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Old 03-22-2010, 08:32 AM  
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Pioli offers an excuse

Pioli will bring Chiefs back to life

http://www.projo.com/sports/jimdonal...3.37be5c8.html

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ORLANDO — If you know Scott Pioli, you know he’s going to do in Kansas City what he did in New England — win Super Bowls.

Most likely not in his second year on the job, as the Patriots did in 2001.

But he’ll get the job done. He always has.

Pioli knows football. He knows people. He knows how to evaluate not only how a player will perform on the field, but also his character — what he’ll be like in the locker room, where the all-important chemistry that is an integral part of championship teams is established and maintained.

He knows his business, as he showed throughout his nine years in New England, when, working hand-in-hand with coach Bill Belichick, Pioli assembled the talent that enabled the Patriots to play in four Super Bowls – winning three of them — and five AFC championship games.

The Pats won six division titles while Pioli was personnel chief, going 18-0 in 2007 before losing Super Bowl XLII in the final seconds to the Giants.

He knows how winning teams — championship teams — are built, and he’s determined to do it in Kansas City, where he’s now a couple of months into his second year as general manager.

“The big difference is that, in Kansas City, I was starting at ground zero,” he said Sunday afternoon, stopping to chat for a few minutes in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, where the NFL owners meetings are taking place this week.

The Chiefs were 2-14 in 2008, the year before he arrived. They doubled that win total last season.

“Where I’d come from,” he said, referring to his years with the Patriots, “we had a system and a program that was up and running, with people with a great deal of experience.”


It’s a somewhat different experience for Pioli in Kansas City, where he’s clearly at the top of the totem pole. In New England, Belichick had the last word. With the Chiefs, while Pioli discusses personnel moves with coach Todd Haley, he has the final say.

“It’s similar to my situation in New England,” Pioli said, “but the lead role has swapped.”

To help him in that lead role, he said: “I’ve brought in a number of people who are smarter than I am, starting with the head coach. I don’t ever kid myself that I know that part of the game well enough.”

The head coach is the 43-year-old Haley. It’s his first head-coaching job, but he has extensive experience working with teams that have had to rebuild — most recently the Arizona Cardinals, for whom he was offensive coordinator in 2008, when they won the NFC championship and played in the franchise’s first NFL title game since 1947.

“We have a shared vision of what it takes to build a successful franchise,” Pioli said.

To do that requires more than simply bringing in talented athletes.

“I’ve learned that chemistry is critical,” Pioli said. “In New England, we didn’t just have great players — we had great team players.”

The Patriots had players like Mike Vrabel, who was brought to Kansas City by Pioli last season as much for his leadership as his linebacking talents. Along with the likes of Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi, Vrabel made sure that every player who put on a New England uniform knew what was expected of him.

“We also had selfless leaders, like Roman Phifer, Bobby Hamilton, and Anthony Pleasant,” said Pioli, who recently added Pleasant to the K.C. staff as defensive line coach.

A veteran of 14 NFL seasons — the last three in New England — Pleasant is one of several Chiefs assistants with a Patriots connection.

When Charlie Weis was fired at Notre Dame, Pioli snapped him up as offensive coordinator. The Chiefs new defensive coordinator is Romeo Crennel, who was fired as head coach of the Browns after the 2008 season. Crennel and Weis were, of course, the coordinators for Belichick in New England when the Patriots won their three Super Bowls.

Pioli also has hired former Patriots defensive back Otis Smith and put him in charge of “defensive quality control.”

Throw in quarterback Matt Cassel, who filled in so capably for the Patriots after Brady was lost for the 2008 season when he was injured in the opener — against the Chiefs — and there clearly is a strong New England flavor to what Pioli sees as the recipe for success in Kansas City.

Which shouldn’t be surprising.

He doesn’t have to convince people with Patriots ties to, so to speak, buy the Kool-Aid he’s selling. They’ve already been drinking it for years.

“It happens all the time,” Pioli said of the practice of hiring people you know — and who know you.

“Look at what Josh (McDaniel) is doing in Denver. Look what happened when Brian Billick went to the Ravens, or when Andy Reid went to Philadelphia. (Bill) Parcells has done it everywhere he’s gone.

“It’s natural, when you’re looking for leaders.”

It’s been 40 years since the Chiefs have been to the Super Bowl. They’re looking to Pioli to lead them back.

It won’t be this year. But it may not be too many more.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:37 AM   #2
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I get it! Pioli turns red Kool-Aid into gold!
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:37 AM   #3
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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I don't necessarily agree.

Pete Carroll did not have a system that was anywhere near "up and running". He was a joke, and his players knew it.

However, NE did have a lot of pieces left over from the previous system: McGinest, Bruschi, Law, Troy Brown, Ted Johnson, etc.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:39 AM   #4
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I think this is my favorite part:

Quote:
(Bill) Parcells has done it everywhere he’s gone.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:42 AM   #5
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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It's pretty clear that he's married to the idea of his system. From an ideological standpoint, I understand. However, Pioli needs to be intellectually flexible enough to realize that as the dynamics of the game change, his system needs to change in order to maximize returns.

You can't assume that one approach to treating players or one defensive scheme is axiomatically better than another. It's dependent upon a multitude of factors.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
It's pretty clear that he's married to the idea of his system. From an ideological standpoint, I understand. However, Pioli needs to be intellectually flexible enough to realize that as the dynamics of the game change, his system needs to change in order to maximize returns.

You can't assume that one approach to treating players or one defensive scheme is axiomatically better than another. It's dependent upon a multitude of factors.
You could have just said "Pioli is dumb."
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:47 AM   #7
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Pioli is the ****ing WIN
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoChiefs View Post
I think this is my favorite part:
Brought in guys he is familiar with?
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Pioli assembled the talent that enabled the Patriots to play in four Super Bowls
PHEW! I was worried it was Belichick. Now we know.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:52 AM   #10
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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Originally Posted by GoChiefs View Post
You could have just said "Pioli is dumb."
I don't know if he's dumb. I think he's rigid to the point of making stupid decisions. Time will tell if he learns.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
You can't assume that one approach to treating players or one defensive scheme is axiomatically better than another. It's dependent upon a multitude of factors.
Like a bunch of 4-3 guys playing 3-4?

Drain, rinse, and don't repeat.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
I don't necessarily agree.

Pete Carroll did not have a system that was anywhere near "up and running". He was a joke, and his players knew it.

However, NE did have a lot of pieces left over from the previous system: McGinest, Bruschi, Law, Troy Brown, Ted Johnson, etc.
Yep and they inheirted a lot better team than what we have here.

I just don't see an excuse by Pioli. What he says about KC is absolutely true.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:58 AM   #13
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I can't argue with what he says here.

Quote:
...in Kansas City, I was starting at ground zero,...
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:02 AM   #14
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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At this point, I'm ambivalent about this offseason. The Chiefs spent wisely on their outside FA acquisitions, even if I believe they overpaid to retain a lot of poor players. I'm glad they didn't overpay for a guy like Dansby, who isn't a good run defender, and although I liked Dwan Edwards as a 5 tech, he's not worth anywhere near 4.5 million a year.

This FA market is flat retarded.

Ultimately, the success or failure of this regime will depend on the draft. They failed miserably in year one. If this draft is filled with reaches and poor value, then that is a much worse indicator than not signing Dansby, Dunta Robinson, Antrel Rolle, etc.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:02 AM   #15
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Yep and they inheirted a lot better team than what we have here.
15 of Pioli's 22 starters in the 2001 Super Bowl were not in New England when he arrived.
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