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chiefforlife
01-14-2009, 03:13 PM
Pioli's first decision will be his most important
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Posted: January 14, 2009

As new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli considered his opportunities in Cleveland and Kansas City (along with the option of staying put in New England), he seemed to be moving slowly and deliberately in order to make the absolute right decision.

Though he remained completely silent regarding his plans, a distinct sense emerged that he'd leave New England only for a place where he thought he could stay for a long period of time, possibly for the rest of his career.

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And now that he has made the agonizing decision to leave the franchise where he spent nine years and won three of the most coveted pieces of finger jewelry in the world, Pioli faces a far more important decision.

Who will his first head coach be?

Though there's a sense that General Managers get at least two opportunities to hire a head coach (or, as in the case of Matt Millen, three), Pioli comes off as a guy who'll put a lot of pressure on himself to get it right the first time. He probably won't want a Mulligan in 2012 if the first guy he hires ultimately can't get it done.

Most of the men who covet the chance to run an NFL football operation have a short roster of potential head coaches at the ready. It's believed that Pioli's list contains Iowa's Kirk Ferentz. Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also has been linked to Pioli in recent media reports.

But what about current coach Herm Edwards? The widespread thinking is that he'll be released, even though it will cost $3 million to buy out the balance of his contract, less whatever Edwards earns elsewhere in 2009 as a coach.

Edwards will be released because every General Manager wants to hire his own head coach, the sooner the better.

Eight years ago, Jerry Angelo became the G.M. of the Bears months after the normal head-coach hiring/firing cycle had ended, making it too late to replace coach Dick Jauron. And when Jauron took the Bears to a 13-3 record and an NFC North crown later that year, Angelo was stuck with Jauron for two more seasons.

Pioli won't want to take a chance that Edwards will turn things around quickly and take the Chiefs back to the postseason, since the franchise would be essentially forced to give Edwards a new contract.

And once Edwards is gone, Pioli won't be looking for a subordinate. He'll be looking for a partner.

Pioli's relationship with Pats coach Bill Belichick worked not because Belichick told Pioli what to do and how to do it, but because each man did his job and they found ways to harmonize their views about the players whom the team should keep, dump, sign, or draft.

The only difference this time around is that the personnel guy, not the coach, has the ultimate power to pick the players, if coach doesn't agree. The goal, however, will be to come to an agreement, not to pull rank. The goal will be to work together as a team, not as two individuals jockeying to claim maximum credit if everything is going well, or to avoid blame if things don't work out as well as expected.

The Patriots worked because, at the top of the organization, it wasn't Belichick, then Pioli. It was Belichick and Pioli. So, in Kansas City, it won't be Pioli, then whoever the coach is. It will be, and should be, Pioli and the head coach, fused at the funny bone regardless of how the team performs in any given game, month, or season.

And that makes this first hire of Pioli's regime even more important. Because he's not hiring an employee. He's hiring the person who'll essentially be his equal in the organization, and who'll become in many respects the face and the voice of the entire franchise.

So, indeed, the stakes are high. Pick right, and Pioli could win three more Super Bowls in four (or maybe even three) years. Pick wrong, and Pioli could end up like so many other general managers, eventually correcting the first big mistake of his regime, which also was the first real decision that he made.

Mike Florio writes and edits ProFootballTalk.com and is a regular contributor to Sporting News.

After reading this, there is NO WAY Herm is retained.

Chiefs Pantalones
01-14-2009, 03:18 PM
Great article.

I believe that Herm is gone.

HemiEd
01-14-2009, 03:19 PM
I want to believe Herm is gone, want it bad.

Micjones
01-14-2009, 03:45 PM
I believe his initial pick in the draft will be just as pivotal.

OnTheWarpath58
01-14-2009, 03:50 PM
I believe his initial pick in the draft will be just as pivotal.

I'd be willing to bet it won't be at #3...

Micjones
01-14-2009, 03:57 PM
I'd be willing to bet it won't be at #3...

I'm starting to think that's what he'll do as well.
If we trade back for Mau or Laurinaitis I'd be all smiles.

Pestilence
01-14-2009, 03:58 PM
I'd be willing to bet it won't be at #3...

They were talking about it on 810. They were talking to a sports reporter from Boston who said that Pioli and Belicheck HATED having a top pick. That he wouldn't be surprised if we traded down out of the top spot.

Micjones
01-14-2009, 03:59 PM
They were talking about it on 810. They were talking to a sports reporter from Boston who said that Pioli and Belicheck HATED having a top pick. That he wouldn't be surprised if we traded down out of the top spot.

How often did were they in this position though?
And how often were they faced with such an overhaul of a team?
I'm not opposed to it. I just don't know that we can use what he did in New England as a true-to-size model for what he'll have to do here...early.

OnTheWarpath58
01-14-2009, 04:01 PM
They were talking about it on 810. They were talking to a sports reporter from Boston who said that Pioli and Belicheck HATED having a top pick. That he wouldn't be surprised if we traded down out of the top spot.

Yep.

If you have a few spare bucks lying around, and like to read, pick up the book "Patriots Reign."

The author was given access to the entire organization for 2 years.

It's a good read.

Several parts talking about Pioli's thought of the late 1st being a better value pick, because you often still get a phenomenal player, at pennies on the dollar compared to high picks.

He'd rather compile picks than have a high one.

DeezNutz
01-14-2009, 04:02 PM
I'd be willing to bet it won't be at #3...

Drop back. MLB, USC. QB, BSU.

That could be worse...

OnTheWarpath58
01-14-2009, 04:03 PM
How often did were they in this position though?
And how often were they faced with such an overhaul of a team?
I'm not opposed to it. I just don't know that we can use what he did in New England as a true-to-size model for what he'll have to do here...early.

Even more reason to believe he'll trade back if given the opportunity.

My guess is he'll try to pull a Jimmy Johnson, and get his hands on as many picks as possible.

More picks fills holes quicker.

Micjones
01-14-2009, 04:04 PM
I think there will be much more value over the second half of the First Round this year so this would be the time to do it.

Gimme one of those franchise MLB's and add another middle First Round pick...
Giddy up!

orange
01-14-2009, 04:24 PM
They were talking about it on 810. They were talking to a sports reporter from Boston who said that Pioli and Belicheck HATED having a top pick. That he wouldn't be surprised if we traded down out of the top spot.

Really!? They regretted being "forced" to take Richard Seymour? ROFL

That's a shocker.

StcChief
01-14-2009, 04:30 PM
They were talking about it on 810. They were talking to a sports reporter from Boston who said that Pioli and Belicheck HATED having a top pick. That he wouldn't be surprised if we traded down out of the top spot.depending on the board. I fully expect them to trade down.