites. And why should Joe cheerlead for a team that has the longest playoff drought of any NFC team, has the worst home record of any NFC team in the post-Chucky era and but for two seasons since Chucky was fired, have been anchored in Buccaneers Cove (last place in the NFC South)?

    If you want spin, that’s why exists, a site with less traffic than Joe.

    Maybe that’s why Joe is so successful? Joe keeps it real, you know, like for “regular people”

  24. pick6 Says:

    certain positions, you’re looking for well-mannered guys who understand what it takes for people to want to work with you. other positions\roles, you just want a guy who wants to obliterate the dude in front of him on sundays and spends his whole year being ready for that goal. you want to keep in mind who you’re scouting for because you don’t need or want all 53 players to be the same type of guy. if my guard is abrasive or confrontational, i might not like it but i have to understand that the QB might appreciate how that manifests on gameday

    as another poster mentioned, warren sapp might have failed this contrived test spectacularly

  25. pick6 Says:

    joe is successful – more successful than others from a traffic standpoint – because joe understands the info addiction that plagues all sports fans and your format caters to chronic visitors looking for new content. it was a great business move to understand and replicate the PFT model ((actually, Joe was not even a PFT reader when this site was launched and the site format was created. Not sure why you’re making things up. –Joe)) of being a clearinghouse and commentary point for other people’s content. personally i don’t think JBF is “better” than the creators of original web content that make your commentary possible, but i appreciate the legwork.

    I appreciate your role in getting me bucs content, but it’s not lost on me that more than half of your articles are responses to other original content that fans are not willing to wait or search for. You can crow about the traffic at or other sites as much as you wish – it’s your website – but more than a little of your traffic comes from side commentary on original reporting from Scott Smith, Jenna Laine, Peter King, and an army of others who don’t get the traffic from buc fans that you do for repackaging their work. Joe hears this, but it is misguided at the core. Joe’s role here from Day 1 is still the same. Deliver Bucs-related stuff Joe finds interesting and comment on it. Period. Readers are here for Joe’s opinion primarily. That’s always been the engine of this website. Joe just got lucky that fans appreciate it. That evolved into Joe reporting on the Bucs while maintaining the standard of only sharing what Joe finds interesting. It’s really not more complicated than that. The “crowing” or “bragging” you reference really isn’t about being better, only Joe making sure readers here are not mis-led by commenters regarding the credibility and reach of the website.–Joe Fans are here you never fail to attribute so there’s nothing disingenuous about what you do, other than bragging about the eyeballs you get from citing that content

  26. Brandon Says:

    Blount didn’t sign as an UDFA with the Bucs. He was with the Titans. They cut him and the Bucs put in a claim on him.