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


Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

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!