STEPHAN SAVOIA - AP
When there is a job opening in any business, the people with vested interest in it's success often hope for the most qualified and decorated candidate to be put in place. The business of football is no different, and when the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, Clark Hunt, hired Scott Pioli as the Head of Football Operations, he hired the most qualified and decorated candidate for the job.
The largest body of people with a vested interest in that decision, the fans, now have the comfort of knowing the franchise is in the hands of a proven winner.
For weeks, since the announcement of Carl Peterson’s resignation, Pioli’s name has been connected to the Chiefs’ GM opening and others throughout the league, namely the Cleveland job. Early on, his name was only being mentioned with the Chiefs on a local level, as most of the national media considered him a more likely fit for Cleveland.
Many league observers considered Pioli the top GM candidate this offseason, as they did last offseason, and understandably so. He spent nine years with the wildly successful Patriots organization, and contributed to their three Super Bowl victories. The capacity at which Pioli actually contributed is a matter of debate, because some believe Head Coach Bill Belichick was the man pulling the trigger on the Pats’ personnel decisions, both in the draft and free agency.
However, Pioli did serve as the V.P. of Player Personnel from 2002-08’, and won the NFL’s Executive of the Year honors four times from multiple national media outlets. There’s no doubt that the Patriots’ organization is one of the best in the league in terms of drafting quality players and making smart, shrewd moves in free agency. If you ask Pioli’s former boss and owner of the Patriots, Bob Kraft, Pioli had a lot to do with the building of that reputation.
“Scott Pioli was an integral part of the many championships the New England Patriots have celebrated this decade, and I would like to thank him for his countless contributions throughout the past nine seasons,” said Kraft. “Scott is a great evaluator of talent. He is thorough in his evaluations, extremely organized and has done a tremendous job mining all possible resources to help Coach Belichick and his staff field the players needed to win consistently. He has played an important role in building a championship tradition with players that I am proud to call Patriots. On behalf of the entire Patriots organization, I wish Scott continued success in his new role and offer best wishes to his wonderful wife Dallas, and their beautiful daughter Mia. I think Clark Hunt and the Kansas City Chiefs have made a very wise hire."
Belichick also had kind things to say about Pioli.
“To sum up in words everything Scott Pioli has meant to this organization and to me personally would be difficult, if not impossible,” said Belichick. “From the day I met him, he has demonstrated a passion for football and respect for the game that is second to none. It has been extremely gratifying for me to follow Scott's career ascension from the bottom of the totem pole in Cleveland to his place as a pillar of championship teams in New England. Now with the opportunity to steer his own ship and a vision of building a winner, there is no more capable, hardworking, loyal, team-oriented person than Scott Pioli.”
With the blessings of his former associates and confidantes, Pioli is headed to Kansas City to try and restore honor to a once proud and winning franchise. As happy as many Chiefs fans seem to be about his impending arrival, there may be no man more thrilled than Hunt.
“We are very excited to welcome Scott to the Chiefs,” he said. “With his proven track record of success, Scott is the finest player personnel executive in the NFL, and we look forward to his leadership in building a championship organization.”
While Hunt, Pioli, fans, and our Chiefs Insider Nick Athan may finally have been able to get their first full night of sleep in weeks Tuesday night, there was still at least one man left to ponder his future - Herm Edwards. Many believe the arrival of Pioli signals the inevitable dismissal of the embattled Edwards, but no one will really know until the new leader of Chiefs Nation speaks.
Pioli’s first opportunity to address his new Kingdom will come Wednesday evening around 5:00 PM, when he’s scheduled to give a, “State of the Chiefs union address” in the Hank Stram Theater.