Scott Pioli is introduced as general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo)
Former Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli was introduced as Kansas City Chiefs general manager today. A few highlights of his remarks:
In his opening remarks, Pioli thanked the Kraft family for “very special times” during his tenure in New England. He also thanked Bill Belichick, noting that he was “coming into a family, and leaving another family of very special people.” He called it a privilege to work for the Kraft family. “I learned an awful lot from them as a family, I learned a lot about business, I learned a lot about football,” he said. “It’s a special environment.”
Pioli said Robert and Jonathan Kraft spent time speaking with him about how much they respected the Hunt family (owners of the Chiefs). “They told me they weren’t happy to see me go, but if there was a place they wanted to see me go, it was to Kansas City,” he said.
Pioli outlined his vision for the Chiefs, and the direction they plan to head. It echoed the vision of what Pioli talked about with the Patriots in 2000. “We’re going to build a team that is a team; my job is not to collect talent, it’s to build a team,” he said. “Individuals go to Pro Bowls. Teams win championships. That’s our goal here – to build this team with the right kind of people and the right kind of players, and consistently compete for championships. We’re going to build a big, strong, fast, smart, tough, disciplined football team.”
Pioli said no decision has been made regarding the future of head coach Herm Edwards. He said he visited with Edwards today, but would not set a timetable on when he would make a decision regarding Edwards’ future. “It’s about getting it right,” he said, noting that the overall process would be methodical.
Pioli was asked about the “Patriots Way” and if he can bring some of that to Kansas City. He was asked to describe the “Patriots Way.” “It’s about a group of people who work passionately together and work very hard,” he said. “The only promise that I’ll make today to the Kansas City Chiefs and to the Kansas City Chiefs’ fans is that there will be no one in this league working harder than me to get this done. The ‘Patriots Way’ starts with hard work, discipline, and creating a culture where everyone is on the same page, everyone knows their role, everyone believes in the system, and everyone does their job. People understand their roles and they are selfless about their roles. That is the core of the ‘Patriots Way’.”
On how decisions were made in New England, Pioli said: “Bill had the final say in everything. However, it was a collaboration. I’m not sure I can think of many players that ever came into the program that Bill and I didn’t completely agree on. The amount of respect that he and I had for one another, if there was a disagreement, the respect for the other person led us away from that player. It was a true collaboration. It was one of the very unique experiences that I’ve had – where Bill and I would agree on certain things, but when we’d disagree, we didn’t have any issues. It was never a battle over ego with Bill and I. We were more honed in on coming up with the right answer, rather than his answer or my answer. It was more about the right answer. It was a true collaboration.”