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Pioli is innocent
After another embarrassing home loss by the Kansas City Chiefs that featured a lackluster crowd wearing more black than red in the stands, Iím ready to give in to the fact that all the blame for the teams 1-9 record canít be placed at the feet of General Manager, Scott Pioli.
I know Iíve heard it from all of you and probably said it myself in regards to the Chiefs embattled General Manager, Scott Pioli. Itís the same story when I talk to Chiefs fans around town, Pioli must be fired. But as I stated on my TV appearance sunday morning on KSHB TV 41, I really donít see Chairman, Clark Hunt, making that move.
Yes thereís going to be changes in January for the Chiefs. They may include a new Head coach, a new offensive coordinator and not one but likely two new quarterbacks added on or before draft day. But the one place that fans want it the most at the general manager position, may not even occur.
If you sit back and look at the team as a whole, Scott Pioli isnít the primary reason the Chiefs are failing right now on the field. Sure heís responsible for assembling the current team in his image; the one he carried with him to Kansas City from New England. But I have to believe, that Pioli, with so much pressure on his shoulders, may have become more humble in November than at the beginning of the season.
And that probably has to do something with the fact this entire city wants his job handed to him on a silver platter with a one-way bus pass out of town to boot. Again, I just donít see it that happening after this miserable season ends.
Instead I lend more credence to the fact that Pioli, who is still entrusted by ownership to fix the team going forward, will get another shot to deliver the goods in 2013.
And if I were Clark Hunt, Iíd lean far more towards opening up the purse strings in free agency and make other changes on the coaching staff; that could finally put the two men atop the organization on the same page.
As fans, what weíre missing with our anger at both men is we forget theyíre paddling backwards in the same row boat. Hunt knows he can never shed the image of his late father, Founder Lamar Hunt, until he delivers Super Bowl to this town and Pioli has yet to shake the image he can win without Bill Belichick
So both men have something at stake, and even more to prove.
And to date with Hunt being silent and Pioli yet to give up more to the media of any real substance, all signs indicate that behind the Arrowhead curtain, the distance between both men - might not be that far apart.
Iím sure this isnít what Chiefs fans want to hear. And I can already hear you cursing me that Iím heading another direction. But Iím a realist. And with 50 years of life on this earth as a Chiefs fan, Iíve seen it all in Kansas City.
But I do.
Iím not sure why the sudden epiphany occurred on Sunday watching the game from the press box. But as I entered the Arrowhead gates today barely hitting my brakes on my car once as I left Johnson County, it hit me, Pioli probably is coming back next season.
So I thought instead of writing about another Chiefs loss on Sunday, Iíd talk myself into refusing to buy into the fact that Pioli is to blame for everything. Yes he has much to do with the teams failures this season. But he canít make the players do what the coaches are telling them to do on the field. Nor can he instruct his coaches how to get that done.
At the core of Pioliís rise from grabbing leftover pizza after an 18 hour days as an intern in Cleveland to a three time Super Bowl winning General Manager, heís now experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
So that could mean as he sits at the crossroads of his professional career in Kansas City, maybe heís learned something. I think heís learned that dipping into the ĎPatriot Wayí does not work in this town.
Or maybe heís learned that treating agents who have high profile Thorobreds in their stables, might land a few more of them in Kansas City in 2013.
And just maybe if your a diehard like yours truly, he appreciates the last chance he might get from his owner to right the Chiefs ship, by understanding that finding another way to get things done is critical for long-term tenure in Kansas City.
Thus if Pioli does let down his guard and starts making decisions based on a consensus that comes from a deep rooted, well thought out offseason game plan that puts everyone in this organization on the same page, he just might get the job done.
However for this philosophical, humbling plan to work, ownership has to start speaking and give Pioli a thumbs up for 2013. Because the longer Clark Hunt stays silent contemplating changes and keeping them in secret as he has to date, more fans will fade to black.
So as we sit at 1-9 on the season, you have to wonder no matter which road Hunt takes regarding the future of Scott Pioli, my gut tells me that ownership isnít going to make the grand gesture to the fan base that theyíre clamoring for at this time.
Instead, much like Lamar Hunt did with Carl Petersonís initial five-year plan and the three that nearly followed, that young Hunt probably should give a humbled and motivated Pioli, one more season to fix the mess they all created together.
If not, then at least during Thanksgiving week, Iím taking a break from the negative energy surrounding this organization and going to eat my Turkey and fixings in peace.