January 09, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Romeo Crennel (left) speaks to media as he is officially announced as the new Kansas City Chiefs head coach by general manager Scott Pioli at the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Window For Real Change In KC Is Closing


This is the first time since joining the AA staff that I am writing a piece that I hope is completely irrelevant by the time most of you read it. I hope more than anything that shortly after this post hits the sight that news breaks that Scott Pioli has been fired and you can just stop reading this post right now. I hope that by mid-afternoon this post is pushed down the sight into obscurity.

Sadly, I don’t think that will be the case.

Most of Chiefs Nation seems confident that owner Clark Hunt will fire Scott Pioli. This season has been such a complete and total disaster that it almost seems impossible for there not to be wide spread changes in the organization. You add to that the fan unrest and protests by the SaveOurChiefs group and it would seem that Hunt will be forced to make a move, right? Maybe, I guess we’ll all find out in the coming hours, days, or weeks. The common thought seems to be that Pioli will be fired once this dumpster fire of a season is over.

Well here’s the problem. The time for making that move, at least effectively, is running out. If today comes and goes with no news of Scott Pioli’s firing it most likely means that he will keep his job for another week. If that is the case, then one of two things will happen. Either Scott Pioli will keep his job for another season or the Chiefs will be so behind schedule in getting their new regime in place that they will be playing catch up with the rest of the NFL and setting themselves up for failure.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the timeline of how things went down the last time Clark Hunt replaced his general manager.

Carl Peterson resigned (not that he had much choice) on Monday, December 15th. That was the Monday after the Chiefs week 15 game. In other words, today is the equivalent of that day. So if Scott Pioli isn’t fired today, the Chiefs will be operating behind the timeline that happened four years ago.

Clark Hunt hired Scott Pioli on Tuesday, January 13th. So it took Hunt just over four weeks to get his new GM hired. Perhaps he would move faster this time around, but I don’t think we should assume that. Some may suggest that he is possibly already talking to candidates behind the scenes, but in today’s age of news breaking tweets that seems awfully risky. I think that a four week turnaround from firing Pioli to hiring a new GM is probably a fair estimate. Putting that off another week would be very costly, in my opinion.

Scott Pioli then took 10 days to fire Herm Edwards on Friday, January 23rd. Hopefully a new GM would be sensible enough to fire Romeo Crennel immediately upon taking the job, but even then, if the new GM wasn’t hired until the second week of January, many of the top coaching candidates would already be off the market.

It then took Pioli two weeks to hire his new coach Todd Haley on February 6th. By that point, all the top assistants were off the market and Haley ended up with Clancy Pendergast as his defensive coordinator and holdover Chan Gailey staying on (although just temporarily) as his offensive coordinator because there simply wasn’t anyone else available.

UPDATE: Here is a list of recent coaching hires in the NFL by the date they were hired.

Mike Shanahan – January 6th
Jim Harbaugh – January 7th
Mike Mularky – January 10th
Ron Rivera – January 11th
Jeff Fisher – January 13th
John Fox – January 13th
Pat Shurmur – January 13th
Chan Gailey – January 19th
Joe Philbin – January 20th
Chuck Pagano – January 25th
Dennis Allen – January 25th
Greg Schiano – January 26th
Mike Munchak – February 7th

If you asked me to pick the five coaches on that list that I would most want to coach the Chiefs I would pick (in no particular order) Shanahan, Harbaugh, Fisher, Fox, and Pagano. Of those five, four of them were hired on January 13th (the date Hunt hired Pioli) or earlier. If you divide that list into two and look at the coaches hired after January 13th compared to the coaches hired before that date, I like the early list a lot better. That is why Clark Hunt can’t afford to wait any longer to start this process.

Now perhaps things will be different this time around. Perhaps Hunt will fire Pioli the day after the season ends and hire his new GM the very next day. Perhaps that GM will make firing Crennel his first act upon taking the job and will then be in on any and every good coaching candidate available. Perhaps, but I don’t know that we should be holding our breath on that one. I think if we want to have realistic hope of the kind of changes that most of us want to see that the ball needs to get rolling, and fast.

Hopefully that ball is already rolling. Hopefully you stopped reading this post after the first paragraph because Pioli’s firing has already been announced. Hopefully this post has already been pushed down the sight by rumors of Pioli’s firing, news of his official firing, a statement from Clark Hunt, and a post on the rumored replacements for Pioli. I’ve never hoped for my weekly post to be irrelevant before today, but boy I hope it is. Because if the game on Sunday taught me one thing, it’s that this team as it is currently constructed is an embarrassment. It’s a bad group of players that are poorly coached and give their fans very little to get excited about.

The thought of watching another two weeks of this without any hope of real change on the horizon is painful.

Hopefully those fears will be made irrelevant when Pioli is fired. If that’s the case, then most of you already stopped reading. If it’s not the case and Scott Pioli still has his job, then I’ve never been so bummed so say this…….

Thanks for reading (sigh) and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tags: Clark Hunt Kansas City Chiefs Romeo Crennel Scott Pioli

  • chiefridgy

    FIRE THEM ALL!!!!!

  • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

    You couldn’t be more right, Lyle. Crennel doesn’t really need to go before the end of the season but Pioli certainly should. Hunt may have put together a short-list of possible candidates, in fact, I am almost certain he has, but he needs to start interviewing the ones he can as soon as he can.

    The new guy is going to need to swiftly come in and figure out the scouting situation. He will likely need to use the scouts that are already in place for the info they’ve acquired. If he is a director of college scouting from another team, he may try to bring some folks with him, which will help.

    The entire roster will need to be evaluated so that the GM can hire the right coach and get to work on deciding which players need to be re-signed, restructured and cut loose. Once that is done, he’ll be able to focus on free agency.

    It’s a big job for someone to take on. If Hunt is going to fire Pioli then he is only wasting time by waiting.

    • http://twitter.com/biglump007 Leon Ritz

      I’m thinking that Marc Ross from the Giants would be a very good choice in our situation. Ross I believe was or is a scouting director and will more than likely bring some scouts with him which we need. I agree there is no reason to fire Crennel at this point, I mean he can’t do anymore damage. The bad thing about Romeo, besides his coaching, is the fact that we will still have to listen to his bumbling press conferences. I believe that they will all be gone, Pioli, Crennel, Daboll, And maybe even Gibbs. I think we have the talent to win but need a few pieces like QB, CB, safety, and ILB.

      • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

        The biggest thing I see, other than a lack of a QB, is a poorly disciplined team. They aren’t mentally tough and that is a big shortcoming in the NFL. Haley’s teams were prone to meltdowns too but they played a more disciplined brand of football.

        • http://twitter.com/biglump007 Leon Ritz

          But that comes down to a need of coaching, Romeo shows no fire at all and just looks like he’s a fan on the sideline just happy to be there but not sure what to do. Daboll is absolutely the worst OC in the history of the NFL. His play calling and game planning is horrible. I honestly think one of the reason if not the only reason the team plays without any mental toughness is because the coaches don’t seem to be in the game or understand the game for that matter. It just seems to me like an office where the employees know more than the boss and don’t care about the job they do because of it. Now Daboll well it’s painfully obvious he just has no clue how to game plan and go after a teams weakness. I know we need a QB badly but even a good QB would be screwed with this coaching staff.

          • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

            Just a bad mix. A perfect storm of crap. Bad coaching, poor discipline and awfue QB play.

          • http://twitter.com/biglump007 Leon Ritz

            And Hunt must be wearing a gas mask because he doesn’t seem to smell it.

          • Philip Skahan

            c’mon now leon….how can you say the Daboll’s play calling is bad??? I mean…Run Left, Run Right, Fumble the ball, PUNT…..it’s got a good beat to it, and I can really dance to it!!!!! I give it a 9.5…..LOL……PeeWee Herman could call better plays!!! I say put a big tent over Arrowhead and bring in a few animals and call it a circus…..lord knows we already have enough clowns there!!

        • TAZMOSIS

          I see this as a typical Hunt thought process. As this post shows, Hunt waited until the very last moment to hire Pioli, and then Pioli waited until most of the qualified head coaching candidates were already gone. We all know how that ended up. It is imperative that the Chiefs get the most qualified GM in place ASAP! And the main reason is that the new guy has to hire a top HC and get his assistants in place. Without a name GM, it will be really hard to attract top talent, both in coaching and on the field. If the Chiefs are able to get one of the top GM candidates, then he can go about the business of bringing in those that will get this franchise back to where Lamar Hunt envisioned it when he brought the team to Kansas City.

    • ArrowFan

      I guess it may be that the only reason Hunt hasn’t made a move is that the guy he wants or has hired already it’s available until the end of the season.

  • Danny W

    I’ve got a weird and sad feeling that Pioli will be retained. Crennel will certainly not be but I think Pioli keeps his job. In my opinion he has been more than inept I wanted him fired two years ago but I think it’s his job until the cows come home. He says he’s got excuses like there were no quarterbacks is now bull. You don’t get into RG3 sweepstakes, Russell Wilson, Nick Foils, Kirk Cousins, all doing well. Pioli has one guy in all of his drafts that looks like he will be a perennial pro bowler and thats Justin Houston. There are a few key roll players, like Berry, and McCluster but Arenas shouldn’t be returning kicks. He’s a decent nickel corner but he is a second round bust. Jeff Fischer stayed in town all of 50 minutes I think. Wouldn’t even stay a full hour. How he’s going to get a coach to come in here is nut’s to me.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      I just don’t see how Clark can keep him. Even if he wants to, he’d face a full on fan mutiny, worse than what we are seeing now. Bottom line is that Clark is a businessman and Scott Pioli is bad for business.

      • Danny W

        I know he should be gone, but he isn’t. I’ve come to expect the worse case scenario out of these current Chiefs and thats what it would be if Pioli would be retained.

        • micah stephenson

          nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! lol

        • micah stephenson

          In my Romeo Voice…”well u know wat happens wen u assume””wen assume….Yea” Lol

      • ArrowFan

        Why not just fire him now then? I mean if you plan to what does it gain to keep him?

        • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

          I’ve been wondering the same thing. It may just be that Hunt sees no value in firing Pioli before the end of the season. He may know who his guy is already and may move quickly. I do expect he’ll be fired the day after the season ends but if he isn’t, then I think it is time to worry.

      • KCMikeG

        In case you hadn’t noticed the fan mutiny aka SOC, has had ZERO effect other than widening the division of the fan base. No changes have been made and one got fired or demoted.

    • http://twitter.com/biglump007 Leon Ritz

      I’ll give you Russell Wilson but to say Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins are doing well is a stretch, Foles has been ok but not good or well, and Cousins has played one game plus which doesn’t really prove anything. Wilson has done well and has played well for a full season the other two haven’t done it for more than a couple games. Also Before injury Berry was a pro bowler and looked like a perennial pro bowler and has played more like his old self the last few games so the verdict is still out on him. I am not defending Pioli by any means, I think he should be fired as of week 3, but lets call it like it is and not give credit to guys who have played only a game or two in Cousins case, or a few in Foles case.

      • Danny W

        Okay then disagree on Foles and Cousins, but I think Kapernick has done well enough by now to know we’ve missed on him. I stand on my position that Foles and Cousins are good in fact better that any we have on the roster.

        • Ribs61

          or they have had better coaching.

        • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

          Kap looks good. He makes some rookie mistakes but his mobility really helps make up for his lack of experience. It is also clear he has a heck of an arm and he is pretty accurate. I think we talked about him briefly the year he was drafted and I remember thinking he was a really interesting prospect.

      • mnelson52

        I agree that 1 game plus is nothing to make you want to throw the bank roll to them but he came in as a reliever and started 1 game and got 2 wins which is as much as we have had all season. Not saying he would be the answer, just pointing out how bad we suck. A backup rookie has as many wins as the Chiefs

        • mnelson52

          out of 2 tries

          • http://twitter.com/biglump007 Leon Ritz

            I think they deserve credit for what they have done, but I also think that you can’t put them in the same company as RGIII or Russell WIlson. I look at it like this, every year there is a rookie who lights it up, RGIII, Wilson, and Luck this year along with Kaepernik, Foles, and Cousins to a lesser degree. Cam did the same last year with Dalton, and Ponder to a lesser degreee. Look at those guys this year Cam is not even close to what he did last year and any thing that Ponder showed last year he clearly has lost. It seems to happen every year, a QB plays like a beast and everyone is dying to have him then next year comes along, defenses have all offseason to study tape on them and they regress. Not all do but it happens a lot. This is why I have no understanding of why people after 1 game were talking about we need to trade for Kaepernik, or again after just over one game we need to trade for Cousins. They have proven nothing to this point. Desperate knee jerk reaction type moves cripple franchises for years. Cassel had one good year when we traded for him, Kolb had a decent year when the Cardinals traded for him, and in those two situations those were full seasons not a few games. All I am saying is a few games or even one good year doesn’t prove squat in the NFL, If it did Albert Haynesworth would be in the HOF.

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

    Well I know for sure one thing I will not be attending a chiefs game or watching them until both pioli and crennel are gone!!! I know many people who feel the same about the state of the chiefs. Pioli and crennel need to be gone by seasons end or shortly after!!! They are inept at their jobs!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/nico.marquez.98 Nico Marquez

      dont forget about daboll

  • Matt Finucane

    I think Pioli keeps his job, as unbelievable as that may sound.

    • http://twitter.com/taylonr Nate Taylor

      I think you’re right.

    • malcriiado

      Yea I agree with you…

    • ArrowFan

      I get the same feeling

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      I don’t know. Clark would be insane to keep him. I look at it like this. Even if you think Clark only cares about money and even if he thinks Pioli does a good job of saving him money, Pioli is also now becoming bad for business. Hunt can easily find some other stooge to lowball good players and keep the cap low. But any change will excite the fans and probably make him a little more money.

      • mnelson52

        Starting in 2013, teams are required to spend 95% of the cap money. No owner will be able to go cheap.

      • KCMikeG

        The problem is that the decisions he has made were rational, fact based ones. There was hardly a blip of objection on Haley coming off the powerhouse offense and Super Bowl run. Same with RAC as HC after the way the players rallied around him, the Packers upset and nearly making the playoffs.

        Cassel had just stepped into the biggest shoes in the NFL and filled them admirably. Don’t believe me? Go back and read the NE sports writers during that time – they actually were considering Cassel as their future. They were questioning whether Brady would be able to come back and if he did would he be the same QB or not.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m as disgusted and sickened by the way things have turned out and hold him responsible for his failures. I’m also not blind to the positives he has brought to KC.

        It would be interesting to see the success rate of the other GM’s over their first 3-4 years to provide a comparison base to make rational decisions not emotional ones ignoring the reality. Just as it is too early to call whether the rookie QB’s from last years draft will be a great long term decision, it is also too early to make the final call on his draft picks. I see Houston, McCluster, Hudson, Arenas, Asamoah, Bailey, Poe, Moeaki, Berry, Lewis, Succop, Stephenson ALL being major contributors with there still being hope for players like Menzie, Allen, Grey, Wylie, Powe, Brown and I still pray that the right coaching/QB will find a way to make Baldwin develop. Players like Long, Miller, Stanzi, Sheffield and Hemmingway have not even had a shot/been hampered by injury. In the last 3 drafts I see Bannon as the only outright bust and injuries effected him too. Yes 2009 was a bust with only Jackson and Succop being his only successes that year when he had to rely on the existing scouting staff and was behind the curve to begin with with the late start.

        I won’t be disappointed if he is fired as long as Hunt has a better plan B but I would be willing to bet that he is allowed to finish out his contract. I do pray that Hunt wasn’t stupid enough to extend him another two years beyond that as is rumored.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.olvera.9828 Anthony Olvera

    What if Hunt Hires his coach first, and then lets the coach help decide who the GM will be. I could only see this scenario happening if the coach hired were a big name coach with A LOT of NFL experience like Cowher or Gruden. Check this link out, and read the post by Marty Mac from SOC. It might make you fell better about whats going on at 1 Arrowhead drive. For the record, I think Pioli is a goner.

    http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=267736&page=7

  • http://www.facebook.com/dianne.ruettgers Dianne Kliethermes Ruettgers

    Another date Hunt needs to consider in mid-January is the season ticket renewal date. Those letters will be going out soon asking for non-refundable full or partial payments. Our renewal, as well as those of a lot of our STH friends will be contigent on changes.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Excellent point, Dianne. He’d be wise to excite the fans before that date.

  • mnelson52

    I think every game but the Panthers game, Daboll used the same game plan on all the teams. Sorry, I forgot, he didn’t use Charles much in Raider games and Romeo doesn’t know why. Then again he’s only the HC

  • FmsAmos

    During Pioli at the Helm he has Passed on talented QB’s in every draft he’s conducted as a Chief. Everyone knew after Cassel’s first year that he was a career back up and we needed to draft a real QB and even be able to sit him a year giving Cassel another year to maybe make enough noise to allow us to get something in return In a trade but Pioli passing on so many QB’s over the years and putting us in a spot where the one year we have a shot at taking the best QB for the first time in a handful of years there’s not a QB worth taking in the top five and the top ten is still reaching but Pioli has put our backs against a wall to were we have to take a QB first for better or for worse. Now if Clark Hunt was smart he’d allow me to handle the draft this year because I’d trade back and take Teo’ where I think I could get him without reaching, he is a middle linebacker so top five is reaching but top ten is about right and I’d use the picks acquired from trading back and move back into the first and take our QB of the future then wherever Tyler Wilson of Arkansas is projected to go rather that’s the second or third round I’d also draft Wilson then try to find some great value in the fourth and fifth rounds and select a CB and a Safety. Bye Bye Cassel, Bye Bye Quinn and I’d sign a Wiley ole’ veteran QB to be the backup and put Tyler Wilson on the practice squad. One of the two young QB’s has to pan out but all that would be for nothing without hiring an offensive mind head coach and offering Crennel to stay on as te defensive coordinator if the new coach was ok with that system or wanted to bring in his own guys. Either way we’d have some QB talent, well if you can call any QB coming out this year talented.