December 12, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli speaks during the press conference where Romeo Crennel (not pictured) was named as interim head coach at the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

The Chiefs Quarterback: Lack Of Opportunity Or Total Pioli Failure?

I’d like to start this piece by making two statements. First, I believe Scott Pioli deserves to be fired. Second, I don’t believe Scott Pioli will be fired this season. Without going into a big debate about why I believe these two things, I’ll just say this: Pioli should be fired because the overall product he has put on the field four years into his tenure as GM of the Kansas City Chiefs is not good enough. However, I think because of his relationship with Clark Hunt and how much money he saved Clark over the past four years, he will be given a chance to finish out his contract and will go into the 2013 season as the Chiefs GM once again. I’m not happy about this, but if I had to guess, that’s my prediction. If I’m wrong, and Pioli is fired before the season is over, I will be a\one happy fan/blogger.

But that is not what I want to debate today.

IF I am correct that Pioli will be back for another season as the KC general manager, how worried should Chiefs fans be about Pioli calling the shots this offseason? The absolute #1 objective for this offseason is to find a franchise QB, so what should KC fans think about Pioli being the guy to make that decision?

Obviously, since 99 percent of us want the guy run out of town, the answer is probably that we want Pioli to have no part of that decision. I agree, I do. However, let’s set aside the Pioli torches and pitchforks and the “every decision that Pioli has ever made SUCKS!!” mentality and see if, when it comes to drafting QBs, Pioli has earned that reputation.

Now, again let me say that I’m not trying to be a Pioli apologist. The Chiefs QB situation is indefensible. I think it’s impossible to argue that Pioli has done enough at that position during his time in KC. Would it have helped if he had brought in some better QBs via free agency? Sure, but I don’t think that’s what most of us that want Pioli gone are really wanting. We don’t want another FA stop gap, we want the Chiefs to draft and develop their own franchise QB. So I’m not going to waste any time looking at what free agents Pioli could have brought in to challenge Matt Cassel. I will focus on the Draft.

During the four seasons that Pioli has been drafting for the Kansas City Chiefs, 14 current starting QBs have been selected in the Draft. That’s about 44 percent of teams in the NFL that have found a starting QB via the Draft since Pioli came to KC. When you hear that number by itself, it seems ridiculous that Pioli couldn’t have selected one of those players or the Chiefs. However, in his interview with sports radio 810 last week, Pioli implied that the Chiefs haven’t been in great position to draft a first round QB. Does he have a point? It sure seems like the Chiefs have had enough early first-round picks to make it happen. However, when I went back and looked, nine of those 14 current starting QBs that have been selected since Pioli came to KC were taken before KC had their first pick. Those players are:

2009: Matthew Stafford
2010: Sam Bradford
2011: Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder
2012: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill

Now, I think it’s reasonable to take Stafford, Bradford, Newton, Luck, and RG3 off the table and say that KC had little to no shot at landing any of those QBs regardless of what Pioli may have wanted. The only one of those that would have even been up for discussion was the RG3 pick and with Washington forking over three #1 picks and a second to move up just a couple spots, it’s hard to imagine what KC would have had to give up to beat them out while moving up nine spots. So the question is, should Pioli have moved up to take Locker, Gabbert, Ponder, or Tannehill?

Looking at the situation in 2011, KC was coming off a 10-6 division championship where Cassel made the Pro Bowl with 27 TDs and only 7 INTs. Yes, he was horrible against the Ravens in the playoffs and many fans had their doubts about him long term, but with their other holes, was anyone clamoring for Pioli to move up and take Locker, Gabbert, or Ponder? If so, I don’t remember that.

In hindsight, would KC have been better off if they had? Sure, but I don’t know that Pioli should be ripped for not moving up to take one of those guys considering where they were at, what they would have had to give up, and what kind of season the team and Matt Cassel were coming off. So that leaves us with Ryan Tannehill. The overwhelming majority of KC fans seemed nervous about the Chiefs taking Tannehill at #11 if he was still there. Tannehill was a prospect that scouts said had NFL “tools” but didn’t win a lot of games or put up huge numbers while at Texas A&M.

The Chiefs did have Tannehill in for a private workout, so Pioli did at least look into it. Tannehill has looked like a good pick thus far, so it appears that the Chiefs may have been well-served to move up and get him. Maybe they looked into it, maybe not. Who knows what the Dolphins (or one of the teams in front of them) would have been asking for. I think there is more room to criticize Pioli on this one than the 2011 draft, but if not trading multiple picks to move up for Ryan Tannehill is Pioli’s biggest mistake in terms of moving UP for a QB, I don’t know if that is all that bad.

So now let’s look at the QBs that KC could have drafted since Pioli took over as GM. Here is a list of Pioli picks over the past four years and the QBs that they could have had with those picks in the first three rounds. The QBs in BOLD are current NFL starters.

#3 – Tyson Jackson – Mark Sanchez (#5), Josh Freeman (#17)
#34 – (Traded for Cassel) – Pat White (#44)
#67 – Alex Magee – Stephen McGee (#101)

#5 – Eric Berry – Tim Tebow (#25)
#36 – Dexter McCluster – Jimmy Clausen (#48)
#68 – Jon Asamoah – Colt McCoy (#85)

#21/26 – Jonathon Baldwin – Andy Dalton (#35), Colin Kaepernick (#36)
#70 – Justin Houston – Ryan Mallet (#74)

#11 – Dontari Poe – Brandon Weeden (#22)
#44 – Jeff Allen – Brock Osweiler (#57)
#74 – Donald Stephenson – Russell Wilson (#75), Nick Foles (#88), Kirk Cousins (#102)

So let’s look at these one year at a time. In Pioli’s first year in KC he traded our second round pick for Matt Cassel (and Mike Vrabel) who was coming off a pretty solid season filling in for Tom Brady. In hindsight, would Josh Freeman have been a better pick than Tyson Jackson? Yes, but Freeman was seen as a bit of a risk at #17 that season, let alone at #3. The only QB even considered in the top 10 after Stafford was Sanchez and he has struggled as much as Cassel has. I don’t think Pioli deserves a bad rap for not drafting our QB in his first year here. You can criticize him for signing Cassel to his long term deal, but I think the draft (QB wise) was justifiable.

Next up is the 2010 draft. Does anybody want Tim Tebow, Jimmy Clausen, or Colt McCoy to be the future of the QB position in KC? I don’t, so I don’t think we can hold it against Pioli for not drafting our franchise QB in the 2010 draft.

The 2011 draft is interesting to debate. In hindsight, Andy Dalton looks like he would have been a MUCH better pick for the Chiefs than Jon Baldwin. I don’t think anybody can argue that KC is better off for having Baldwin over Dalton. However, as I mentioned before, the Chiefs were coming off a division win and Cassel going to the Pro Bowl. Plus, the WR position was so bad that the Chiefs started Kevin Curtis who they had just signed off the street at WR in the playoffs. As much as we as fans can now look back at this draft pick and go “What was he thinking?” it’s hard to argue that Pioli was wrong to take a WR given the previous season. You can make an argument for Dalton, but much like the Tannehill discussion above, I’m not sure that it shows Pioli to be incompetent when it comes to drafting QBs because of this choice. Kaepernick and Mallet may prove to be great QBs, but its hard to judge that until they start multiple regular season games in the NFL. I’m pretty happy with the Justin Houston pick anyway.

That leaves us with the 2012 draft. This one (in my opinion) contains Pioli’s biggest mistake. I’m not upset that the Chiefs didn’t take Weeden. His age made taking him at #11 too big of a risk (in my opinion). I’m still not sold on him as a long-term franchise QB. He may end up being a solid starting QB, but I’m not upset that Pioli didn’t reach for him at #11 (or trade back, etc). Osweiler is still an unknown. He’s supposedly very raw and I don’t think any scouts thought he was ready to walk in and start as a rookie. So again, I’m not upset that we didn’t take him in the second round.

However, the third-round selection of backup tackle Donald Stephenson instead of either Russell Wilson, Nick Foles or Kirk Cousins looks like a huge mistake by Pioli. Foles and Cousins are both unknowns both showed some real upside in training camp and preseason action.

Russell Wilson has walked in as a 5’11″ rookie and already looks better than Matt Cassel in his fifth season as a NFL starter. Pioli could have picked Wilson in the third, signed another OT in free agency, and been MUCH better off than the team is now. Plus, drafting Wilson in the third would have allowed Cassel to still enter camp as the starter, there wouldn’t have been expectations to play a third-rounder right out of the gate, plus if Wilson never materialized, no big deal, it was just a third-rounder. It was a no-lose situation and Pioli blew it. I think if you look at his KC draft history, that was his biggest miss when it comes to drafting QBs.

So if I’m ranking Pioli’s biggest QB draft mistakes in KC, I would go:

1. Not drafting a QB in the third round this year instead of a backup OT.

2. Not trading up for Ryan Tannehill.

3. Not being able to admit that Cassel’s Pro Bowl was probably a fluke and drafting Andy Dalton instead of filling the hole at WR with Jon Baldwin.

Other than that, I don’t know that you can complain about much else in terms of Pioli and drafting QBs. I suppose you could add passing on Brandon Weeden, not reaching for Josh Freeman, or not trading every draft pick for the rest of time for RG3, but that seems like reaching for the sake of bashing someone we all want gone. Are those three mistakes listed above enough to make you objectively say that Pioli could not draft a franchise QB? It’s not like he has let Pro Bowler after Pro Bowler slip through his fingers. On the other hand, if he’s so good at evaluating talent, why didn’t he recognize sooner that Cassel wasn’t good enough? I think that is actually the biggest strike against him, as opposed to anything specific he has done or not done in the draft when it comes to QBs.

There will be no doubt about it this time around. The Chiefs will go into the 2013 offseason needing to find their new QB. Even if Scott Pioli is still around, he won’t be able to put it off anymore. There will be no sticking with Matt Cassel this time. So if the Chiefs stay on their current course and end up with a top 5 pick, Scott Pioli will be in uncharted waters. He’ll be in the market for a new QB while sitting in position to draft one of the elite prospects. If that happens, does his track record leave you with no confidence for him to choose correctly? Has the overall failure of Pioli to build a consistent winner unfairly branded him as unable to find a good QB in the draft or is that reputation deserved?

For once, I’m not sure what I think.

I still think Pioli should be fired.

I still think Hunt will probably keep him around for at least one more year.

I’m just not sure what Pioli will do with a high draft pick and QB at the top of his wish list. As much as I don’t want Pioli to be around to answer this question, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t feel as bad about Pioli’s track record of drafting QBs now that I’ve looked at the actual picks and the situation he was in at the time. I’m not excusing the state of this franchise overall, it’s pitiful. I’m sure some will choose to label me a Pioli apologist just for suggesting this is up for discussion. I’m just trying to be objective. I’d love to hear what you all think about this in the comments. Has Pioli proven he can’t find a QB in the Draft or has he simply not been in a good position to land one? Sound off, Addicts!

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • ThisChiefsFan

    I gotta say I agree. Ever since pioli has come to KC I’ve tried to see both sides of his decision making regarding the qb. And to be honest I’ve never seen any qbs that were available that were so much better than cassel had been. And to be honest I’m pretty sure if Pioli knew Cassel would play this bad he would’ve put forth more effort into finding someone, because let’s be honest Cassel’s play this year is far worse than what is the normal for him. I had tempered expectations for Cassel coming into this year but how he’s played on the field is far below what his capability really is.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Good point about how bad Cassel is. I think a big part of that is that his team lost faith in him and then the coaches, and finally himself.

  • Doc

    Weeden would have been a good pick up for our Chiefs – despite his age. Many forget that he started playing football late. So while he has age on him, he doesn’t have the additional years of abuse playing football either. Pioli can’t be balmed for not reaching for a QB in the previous drafts because there were too many other holes to fill. Regardless, if he had stretched to take a QB, our o-line was not the best and he probably would have ended up on IR (ala Croyle). I think Pioli should be relased because of his current operations and not because of draft picks. To state that he would bring in competition at QB and then he keeps who we have (really no competition for Cassel) says a lot about his loyalty to one player. As you stated, everyone else can see Cassel is not a starting QB but Pioli can’t. To me that shows favortism and bias. Depending on how things shake out for next year’s draft, unless Cassel is released I don’t see Pioli selecting the best talent at that position.

    • Patrick Allen

      Weeden would have been a hell of a pick. I’ve watched him a lot this year and he has gotten better every game.

  • Spencer

    Has anyone watched Brandon Weeden this year? he looked SLIGHTLY better than Cassel, yes it’s his rookie year, but he is deserving of a 2nd-3rd qb at best, no way is he worth a #11 overall, hell just getting drafted where he was this last year was a mistake, it already looks like the browns in this coming draft will draft a new franchise qb as well, he simply only has 7 good years left, he is in the prime of his life RIGHT NOW, not in 4 more years, but NOW…that is not a good thing

    Pioli-in the Draft Scenario’s other than Russel Wilson he doesn’t have any issues with drafting QBS, or not drafting them, his issue-he hates height/and competition at the QB-He got rid of Thigpen- a Doug Fluti type QB, he didn’t want Russel-or thought he would drop even further and he let Orton Go

    Pioli’s career drafting-i like, 2009 was a TERRIBLE OVERALL year for incoming players, how many 1st rnds are considered stars from that draft? 2? it was just one of the worst drafts overall for the nfl, not many starters around the entire league from that draft, 2010-he drafted LEADERS for this team-although that leading doesn’t look so good today on the field, off the field we haven’t had issues, 2011-he drafted high talent-low to mid baggage players Houston and Baldwin mainly,, 2012-he drafted for Depth, that is basically what he has done in KC-draft wise

    Pioli’s issue, he is to friendly with ex-coach teammates, he’s too loyal to his friends i would assume, dude is in a tight nit group of people-mainly patriots…

    • Patrick Allen

      Disagree. I think Weeden looks very good. He has a stable of awful receivers that lead the league in drops. Other than his outing against the Eagles he has been pretty good. He leads all rookie passers in yards, despite the fact that his receivers are all bad.

      He has a great arm and he is for the most part very accurate. He threw three unbelievable balls yesterday. Two were TD’s and the third was dropped in the endzone.

      He has to improve his decision-making, as he throws too many interceptions but I think that will come with time.

      • Spencer

        my issue is that at 29-1 age younger than cassel, is when most QB’s show their true potential and are at their prime years 28-32, he’s in his prime right now. If we drafted him he would have been another Trent Green, sure he showed some flashes, he was a good player, than he just got too old for the game, i’m saying his ceiling isn’t much higher than it is right now,

        he’s throwing 57%-slightly WORSE than cassel, and this is a year when OUR receivers have had balls bouncing off their hands all year-yea a lot of them our bad throws, but a lot of them have both hands on the ball has 10 interceptions, has average decision-making, like you said and doesnt have a great supporting class

        but still do we really have that much better of a supporting ? other than Charles and Bowe?

      • KCMikeG

        Spencer is right on Weeden. His decision making, completion 56.6% and YPA 6.56 with more picks than TD’s is no better than Cassel. Yes he has a stronger arm and has town some nice balls but that doesn’t equate to a #11 pick. I’m not disagreeing with you on the brownies WR’s but why is that an acceptable excuse for Weeden while anyone suggesting the same situation has limited Cassel is discounted? Kevin freakin Curtis off the street for a playoff game – wow. Our “best” WR, while having moments of pure perfection, is #4 in drops over the last THREE years and that is who Cassel locks in on because everyone else is worse! WR needs to be addressed and I hope Baldwin will develop still but Breaston has become another in a long string of Haley failures at WR and we have nothing else. Plus the TE position is in desperate shape with Boss on IR, Moeaki is a shell of himself and Maneri is a converted tackle. Also our unsettled, constantly in transition OL is a huge concern no matter who is our QB. With all of these issues I don’t think it will matter who they bring in at QB if these other issues aren’t addressed.

    • chiefs4life

      Use your head. Wesson is tons better and yes its his ROOKIE year. Wait till next year. Mark my words. At least he can throw the ball and throw it deep. He can also.check down and switch receivers. Keep riding that pukoli bandwagon

      • chiefs4life

        Weeden stupid text correct

      • DoubleD

        I think I would kind of like to have a QB named Wesson cuz the more slippery a guy is, the harder he’d be to bring down lol

  • tm1946

    Much like the game of football, the GM’s job has many aspects and if you take it apart, Pioli has not done badly, maybe.
    Sounds nuts but as a total, I say Pioli has not done his job at all. Roster is better, what legit GM would not have made theroster better. Draft a QB, tried with Cassel but you cannot rest on your laurels, find a way to get a QB for the future. Draft picks, 30+ and how many seem destined for HOF, Houston? Isn’t a 4X Exec of year supposed to do better than that?
    Bottom line is Pioli has legit excuses for his shortcomings but as a total he has failed to produce what he was hired to do. Win games, 3 losing seasons out of 4.

  • Joe

    I blame Piloi for the lack of his overall drafting ability. I do not really blame him for not drafting a 1st round qb (although I would of liked to give it all for RG3). But look at His overall 4 year drafting… It is just not good. He has also put together the worst coaching staff in the league. Also, he has stood behind Cassel, that is the most upsetting, he has not tried to fix it. if Pioli would of drafted Kirk Cousins is the first round would Chiefs fans be mad? I would say no because it shows the Pioli is saying that HE MESSED UP and not trying to ride the Cassel train (that leads to the worst team in the NFL). He NEEDS to go and as long as he is here we will never win. Be a man Pioli!

    • micah stephenson

      Yes the fans would hav been mad if they took k.cousins in the 1st rd. Fans wud b pissed saying Pioli wasted a pick and he cud hav got him in the 2nd rd. They wud want pioli fired

  • jerphelps

    well some friends and I were talking about this very same thing last week. I can understand not taking a QB previously but this year will be different. What has me nervous is if Pioli stays here he will continue that blind faith in Cassel and use the pick on something other then a franchise QB. With the way the season is turning out we have a really good opportunity to get a really good franchise QB. We can then use the other picks to address needs in protecting the franchise QB as well as a DL

  • Samson

    First of all, Cassel is not the issue with this team. KC doesn’t like Cassel because he is linked to Pioli, so it’s guilt by association. Cassel is not an elite QB…and nobody is asking him nor do they have that expectation of him. With that being said, nothing short of an ELITE QB could keep us from looking so bad when we give up 30.5 points per game. And how about the poor decision to allow Crennel to lead this team. I said it when he was the interim and I’ll say it again…there’s no way Crennel has the track record or the skill set to get this team out of the slump they are in. He has been a decent Def Coordinator and thinks (much like Haley did) that he can retain his job as both a coordinator and Head Coach…wrong! How about an O-Line? We can’t protect Cassel and yet we want to throw him under the bus because he’s not getting the job done. How many QB’s have stood up to this type of abuse and had any real longevity in the league? Get the guy some protection, get rid of Peoli, relegate Crennel back to Def Coordinator and spend some money on a real head coach and I guarantee that winning the division won’t be as difficult as it appears to be. If anyone thinks that a rookie QB will be the answer to our woes, just look at Leinart and Bradford because that’s where we will be. The only good thing about getting a rookie is that maybe then the front office will realize that they need to protect such an investment with a revamped o-line. I bet that rookie will look a lot better than Cassel once there is some protection given.

    • micah stephenson

      I use to say the same thing. Fans dont want to hur anything accept its all Cassels fualt. They dont care about know stinkin oline or wrs. Cassel use to b ok but his career has been ruined here n kc. If brady was injured permanetly Cassel wud b a star in NE by now. But here in kc wit lack of coatching, 10 different o cordinators, horible pass protection, & 1 good but slow wr, he has been ruined and its time to move on to the next QB. Brady Quinn. Fans say o it was cle and he ad no weapons. In kc he is loaded wit weapons. He still sucked. On to Geno or Barkley. After a bunch of tipped passes for ints and the new franchise QB geting hurt for the seasons fans will start to realize we can swap out QBs as much as we want but our wrs and oline suck.

      • bud

        sry Micah I usually respect your comments but I am still laughing about that part where you said Matt would be a star in New England. wow

        • micah stephenson

          Well star might of been a bit much. wen a 6th rd pick plays like brady does and Cassel wins 11 games his 1st yr starting, u wud hav to think that NE knows how to get the most out of they QB.

          • Carter Mason

            Let’s not forget the team was 16-0 in the regular season the prior year… So essentially, with the only significant change to the roster, Cassel came in and did so well he lost 5 more games than his predecessor. I’ve got a great idea! Let’s give that guy 60 million dollars.

          • KCMikeG

            And let’s not forget that Brady came back and lost SIX games.

          • micah stephenson

            Yea and tom brady came back the next yr and took Cassels teams from 11-5 Down to 10-6. So find another way to hate.

          • Lyle Graversen

            Is Cassel the ONLY problem? No. Is he the biggest individual problem? Yes.

          • Samson

            @twitter-52509634:disqus : I appreciate your article and think that you are on point with a few things, but if you think for a second that bringing in a new QB will fix the problems that we are seeing you are off your rocker. Where you have sorely missed is thinking that Cassel is the reason why we are losing games and the reason why we haven’t been competitive. We are losing games because of the lack of leadership from the GM and HC. The GM and HC is where the BIGGEST INDIVIDUAL PROBLEM is. Let’s take a Tannehill, RG3, Weeden, Sanchez, Freeman, Dalton, or any others and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. We took Brodie Croyle in the 3rd round of the 2006 draft. At the time, as I recall, the only issue that I had with the guy was his knee problems that was the cause of him dropping that low. What did we do with him? Yeah, he got hurt and we replaced him with Cassel and everyone was thrilled! Prior to that, Croyles performance underwhelmed and it was concluded that he was the only thing holding us back. If it were only that simple…

          • Lyle Graversen

            I don’t disagree with you. I think the coaching staff has done a HORRIBLE job of getting the most out of the talent that is on the roster. I also stated that I want Pioli fired. When I said Cassel was the biggest individual problem, I meant he was the player that was the biggest problem of those getting regular playing time. I believe that the team lost faith in Cassel and when things went bad they gave up because they didn’t feel they had a QB that could bring them back. Is it okay that they quit? NO!!! But look at Denver with Manning now, they’ve been down by multiple scores and never quit because the team knows you’re never out of it when you have a good QB. I firmly believe that if Manning was a Chief we’d be closer to 5-1 than 1-5. I could be wrong, but I think Pioli sticking with Cassel when everyone knew it was wrong broke this team’s spirit.

          • micah stephenson

            How is Cassel the problem when Quinn is the QB? Cassels career has been ruined here n kc so its time to move on to the next QB.

  • micah stephenson

    If 6 weeks ago it looks like we hav the best roster n the nfl along wit wat u jus wrote about the QB situation, Pioli has done a good job. It is clear cut each yr who the top 3 QBs are and wat order they are top to bottom. Do you think any part of wanting Pioli fired is not wanting him to get Credit for finally drafting a 1st rd franchise QB next yr. If Pioli picks Geno, i think the fans will say Barkley is better. But if he picks Barkley they will say Geno is better.

    • KCMikeG

      Sad isn’t it? Many foolishly want Pioli fired before he has a chance to draft a top QB next year because then we would be “stuck” with him because QB is what we are missing and if we have one then we would win. And that would be bad why? Because Pioli hadn’t accomplished in 4 years what the Chiefs have NEVER DONE BEFORE!

  • KoolKell


  • scastagnoli

    The problem with Pioli regarding this subject has to do with the ancient Greek word hubris. His excessive pride/self-confidence has prevented him from admitting this glaring mistake in staying with Cassel, a player any knowledgable football fan realizes is a true back-up or #2 in the league.

    After all of his starts, is it so difficult to see that he doesn’t even go through all his progressions? How many times have receivers been wide open, but he locks onto another option who is covered tightly. In addition, his overall physical skill set is clearly below average when you closely examine all the QBs in the NFL. It’s just such stupidity and cluelessness for this organization to go forward without addressing the most critical position in the game.

    It’s extremely difficult for a real fan to root for losses, but this team will be so better off if they do have a top three to five pick in the next draft.

    • micah stephenson

      How many times hav wrs been wide open??? Mayby 1 or 2 times ova the last 4 yrs. Lol

      • Lyle Graversen

        I agree the wrs have been lazy, but Cassel wasn’t giving them much to work with.

  • kcnj

    The issue with Cassel is we’ve probably seen both his “ceiling” and his “floor”. It’s very easy to criticize unless you have the whol picture, which you’ve laid out well….we could have easily been more wrong than right. What I see is a team that, right now, is UNDERPERFORMING IT’S TALENT, and is also LESS TALENTED/DEEP than we thought. The issues are deeper than QB, which is what is probably most troubling of all. We aren’t run blocking all that well, we aren’t pass protecting all that well, we are not defending pass all that well, we aren’t generating pressure w/o bringing it, and even then, it’s not optimal.

    Coaching is also at play here. Love Romeo as a person and DC, but the experiment should be over soon.

    • tm1946

      What you said could apply to the Panthers, oh yes, they fired their GM. No depth, less talent from the draft and you get the GM fired. Players not preforming to skill level, the HC gets it. Where to start?
      ESPN is already saying Cowher may be the candidate to take over with the Panthers.

  • KCPauly

    What Pioli did see is that Alex Tanney has the tools to be a great QB for us and that is why he is hidden on our IR so no other teams could get him he has a 3yr. contract and I suspect he will be our starter next year

    • Lyle Graversen

      If Pioli’s plan for QB next season is just Tanney instead of Cassel, Pioli should be fired and never given another job in the NFL, EVER.

  • ArrowFan

    I’m not sure if our D not living up to the draft picks we have placed on it is more of a failure than our QB? Buy all accounts we should have the best 3-4 D line in the league not the most average.

  • ladner morse

    Excellent post Lyle and I agree with you for the most part. I think the Pioli-Cassel alliance being in play the past four seasons and his ego not wanting to admit he was wrong about Cassel has blinded him to the real need the Chiefs have had at QB since his first day at Arrowhead One. When deciding to go for a franchise-QB I think it’s necessary to consider laying all of your team’s resources (players) on the line. However, you have to have the desire to do so first. I don’t think Pioli has had any desire to do that. He was hoping to be the brilliant mad scientist who turned clay (Cassel) into a Monster (A Perennial Pro Bowler and NFL Legend). I really do believe Pioli has been that delusional.

    Love your article.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I really hope Hunt just fires Pioli. Drafting a 1st round QB gives him an excuse to stick around multiple years and I just don’t think he’s earned it. The Cassel situation and bad coaching hires are enough. I worry about Pioli taking a QB and then still struggling and getting fired. Then we would have to get a new GM that would be stuck with Pioli’s QB.

      • micah stephenson

        I asked how much of wanting pioli fired is fear that he might draft a 1st rd franchise QB. If 6 weeks ago we had the best looking roster and hav not had a chance to get a different QB better than Cassel wat more can he do?

        • Lyle Graversen

          Hire coaches that will get the most out of these players. Keep Orton instead of Cassel until he finds a long term answer at QB. Not draft a backup OT in the 3rd round when there were still playmakers on the board.

          • KCMikeG

            Agree on the coaches but Orton was NOT an option. He didn’t want to stay, he didn’t want to compete it was his decision to take the sure bench spot in Dallas. So could we once and for all give up on the “failure to keep Orton” & take it off the Pioli list of failures? While we’re at it lets take off the Carr one too. If necessary I’ll get his own words talking about it being his lifelong dream to be a Cowboy. ORTON’s OWN WORDS:
            Q: You didn’t want to go somewhere where you had a chance of competing to be the starter?
            ORTON: “Well I’ve kind of been in that situation the last three or four years just going into camp and competing. To be honest with you I don’t think that situation has worked for me. I don’t think it’s worked out for the club. I think you need to know who your guy is going to be going right into the season and backing that guy. I don’t think that’s been the situation that I have been in and I really didn’t want to get into that situation again. I’m fine with knowing my role as the backup on this team. I am going to be the best backup I can and support Tony [Romo] any way that I can.”
            Q: I have to admit, that was an answer I didn’t expect. I’m not sure exactly how take that, a quarterback who didn’t want to get into a competition for a starting position? I guess he knows what’s best for him, but that is not something I expected to hear. So why Dallas, why did he choose to come here?Why this situation? What was appealing to you about the Dallas Cowboys?
            ORTON: “Man everything was appealing to me to be honest with you. Going back to when I asked to get away from Denver and getting claimed by Kansas City. Dallas put a claim in as well as Kansas City and Chicago, so right then I kind of had a big interest in the Cowboys. Just kind of going into free agency I just wanted to make sure some of the things I was looking for was a great locker room, a veteran lead locker room and you know a good team where we were going to be playing in a lot of big games and a coaching staff that fits with me and having worked with Wade Wilson in Chicago and kind of following Coach Garrett I feel comfortable with every situation and just real happy with the decision I made. “

          • micah stephenson

            Yea I agree wit hiring a coach better than that bum Todd Haley. But almost 90% of us thought Romeo was the best available. We wur wrong. Not jus Pioli all of us. Time to move on to the new coach. Orton was 50/50 on his career win % & he didnt want to play for us. Pioli is not payin a guy who dont WANT to b a chief. HEY! Donald is my cuzn! He shud b starting!!!! Lol. Ok mayby not but leave Donald alone. I did want to draft QB Nick Fowles in the 2nd rd.

  • chiefs4life

    You wrote the article just to get a rise. Well Weedon would have been a star at KC. Second, how many QB’s out there is better than cassle right now that are being groomed with other teams. They may not be starting now but that would be starting for the chiefs. All we are looking for is better than cassle at this point. We could have picked up a 7th rounder to be better. Are you trying to stick up for the head office or just stirring the pot. Fire him.he should have traded up for tanny. Like everyone expected him to.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Look, I said I want the guy fired, didn’t I? I just want a true big time QB, not somebody that is just better than Cassel and Pioli hasn’t let any of those slip past him. If you think Weeden will be one, then fine but I still think my point stands.

  • DoubleD

    First off Lyle, you are a Pioli apologist. Just needed to get that out the way lol. Okay, let’s broaden our thinking here a litttle bit. Whether or not we fans would have agreed, at the time, whether so and so seemed like a reach, in spite of how surprisingly well they seem to be playing now, kind of misses of the point for me. Pioli is being paid very highly to evaluate qb prospects, not us. He is supposed to be an expert at this stuff so to say that just because we fans would not have not liked or agreed with him in “reaching” for so and so is just an out for Pioli – he’s the supposed personnel genius after all, not us.
    Secondly, I know it was intention to limit this conversation to the draft, but I don’t think Pioli should get a pass for not doing a better job of either maintaining or bringing in competition through free agency. Retaining Orton, who, by the way did not leave the Chiefs for a starting position elsewhere, would have improved both depth and competition at this position. Instead, and in spite of promises to the contrary, simply did not do enough to improve the qb situation during the offseason, either through the draft or through free agency. And don’t even get me started on the whole Peyton Manning fiasco.
    Lastly, I am a firm believer that it should be every GM’s goal, every year, to use a high draft (1st or 2nd round) pick on a qb if at all possible. Seems to me to be a tried and true formula for building an NFL dynasty – just look at teams like the current Packers or the 49ers back in the Joe Montana / Steve Young days if you want proof of just how well that strategy works.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I agree about Pioli deserving flack for not bringing in better FAs, but I don’t even want to consider that option going forward from here. Draft a QB or else!


    They should of kept Orton, I will be the first to say that when we first acquired him last yeaqr I did not agree with it, but when he played it was good to see a Chiefs QB throw for 300 yards, tie that with Charles and a good defense and we would of been alot better off. We all knew what we had in Cassel last year and to bring him back was unreal, I believe Crennel wanted Orton but Cassel was forced down his throat from Pioli because of the money that he spent on him, should of cut Cassel and gave his money to Orton, with the cast no telling where we would be today.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I agree, Orton should have been our QB this season.

  • AKChieffan

    Hate to listen to Pioli or Crennel trying to save their jobs. Crannel said it, “its not all Cassel’s fault, the brush used is much brodder than that.” We all know its mainly you 2′s fault and Cassel happens to be the first foot step in many errors down the wrong path.

  • Kyle

    Chiefs need a real coach, regardless of the qb they look horrible in all phases with players that have shown promise & to come out this bad says most the players are bums or poor coaching

  • AKChieffan

    Interesting article about 5 GM that might not make to the end of the season. Scotty Pioli is in there.

  • Chris turner

    Carolina Fired their GM.What the hell is Clark hunt waiting for.Scott Pioli hasn’t done one good thing for the Chiefs since he got here.All you ever here from the broken record known as Scott Pioli. “Were looking for the right 53 men for are roster”.Its horrible his 1st round picks have been GOD AWFUL his coaches have been GOD AWFUL. A regime change is needed and needs to happen this week.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Hard to argue with you with how bad KC has played, but I still think this team has more talent then they’ve showed. That’s on the coaching (which is on Pioli for hiring Romeo). Either way, not a good look for pioli.

  • jimfromkc

    Lyle,there are three QB’s on the Chiefs roster plus one on the IR. None could be listed as a franchise type QB. A lot of the guys think Weeden is too old, but as I was high on him becoming a chief I have been watching how he is doing at Cleveland. I would suggest that anyone who is interested in seeing what Pioli missed out on look at the Browns official blog and look at the videos of his play yesterday and check it out rather than mouth the old cliches that the nay sayers have been quoting forever. What would you rather have 8 years of a noodle armed Cassel or Cousins who is not noted for a strong arm or 8 years of a Weeden who has the arm that possib ly only 3 or 4 others in the league can match. A lot of the Cleveland fans were scepticle at first, but most all of them including most of the McCoy lovers have come to the conclusion that weeden is the real deal and they just have to find a couple of OG’s and another WR and they will be competeing for the title of the strongest division in the NFL.

    • Lyle Graversen

      You may very well be right. I haven’t seen much of Weeden. Let’s just say that I think more GMs would have passed on him at #11 then would have taken him there. He may very well prove the GMs that doubted him wrong, but I’m not going to kill Pioli for not taking a 28 year old that early.

  • Larry Devore

    There is the flaw in your logic. KC draft and develop a QB, you cant be serious. Chiefs and drafting a QB don’t go together. Use Todd Blackledge as an example.

    • KCMikeG

      Sad isn’t it? Pioli hasn’t accomplished by his 4th year what this organization has NEVER done in its entire history! Off with his head! Let’s disgrace Arrowhead by wearing black and flying banners demanding his firing. Even Hali said today that he “HOPES” the fans will be supportive. People need to calm down. If we could slow down the record crushing pace of turnovers, many of which have been in the red zones and I’m pretty sure Pioli hasn’t had a hand in, we would finally see the talent we have.