Bucs Draft Evaluation Included Dinner Meal Test

March 25th, 2023

“Mark, I can’t carry on this tradition.”

Joe is trying hard to keep an open mind to this gem of Bucs history dropped by former Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik on national radio.

So Dominik is the SiriusXM NFL Radio draft guru and is a regular co-host on the greatest radio channel known to man. Dominik also is an active consultant to agents and players.

He spoke this week on Sirius about a litmus test he had for a handful of college prospects when they made a “Top-30” predraft visit to One Buc Palace.

Dominik, GM from 2009 to 2013, said he preferred to bring prospects to Tampa in small groups to see how they would interact and which player would stand out from the group — positively or negatively.

Dominik explained how he staged dinners in the One Buc Palace dining room so players thought they were just hanging out by themselves, but in reality they were being watched and some got a special dinner test.

The players had servers, Dominik explained, who actually were young scouts or front office interns never seen previously by the prospects. They would evaluate how prospects interacted and they’d listen in on conversations and report what they heard.

But a more important test, per Dominik, was for the player chosen to be served a completely incorrect dinner order.

For example, if the guy ordered steak, broccoli, potatoes and a salad off the menu, he instead would get grilled shrimp skewers over rice with Brussels sprouts and an ear of corn.

Dominik was adamant he didn’t want the player who said nothing about the messed up order and simply ate his meal. He wanted the player who respectfully spoke up quickly and asked for what he ordered.

That guy, per Dominik, is the kind of player a roster needs.

“What happens if the guy doesn’t say anything? Well, I don’t want that guy,” Dominik said. “I mean, I’ll still take him, but I’m not happy about it because you know what, if he sees something going wrong in the locker room, is he going to say something? Or he just going to be like, ‘Ehh, that’s their problem.’ You want the guy that’s respectful about it, like, ‘Excuse me. I ordered the steak and not the seafood.”

Joe gets Dominik’s approach, but Joe thinks this dinner test is problematic at best.

Suppose the player is delivered the incorrect meal, but it looks delicious and he decides to roll with it. Is that a reason not to draft a guy? ‘Sorry, son, you fell to the fourth round because you stuck with the crab-stuffed chicken and sweet potato fries.’

Dominik’s test speaks to how hard — too hard? — teams will try to figure out the mentality of a draft prospect.

Years ago, Dominik spoke about how he had no concern picking up then-rookie running back LeGarrette Blount off the street after he was cut by the Titans — because Blount was overly kind to cafeteria workers at One Buc Palace during his predraft visit.

Listen to Best In Class with JoeBucsFan.com draft guru Sean Sullivan. His recent breakdown of 20 running back prospects if worth your time. Click below.

58 Responses to “Bucs Draft Evaluation Included Dinner Meal Test”

  1. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Fortunately, he didn’t base his decisions on the amount of gratuity they left.

  2. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Thats about the stupidest test I have ever heard no wonder Dominic stuck. Sometimes the guys may be starving and just eat it whatever it is

  3. Crickett Baker Says:

    Wow, this is so interesting! I would love to know more specific stories about this.

  4. Chris Says:

    Yikes, no wonder his picks stunk.

  5. Letsbucinggo Says:

    I bet Broderick Jones, Duane Jones or Darnell Wright would woof that chow down before they knew if thats what they ordered.

  6. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    And you wonder why team was a complete shizz show on and off the field during his time as gm bush league

  7. Winny Testaverde Says:

    This is odd at best…passive aggressive at a minimum. This is what happens when a glorified mail clerk with no athletic background is over-promoted. I picture a similar personality type as DirtStar Dominik…our very own Hot Rod Mulch. Hot Rod no doubt pulls similar stunts when rounding out his flight attendant crew @ Spirit Airlines.

  8. Jimbo Says:

    That is the opposite of what a team needs. You want the guy who isn’t a d**k to the server. You want the guy who is NOT emotional. You want the guy that can change at a moment’s pace. No wonder dominic is no longer in the NFL. He was worse the JL is now.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Now we learn how Dominick failed with so many draft picks…..worst GM in Bucs history if not NFL history.

  10. SufferingSince76 Says:

    What a maroon. And it explains a lot of his lousy picks.

  11. Voice of Truth Says:

    Freeman, McCoy, Clayborn, Barron

    He hit on 1 of 4 top picks – Geraldine

    The other 3 were all very bad reaches / way over drafted

    Let’s not even talk about his second rounders…scary bad

    Of every player he ever drafted they have a total of 9 pro bowls – 6 by McCoy alone – 5 years of drafts – he gets credit for LVD and WillG but also the Molly Hamster….

    Not Someone anyone should take advice from

  12. Duane Says:

    Why do commenters here think that telling the server they ordered something different is a dick move, or constitutes abuse of the server? Sure, it can be used as an excuse to be abusive, but a polite correction is always welcome and expected.

    But I agree this is not a very useful test for potential draft picks. If you wanna know if the guy is a dick, just ask his college coaches, or better yet ask your own scouts who’ve met the player on his own turf, along with teammates and coaches, and when he’s not necessarily on his best behavior at an NFL top 30 visit.

  13. Greg Says:

    I have always been annoyed by interviewers that think they are clever. The 100 dollar bill in the playbook thing springs to mind as well.

    The problem is YOUR confirmation bias is playing into the answer too heavily.

    Maybe they thought about ordering the shrimp and were torn. Some of these kids come from poor backgrounds and wouldn’t order the shrimp because they have never even SEEN one.

    You don’t know. You are looking at it from your perspective as a rich white man. No wonder we sucked back then with bush league thinking like that.

  14. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    That is an old old hiring legend…Henry Ford wouldn’t hire someone if they salted their food BEFORE tasting it. He thought that they didn’t evaluate the situation FIRST. This seems to be a twist on that

  15. Bojim Says:

    I like shrimp.

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    Also what if you got a player who didn’t like any of the crappy fancy food being offered and was just going to get McDonalds once the dumb dinner was over. That’d be me. I’d go undrafted because of that? Terrible person, this Dominick.

  17. Redeemer Says:

    Joe, agreed. I can’t think of how many times I’ve ordered a meal, only to see them deliver something more appetizing to another table. I think it’s foolish to eliminate a kid from draft consideration on that basis. Now I’m hungry. Bought myself some crabmeat and scallops. Think I’ll do baked stuffed scallops, with a homemade stuffing. Maybe a baked potato or some rice pilaf and a salad.

  18. Trask To The Future Says:


  19. Joe Says:

    What did Myron Lewis order?

  20. WillieG Says:

    I always use the dinner test when I take a woman out for the first time. I don’t set anything up, I just watch how she treats the staff. If there’s a problem, that’s great. Let’s see how she responds. But I wouldn’t do that with a group. You know, like if I had a harem.

  21. D-Rok Says:


    OH MY I love me some scallops, and get them at least once a month. Quick, true story: So I moved from Cali to Boston in 2002 to look for work in my field and live with my sister until I found a job. My sister’s husband worked at Logan and his hobby was scuba-diving and hand-fishing scallops and lobster. He sold lobsters on the side for a few extra bucks. Sorry, “lobstah.” Anyway, a few times, he brought home fresh scallops and lobstah, and we would have a seafood-fest about once a month. Clarified butter was a must to dip the seafood into. It was divine!

    Now, I’m hungry, and Mrs. D-Rok is out shopping and nowhere to be found, so I guess I must forage for myself. Eeeks, I’m gonna starve. LOL.

  22. D-Rok Says:

    As to this story: I guess the NFL can fill in for the FBI if they ever have a shortage of agents.

    “Don’t be taping me, bro! Geez, I just wanna play me some ball, not be interrogated on the sly by the KGB.”

    I mean, I went through extensive background checks by the Gov before I entered into service of the US Army, only superceded by the background checks I endured as a candidate for the US Air Force academy. That was stressful. They interviewed my dog, yo!!!

  23. lambchop Says:

    This is idiotic. Apples to Oranges. If a guy gets the wrong meal that’s his problem, how does that correlate to a locker room problem with other guys? The same guy might correct his meal and say nothing in the locker room.

    Why are we getting lessons from a failed GM?

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    Clearly, it worked, and the results speak for themselves.

  25. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Magical thinking nonsense. LOL

  26. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    I guess that explains Da’Quan Bowers.

  27. Dooley Says:

    Mark Dominik was over-employed in his time as Bucs GM. I get using it as a barometer for a prospects demeanor, but the bias of already having a “type” of answer you’re looking to see kind of defeats the purpose and all the different ways of reacting to receiving a wrong order gets corrected. Now I totally get why Mark Barron didn’t give up his set to Brian Price back in the day, and why Price decided to swing on Barron because of it.

  28. Ken Kistner Says:

    I think we have all suffered through this “test” intentionally or not. If someone, or some organization is treating you to a fancy dinner especially if that person or organization might be asked for their opinion on you in the near future would you really take a chance on creating a negative “vibe” or just deal with it for an evening?

  29. johnnymoon Says:

    Explains the terrible picks ..I dont care how what his tape looks like he stick with the shirimp over steak…LT would of prob been so high he would of ate anything and Dom would of passed .

  30. Scott Says:

    Mark domanic is completely incompetent at being a Gm and talking about it. It’s no wonder the buccaneers didn’t win when he was the Gm

  31. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Did Mark Dominick work as a server at one point in his life? Honestly I would have ate it if it looked good. It’s a business meeting with free food. Why complain and make the dinner about yourself.

  32. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Honestly though if it was a private dinner with the GM is would say something. An informal dinner with other players? I would roll with it.

  33. EEK Says:


  34. D-Rome Says:

    This was not a good test and Dominick was not a good GM.

  35. Crickett Baker Says:

    Salting one’s food before tasting it does have merit, however. My father used it when hiring associates and it seemed to work.

  36. Redeemer Says:

    Brother D-Rok, I live in Portland Maine. Those diver scallops are sea candy, absolutely love them too. Got a batch this morning. I love em deep fried, but I makes me own seafood stuffing with rock crabmeat and Ritz crackers. Just putting em in the oven buddy. Wish we could exchange email, I’d send you some.

  37. mrd Says:

    .. Seems prospective GM’s should should be asked if they approve of the imbecilic test for only a whining jerk would complain about a free meal at a football facility.

  38. Kalind Says:

    That is WILDLY faulty logic. Woweeee. Was that vetted by the team shrink? If so, yikes. And this is coming from a years long Dominick defender. But holy smokes. No. Just no.

  39. Miller5252 Says:

    No wonder he’s not with a team anymore. People try to be too clever for their own good. I get trying to find the next superstar, but good grief man…. Seems like something you can figure by talking to people and the kid.

  40. Redeemer Says:

    Joe, no more threads about food please, I’ve eaten myself into a diabetic coma. Mrs. Redeemer yelled at me and I almost pissed my pants.

  41. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Sounds more like a reality show to me.

  42. GumboIsForWinner Says:

    Well he can’t block anybody but he’s pretty good at handling an incorrect order at a restaurant.

    Outside of extreme reactions (i.e. he stabs the server with his steak knife), this test is worthles..

  43. Buccos Says:

    This sounds about right for Dummynik. Why don’t you just walk up to the player and b!tch slap him and see how he reacts?!?

  44. Goatfarmer Says:

    Do the opposite of anything that moron ever suggests. What a bozo. Please, we went through enough pain when he was the failed GM, let us heal.

  45. Goatfarmer Says:

    Redeemer – LOL, my coma was not exactly food induced, but hydrate ! Hydrate!

  46. Redeemer Says:

    Think I’ll make ceviche out of the left over scallops. I love thinly sliced red onion in mine.

  47. Goatfarmer Says:

    Redeemer – many of us want to marry you. Drooling.

  48. Goatfarmer Says:

    And everyone thinks of Mark Dumbestnik as what he is – an over-promoted abject failure who set the team back 10 years trying to “rebuild.”
    The dude should switch to women’s tennis or something, everything he says about football is stupid. But he does give access so there is that.

  49. Crickett Baker Says:

    I adore scallops but I have never had a stuffed one and I have no idea how I would stuff one. Sounds yummy but I can’t figure out how stuffing would stay inside.

  50. garro Says:

    Makes me how Sapp would have done with this “test”
    Yeah ….I didn’t think so….

  51. Frank Pillow Says:

    Mark Barron = courtesy incarnate

  52. Mr. Editor Says:

    Now we know why Thompson Twins-lovin’ ex-GM Mark Dominik hired Coach Schiano. I wonder if he did the same test with coaches. Coach Schiano would not have hesitated to send his food back if it wasn’t the right temperature.

  53. Brandon Says:

    He had no problem with Blount but still let him go undrafted. Doug Martin, two years later, must’ve set the cafeteria on fire when he sent his dinner back and asked for some Molly.

  54. Goatfarmer Says:

    This thread is pure gold.

    And Dumbanik is more moron than we even knew.

  55. Rod Munch Says:

    garro Says:
    March 26th, 2023 at 3:59 am
    Makes me how Sapp would have done with this “test”


    While I think this test is retarded, Sapp would have aced it. You really think he’d have sat there quietly and ate some cucumbers instead of steak? I don’t think so.

  56. RustyRhinos Says:

    So did Da’Quan Bowers have a better dining experience than Cam Jorden?

  57. EA Says:

    LMAO, what a tool. Lets see who eats the fastest, lets draft that guy.

    Table manners make a hell of a football player.

  58. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Ah, so how’d that work out for you Mark?

    Talk about creepy.

    Did he take all the toilet paper from the restroom and then watch how they reacted to that?

    Very unprofessional. No wonder the Bucs stunk when he was GM. If I were a player and found out that had been done to me I would be running for the door the first chance I got.