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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Report: Bucs to interview Falcons' Vital for GM job



New Bucs coach Lovie Smith has lined up two high-profile coordinators and, by various reports, six more assistant coaches, including former Bucs linebacker Hardy Nickerson and another former NFL head coach in Tony Sparano.

And now Wednesday, there's news of the first candidate known to interview for the open general manager job, open after the firing of Mark Dominik. According to, it's Falcons director of player personnel Lionel Vital, who just finished his first year in that position after working the previous five as assistant director of player personnel.

Vital, 50, has worked in scouting since 1990, coming up with Bill Belichick in Cleveland and then Baltimore, and later working with the Jets, Patriots and Ravens. After playing running back at Nicholls State, he was drafted by the Redskins in 1985. His only NFL game action came in 1987, when he rushed for 346 yards and two touchdowns for Washington.

Vital is one of several candidates mentioned for the Bucs job who don't have experience as a general manager -- Kansas City's Chris Ballard and Washington's Morocco Brown have also been named as possible candidates, with more direct experience with Smith on their resume.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 10:07am]


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