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Old 11-24-2012, 08:59 PM  
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Mellinger writes Pioli's football obituary

History is not in Pioliís favor

BY SAM MELLINGER

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/11/24...lis-favor.html

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We live in a world where a man can sky dive from outer space and Scarlett Johansson dates a journalist so, no, Scott Pioli turning the Chiefs into a championship organization would not be the craziest thing you could imagine.

But it would be nearly unprecedented.

The 1-9 Chiefs are 10-point home underdogs to the Broncos on Sunday, and looking over the rest of their schedule ó vs. Carolina, at Cleveland, at Oakland, vs. Indianapolis and at Denver ó itís hard to see the Chiefs going better than 3-13 in Pioliís fourth season as general manager.

Going back 20 years, the only team to go 3-13 or worse in a GMís fourth season or later and play in the Super Bowl without changing leadership is the 2005 Saints.

You might remember that team. They went 3-13 in the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in American history. So, sure. The Saints won just three games in Mickey Loomisí fourth season as general manager and normally that means fans are pushing for change. But back then, people in New Orleans were burying family members lost in the storm, and trying to rebuild their houses and lives.

The team practiced in San Antonio, on the concrete floor of the Alamodome, and did walk-throughs in the San Antonio Sewerage and Water Board parking lot. Most of the coaches lost their homes. Many players, too. Losing 13 games was the least of New Orleansí concerns.

Two other key differences. When the Saints went 3-13, Loomis hadnít hired his own head coach and Aaron Brooks was still the starting quarterback. After the 2005 season, Loomis fired Jim Haslett as coach, hired Sean Payton and signed quarterback Drew Brees as a free agent. In New Orleans, this was seen as the beginning of Loomisí shaping of the organization.

Pioli, of course, is on his second head coaching hire already. An offseason in which he vowed to improve the quarterback competition and his boss publicly flirted with Peyton Manning ended in a downgrade of the sportís most important position from Kyle Orton to Brady Quinn. Pioli has had big opportunities for change.

Now, a small disclaimer is in order. Historical records of general managers are a bit hazy. Some of this is because the head coach is the glamor position, and some is because the job description doesnít mean the same thing in every organization. Sometimes a man is GM in title only, with the head coach effectively controlling personnel decisions. So there may be an example thatís slipping through the cracks here.

But since 2000, 11 teams have gone 3-13 or worse with a GM in his fourth season or later. Outside of the Saints, the group is a whoís who of NFL failure: George Seifert with the Panthers, Terry Donahue with the 49ers, Matt Millen with the Lions, and Jay Zygmunt with the Rams.

There are a few on the list with past success ó Bill Polian with the Colts, Marty Hurney with the Panthers, and, yes, Carl Peterson with the Chiefs ó but the bigger demographic is GMs like Billy Devaney of the Rams who didnít make enough progress.

Some of those situations havenít gotten much better ó the Bengals and Raiders, to name two owner-dominated franchises ó but more of them are franchises like the 49ers, Lions and Texans that are moving on to better ground after making big changes.

The Chiefs will almost certainly try to follow that path.

Either that, or they will try to follow a different path that hardly exists in NFL history.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
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Just when it looked like the ways to crush Pioli were all used up......
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #3
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Way #46 to say that Pioli must be fired.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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Couldn't Mellinger find an obscure statistic to use as a story hook?

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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This place will be a sight if/when Pioli comes back for year five.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #7
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I just watched "Silverado" and, as the ending credits rolled, I discovered that David S. Hamburger was the unit production manager on that movie.

Then it hit me ... like a diamond bullet in the forehead ... no NFL team with a GM whose last name rhymes with "stromboli" has ever won the Super Bowl. Ever.

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #8
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This place will be a sight if/when Pioli comes back for year five.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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