Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli made an appearance on The Border Patrol, a program on Sports Radio 810 this morning and once again demonstrated his keen ability to talk for an extended period of time without saying anything at all.
For the record, I am a Pioli fan. I didn’t like his 2009 but if 2010 was a result of the groundwork laid by the organization in 2009, then I think 2009 was worth it. I don’t like to spend too much time judging Pioli’s methods because I don’t need to. In the end, Pioli will be judged by what the Chiefs do on the football field. If they continue to win, Pioli will be primarily viewed in a favorable light. If the Chiefs start taking step backwards…well, you get it.
I know some of you are bothered by Pioli’s secretive manner. I can understand that. Does the organization need to keep even the smallest things a secret? Do they really get a huge advantage over their opponents by shrouding themselves in mystery?
I don’t know. I really don’t know how much it helps or how much of it is really necessary. I mean I cover this team. More information from the Chiefs would make my job easier and possibly more fun at times. That being said, I’m also a fan and what I really care about is what the Chiefs do on the field. Trust me, nothing would make my job easier or more fun than deep playoff run topped with a trip to the Super Bowl.
That being said, Pioli gave a rare “interview” today and I managed to catch most of it.
After the jump, I’ve got a few quotes from KC’s GM.
On how far the team has to go to reach the level of the Packers and Steelers:
"We had an improved season but there is still al long way to go for this football team."
"Depending on which part you look at, I’d say that we’re a good ways from those teams."
On the depth the Packers have:
"Their first line players are very good but when they have injuries and or problems with their roster, their depth is enough to sustain any problems that they have."
On his philosophy on defense:
"Defense wins championships. Offense just tells you by how much."
Pioli was pretty vague when asked about the contracts of Dwayne Bowe and Tamba Hali. He said he didn’t want to get into it as it is a personal matter for both players but he did say that the organization likes having both players and that they will continue to take steps to get things worked out. He also mentioned that there are plenty of other players (no one specific) that the team needs to work out deals with.
On the CBA:
"It’s business as usual until we find out what the deal is."
Basically Pioli said everyone is in the same boat, meaning all 32 teams. He said the organization is approaching things as they normally would while obviously paying attention to the fact that the situation could change very quickly if a deal is not worked out by March 4th.
On the progress of Matt Cassel:
"His performance improved. He was very well coached by the staff and he improved. He also had players around him that improved."
"We see the needle heading in the right direction with Matt."
"I have great confidence in the coaching staff. It’s never about one person."
Diplomatic answer from Pioli. He said Cassel is certainly improving but also credits the players around Cassel for aiding in that development. He also eluded to the fact that it is a team effort and that it wasn;t necessarily just one person (Charlie Weis) who helped improve Cassel’s play.
On offensive coordinator issues:
"People speculating on the relationships of other people…I think it’s generally unfair unless people know the facts."
"Coaches coach and GM’s manage the organization."
More diplomacy. Seriously, Pioli could probably run for president or he could at least get a job working for the CIA. He basically said that the speculation about Haley being difficult to work for is all BS because those doing the speculating don’t really know what they’re talking about. He has a point there but that doesn’t change the fact that unless he tells people what is really going on, they are going to speculate until the cows come home. If Pioli is going to be so secretive then he is going to have to deal with the fact that people are going to try to figure out what is going on and that those theories may sometimes be off the mark or be negative.
The second quote above was part of Pioli’s vague response to a question about coaches calling their own offensive plays. He didn’t really get much more in depth than that.
On the draft:
"We’re looking for everything and anything that makes this football team better. If we lock ourselves into one position you might miss out on a great opportunity. We will draft with a combination of need and best player available."
Well there you have it Addicts. What do you think, did Pioli say anything that even gives you the slightest clue as to what the Chiefs will do this offseason. Let’s speculate!
You’ll be able to hear Pioli’s full interview in podcast form at 810 Sports later today.