Dec 2, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli (right) talks to Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt (left) before the game against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Parting With Pioli: Finding The Kansas City Chiefs’ Next GM


Let’s not waste time today.

There’s not much I can say about the 7th blowout of the season. Cleveland humiliated the now 2-11 Chiefs and won by three possessions on Sunday, 30-7. That’s hard to understand after the Chiefs racked up 150 yards from scrimmage on just three plays in the opening quarter. Daboll’s offense went into hiding for the remainder of the game. With 3 games to play, Kansas City is still the worst team in the league and in the driver’s seat for the #1 overall pick in the 2013 Draft. Dwayne Bowe is reportedly on his way to IR with two broken ribs. If those reports check out, the top pick in next year’s draft is almost a sure thing for this franchise. Kansas City’s season is lost and I think it’s time that we look ahead to 2013.

It looks as though Chiefs owner Clark Hunt will allow Scott Pioli to finish out the season as general manager. There’s some thought that he may even be retained for the final year of his contract. For the sake of today’s article (and my sanity) we’ll assume that he’ll be fired on February 4th, 2013 (the Monday following the Superbowl).  Hunt could begin his search for the next general manager of his franchise, with a full slate of options available. I’m a wounded prognisticator, but here are a handful of candidates who may be on Hunt’s short list:

Bill Polian

Polian’s currently out of football, but he’s a longtime general manager with a metric ton of NFL experience and success. Two teams, Buffalo and Indianapolis, made five Super Bowl appearances on Bill Polian’s watch. Those five appearances yielded just one NFL championship, but it’s hard to argue with those results. If all of that weren’t enough, he also drafted Peyton Manning in 1998. That might seem like a no-brainer in hindsight, but remember that twenty NFL GM’s polled said they would’ve taken Ryan Leaf instead. He’s quite simply one of the greatest executives in the history of the NFL. That said, Bill Polian is also 70 years old and his best days are probably behind him.

Dennis Hickey

Dennis Hickey, Tampa Bay’s director of player personnel, has played a key role in the re-shaping of the Buccaneers.  He’s been an aid to GM Mark Dominik and deserves shared credit for three rookie standouts from the ’12 draft class (Mark Barron, Doug Martin, and Lavonte David). Hickey was promoted in 2012, but was formerly the Bucs’ director of college scouting for six years. He’s also partially responsible for Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, E.J. Biggers, Mason Foster, Leonard Johnson, and undrafted running back LeGarrette Blount. Hickey has shot up the ranks in Tampa’s organization and would be a fine candidate to succeed Pioli in Kansas City.

Tom Gamble

Gamble got his start in the NFL in the late 80′s working under his father (and team president) Harry. He has wide-ranging NFL experience as a former defensive coach, pro and college scout, and manager of both the salary cap and contract negotiations. Tom Gamble’s had a big hand in a successful rebuild out in San Francisco. That organization is poised to contend for the next several years. Gamble’s a former disciple of Bill Polian, having spent time with him in Indianapolis. Here’s what Polian had to say about him:

“He’s got a complete grounding in the game. He grew up in the game,” Polian said. “This is exceedingly important when you consider there are a lot of issues that you have to deal with when becoming a general manager that will come up with a team. You’re at a big disadvantage if you don’t have this experience in dealing with everything. That’s why non-football people have a harder time succeeding. Because Tom has so much experience and grew up around the game with his dad, he’s going to be more prepared than most. That’s a huge advantage.”

Marc Ross

Ross is currently the college scouting director for the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. He joined the team in the spring of 2007 and helped the Giants return to (and win) their second NFL championship in five years. Ross was vital in the drafting of Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, William Beatty, Jason Pierre-Paul, Linval Joseph, and Prince Amukamara. It should be noted that he can also be credited for undrafted Wide Receiver standout Victor Cruz. Before he landed in the Big Apple, he had a stint in Philadelphia’s personnel department. There he was responsible for having drafted Bryant Westbrook, Lito Sheppard, and Derrick Burgess. Here’s what Giants GM Jerry Reese had to say about him:

He’s a veteran personnel guy and has been around two or three different clubs, so he’s seen how things are done differently at different places,’’ Reese said. ‘‘And he’s smart. He’s a people person, a terrific evaluator, and he’s qualified.

Marc Ross will be a hot commodity this off-season as he’s had several GM interviews in the past. If I were Clark Hunt, I’d pull a Brinks truck up to the front door of Ross’ home and make him the next GM of the Kansas City Chiefs. I feel strongly about Ross, but I’m certainly not immune to making God awful predictions (see my article history). If the choice was yours, who would you pick to be the next general manager of the Chiefs? Leave your comment below and we’ll compare notes.

Until next time, Addicts!

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.aldridge.73 Jonathan Aldridge

    i like this list, but I would like to see michael lombardi

    • Michael Shaw

      Do you really believe Lombardi would be that good? I like him as an analyst, but I am not sure the guy would do well for us considering he used to be a Raider!!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.aldridge.73 Jonathan Aldridge

        well the raiders were good when they first had him and gruden

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Just say no to Lombardi. Last year when Haley was fired, guess who his #1 HC candidate was in an interview with a local sports radio station? Josh McDaniels. #nothanks

  • ArrowFan

    On your list I say Ross. Also don’t forget that Pioli is very well paid so I don’t think $$ will be the problem when landing our next GM.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Ross with a bullet! Aside from DeCosta (who WON’T be up for grabs), I think he’s the best available guy.

  • http://twitter.com/skymuscle83 Skylor Kingrey

    gamble and ross I’d say on that list but why wait till after the Super Bowl?? he should be fired right after the season. And good old crennel should’ve been fired yesterday. after this next big loss will you fire him Hunt?? Come on get your act together.

  • Jim_Satterfield

    But why wait until February 4th? What’s wrong with the day after the end of the regular season?

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Leave yourself with a fallback option.

  • Kansas_City

    I have heard that Pioli might actually have secured a two year extension last summer when things were looking good. He supposedly was bragging to people about the extension. Don’t know it if it true, or if it would make any difference if it is true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.woods.942 Brandon Woods

    Pioli is not the problem, he’s not on field playing the game. We NEED a QB, I’m sure he can see that too.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Who gifted this team with the QB’s it has?

    • No_To_Unions

      Pioli is the guy that gave up Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi this year. If he thinks those guys are NFL QB’s Pioli doesn’t belong in the NFL.

    • KCMikeG

      Guess you didn’t get the memo on this topic. Nothing but perfect will do around these parts my friend.
      Almost every analyst said we had a talented roster and projected great things for this season. Yes the Cassel experiment failed. And yes he has failed on HC but then again most supported both hires at the time. Those mistakes can be corrected now by drafting our franchise QB and with the right coaching staff we will be all we were expected to be. I would give him the final year of his contract to make good. I am totally pissed if Hunt gave him an additional 2 years based on 2010 alone.