Pioli beams with pride after receiving his letter grade. Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

My Letter to Scott Pioli

Dear Scott,

Congratulations on a truly tremendous off-season!

When you were hired in early 2009, Chiefs fans were ready to give you an A+, just because you weren’t named Carl Peterson.

You got to work immediately, making life exciting again for us Chiefs fanatics. You brought in Todd Haley, Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel. But then your first draft – without the benefit of your own draft people and virtually no prep time – was a mixed bag. You got us Tyson Jackson and Ryan Succup, but then you also got us Alex Magee, Donald Washington, Colin Brown, Quinten Lawrence, Javarris Williams and Jake O’Donnell. Not exactly a bunch of household names there.

That first year was rough– Haley came in late, you had a lot of roster changes, and 4-12 was an improvement of exactly two games from the Peterson regime. But we were patient. We gave you an “Incomplete” grade because year one wasn’t really your year – it was a transition year for all of us. The only real downer was that you let Tony Gonzalez go. We know it made financial sense, but that move hurt on the field, in the locker room and in the hearts of Chiefs fans everywhere. And Gonzalez still has another year to go, making four seasons that he’s playing at a high level after having left Arrowhead.

But Scott, you rebounded quickly. The next offseason, in 2010, was stellar. We started to see what you can do with a full year and a full staff. You brought in Charlie Weiss and Romeo Crennel, as well as free agents Casey Wiegmann, Ryan Lilja and Thomas Jones. Your draft class just absolutely kicked ass. You gave us Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Jon Asamoah, Tony Moeaki, Kendrick Lewis (in the fifth round!!!) and Cameron Sheffield. With these new stars, and a bunch of Herm’s playmakers, we won the AFC West! You definitely earned an A+ for 2010.

The 2011 offseason was another winner – perhaps even another A+ year. In addition to free agents Steve Breaston and Brandon Siler (whom we’re all excited to see this year), you drafted Jonathan Baldwin, Rodney Hudson, Justin Houston, Allen Bailey, Jalil Brown, Ricky Stanzi, linebacker Gabe Miller, Jerrell Powe and Shane Bannon. Baldwin, Hudson and Houston could well be stars in the making and Brown, Powe and Bannon are poised to make important contributions this year.

Now, with three full years under our belts, I gotta say Scott, you’ve really kicked some ass. You have built an incredibly strong and elite core of players on offense and defense, with a great kicker and punter to boot. The coaching staff seems stable, with high quality, high character guys like Crennel, Maurice Carthon, Brian Daboll, Emmit Thomas, Jim Zorn and others.

It really seems like we have all of the ingredients we need to play deep into the playoffs and be considered one of the top 10, upper echelon teams in the NFL. Now when was the last time the Chiefs could say that?

Scott, you have proven to have a keen ability to be frugal, but spend at the right moments. You paid big bucks for Cassel. You locked up Tamba and Derrick Johnson.

There’s just one thing left to do to make sure what you’ve built flourishes– with care, amidst criticism, and with lots of research and plain old hard work. And that is to not make the Gonzalez mistake again with Dwayne Bowe. So Scott, please sign the man to a long-term deal. For the offense, Bowe is the key that makes all the other pieces work. He creates a match-up nightmare for any corner, which then requires safety help, which means every other facet of the offense works. Baldwin gets open. Breaston gets open. Moeaki, McCluster and Wylie get open. Charles and Hillis, once through the line, run crazy. And for Cassel, Bowe provides a comfortable, high reward, go-to receiver– the one piece of consistency after about seventeen offensive coordinators for Cassel.

So Scott, let’s continue this A+ performance into 2012-13. All you have to do is sign Bowe to a long-term deal. Then we’ll see you at the AFC Championship game.


Miles Yi

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