A Hasty Decision?

Scott Pioli

By now every Kansas City Chiefs fan has either expressed their desire to see Scott Pioli fired or secretly wishes he were at weeks end. According to some league sources, the Hunt family might be working on that decision.

The catch line I have been hearing is there is no desire to appear the decision was made in haste. What?

Apparently a four-year audition has not been long enough…again…What?!?

Let's review the record for those who believe that Pioli has not been given enough time to get this franchise squared away. Four offensive coordinators in four years. Two head coaches in four years. 22 wins and 32 losses. One winning season and one AFC West title under the only offensive coordinator capable of getting Matt Cassel to overachieve and then running him out of town after not committing to promoting him to head coach should Todd Haley screw it up. A prescient thought by Charlie Weis wouldn't you say?

By trying to transplant the "Patriot Way" to One Arrowhead Drive, Pioli managed to alienate loyal employees by developing an environment of paranoia inside the organization. When the scathing article written by Kent Babb was published and the organization sought to discredit it, it only made the allegations seem true.

Whether or not that was the case, the mood of the organization had already become very unfriendly towards many journalists. Most part-time writers who had enjoyed press privileges under the Peterson administration found their credentials revoked. For some it took years to regain the trust of the Pioli regime and nearly his entire tenure before an interview was even granted.

If Pioli's intent was to some how scrub the stench of a stagnant organization from off the hallowed halls of Arrowhead Stadium; he sure went about it with a bloody steam cleaner. The only problem was he only washed the surface. His inability to deep clean and put a strong coat of polish that would withstand the test of time was never accomplished.

Pioli did one thing. He became the highest paid general manager in the National Football League. He didn't bring the winning ways he enjoyed in New England. He didn't bring the winning team from New England. I should say, in all fairness, that he brought the highly suspicious attitude that Bill Belichick possesses.

People are victims of their environment. People learn from other people. The tutelage Pioli has enjoyed is directly from Bill Parcells (from which he can't escape) and by extension, Belichick. By all accounts, Robert Kraft is a great owner. I believe that Kraft has the skill to effectively manage Belichick. Belichick had the erstwhile skill to effectively manage the football operations of the Patriots because he possesses the tacit trust of Kraft to take care of business. His method has worked times three!

Pioli supposedly has the same ability within the Chiefs organization. Why can't he turn the corner? He doesn't possess the same trust of ownership that Belichick enjoys. Why? He has no solo record. No record of significant accomplishment without being part of a winning team - a team that was not constructed by him and never constructed here despite his intent.

Even though many think or have thought that perhaps Pioli was the magic behind the scenes, it is now painfully obvious more than ever that the Kraft family caught lightning in a bottle. The Patriots are not the same since Pioli left and the Chiefs are no better since he arrived here.

So where would haste fall into the equation now that decision time seems to be at hand for Clark Hunt?

I'm not sure. As I said earlier, a four year audition to rebuild an organization that had fallen so far from its heyday should be showing results by now. When Carl Peterson and Marty Schottenheimer took over in 1989, it took them two years of using retreads and they went 11-5. They made the playoffs in year three and never looked back.

Pioli has made some good draft decisions and some terrible draft decisions. Same with free agents. His prior ability to sign quality role players and Belichick's ability to get the most out of them never transcended to the Chiefs. Lightning in a bottle.

My only hope and I know I echo nearly every Kansas City Chiefs fan is that Clark Hunt makes the right decision. Unfortunately for Pioli, it means his dismissal sooner rather than later. No 1-5 team has ever made the playoffs so we can all get that out of our system.

What Chiefs fans can hope for is that Clark Hunt hires the best of the best available for whatever their asking price is. He can do no less or risk the ire of a very disenchanted fan base. Should he insist that the current administration just need "tweaks" to get things going, would indeed be disingenuous and patronizing for an already angry fan base.

Will Clark Hunt pull the trigger on Scott Pioli before seasons end?

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