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Mr. Laz
07-14-2005, 09:51 PM
Is Pioli campaigning for Giants' GM job?
John Czarnecki / FOXSports.com
Posted: 1 hour ago

Guilt by association.

That's the buzz within the New York Giants, a team that's been keeping track of the many articles recommending the hiring of Scott Pioli once Giant GM Ernie Accorsi retires.

Giants vice president and general manager Ernie Accorsi, seen here with coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning, has not stated publicly that he is thinking about retirement at all. (Bill Kostroun / Associated Press)

If Giants co-owner Wellington Mara asked, I probably would say hire Pioli, too.

But the word within the Mara family is that they suspect Pioli, the top personnel man of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, is actually campaigning through some New York and New England columnists and commentators for a position that really isn't available. New York is a proud franchise, flagship franchise and there probably isn't a nicer, player-friendly owner than Wellington Mara. Co-owner Robert Tisch, who is battling cancer, is also one of the sport's best guys.

Pioli, the reigning Executive of the Year, as voted by his peers, is the right-hand man for Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The two have admirably worked together to give New England the best possible talent on the field and the results are obvious: three Super Bowls in the last four seasons. The only question is how much of that executive trophy belongs to Belichick?

NFC East Player Tracker


Pioli, whose contract with the Patriots expires after the 2006 NFL Draft, has been linked to several teams in the past two seasons. He was considered the top candidate with the Cleveland Browns until Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the league and Browns' ownership that he wasn't available. The Seattle Seahawks asked for permission to speak with Pioli earlier this year and Pioli announced that he was staying in New England. He wants to honor his contract and then see what jobs may be available.

Of course, this is how men advance and get hired in the NFL. Football writers sing their praises and owners read and listen. It's a huge part of the process, maybe bigger than listening to a consulting team. Word of mouth has opened many a door in the NFL.

But the Maras have been around a long time and see no need to be bombarded with recommendations. They know and understand the football landscape. They know Pioli probably is an astute personnel man, but they don't need to be told he's the only one worthy of being hired.

The Giants have a history of being a tight family.

NFL OFF-SEASON

They stuck with the late George Young when some thought he was nuts to promote a linebackers coach named Bill Parcells. And they stood by Young when Parcells won and won and attempted to grab all the power.

The bottom line is that Pioli is hurting his chances for a Giants' job if the team discovers he was leading the publicity campaign to hire him.

POOR EXAMPLE: Two weeks after telling hundreds of NFL rookies at the San Diego symposium that he had cleaned up his act and was working things out with his wife, Miami tight end Randy McMichael was arrested on two misdemeanor charges resulting from another altercation with his wife, Cawanna, last Saturday in Georgia.

This arrest marked McMichael's second in 13 months involving his wife. However, the charges in the first offense were dropped last summer.

The league defends the use of veteran speakers like McMichael at the symposium. The NFL wants the vets to tell their troubled stories while trying to educate the first-year players from making the same mistakes. Besides McMichael, ex-Raider Darrell Russell, who has had a history of drug abuse and is currently serving an indefinite suspension, was also one of the speakers.

McMichael set a Miami record with 73 receptions for a tight end. He set another record by getting arrested within 12 days of saying he and his wife had quit fighting.


Notes and Thoughts

Everyone was wrong when they said that USC defensive tackle Manuel Wright would go no later than the third round in Thursday's supplemental draft. Wright, who has tremendous upside, cost the Dolphins a fifth-round pick in the 2006 draft, which could turn out to be a bargain if the kid applies himself and gets into camp right away. The Eagles passed on Wright despite speculation that they were interested.

If ex-Patriot CB Ty Law is healthy, ready and willing to be in training camp in two weeks, he is a bargain for any team, especially the Chiefs. Outside of linebacker Tedy Bruschi, Law was the biggest playmaker in big games for the Patriots. Remember, he once had three interceptions against Colts QB Peyton Manning in the AFC championship game two seasons ago. When healthy, Law is a game-breaker.

If QB Brett Favre actually telephones agent Drew Rosenhaus to discuss WR Javon Walker's contract problems with the Packers, I'd be shocked. Walker has played three NFL seasons and caught only 23 passes for one touchdown after being a first-round pick in 2002. Did he offer to give some of his signing bonus back for such an unproductive season? If he has another great season, the Packers probably will give him a new deal. But why should they be threatened to do so? Walker wouldn't even be talking like this if he wasn't drafted by the Packers, who with Favre, are a team that likes to throw the football.


Virtually every team's coaching staff remains on vacation until training camps open in the next 10-14 days.