Schottenheimer to KC? Not Likely

Sunday's Chiefs matchup with the Bengals was nothing compared to the drama that unfolded on Chiefs message boards all over the country. The news spread like wildfire that former head coach Marty Schottenheimer might return to Kansas City. But in what capacity?

There's no question that Schottenheimer is one of the most respected coaches in the NFL. He might be the best regular season coach in the history of the game. Who wouldn't want such a man to be a part of their organization, either on the coaching staff or in the front office?

Well, as it turns out, the Chiefs. It's not likely that Schottenheimer will return to Kansas City, at least not as General Manager.

However, early Sunday morning Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that Chiefs Chairman of the Board Clark Hunt had a conversation with Schottenheimer about coming back to Kansas City in some capacity. At first, the rumor indicated that Schottenheimer would serve the same type of role that Bill Parcells serves in Miami with the Dolphins.

Another rumor indicated that if Schottenheimer was hired, he would keep Head Coach Herm Edwards and Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham. However, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey wouldn't be likely to survive. That might be the case regardless of who comes in, based on feedback from Chiefs players who have complained about Gailey's second-half gameplans.

Our team source, who we spoke with late Sunday evening, indicated none of that is likely, however. Instead, the report was that if Schottenheimer returns, he would act solely as a consultant to Hunt in the process to find a new general manager and potential head coach.

So what did we really learn today?? Not much, other than the fact that if Schottenheimer comes back to the Chiefs, it won't be as GM.

So where do the Chiefs go next?

All signs point to an old fashioned AFC Showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns over the hottest candidate on the market - Patriots V.P. of Player Personnel Scott Pioli.

Saturday there was an internet report that indicated Pioli was a lock to join the Cleveland Browns despite the fact that team owner Randy Lerner had not yet fired current General Manager Phil Savage. That did occur within an hour of the Browns loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon, however.

Browns head coach Romeo Crennel will receive his walking papers on Monday, so that leaves the Chiefs and Browns in a manhunt for Pioli.

Common thinking among most NFL Insiders is that Pioli, who has ties to the Cleveland area, would seem the perfect fit for the Browns. However, the issue is if he would gain total control of player personnel and coaching decisions.

Lerner, needing to hit a home run, wants to talk to CBS Broadcaster Bill Cowher about becoming Cleveland's next head coach. But if Cowher decides to come to Cleveland, which is unlikely, he'd want complete control over personnel. That means Cowher would not be accompanied by Pioli.

With the Patriots now officially eliminated from the playoffs, Pioli will start interviewing for GM openings. Warpaint Illustrated has learned that Pioli, if he's going to depart New England, is far more likely to do so this year after turning other opportunities down in each of the last three years. Sources have confirmed that there is interest from Pioli to make the move, take a big payday and remove himself from the shadows of Bill Belichick.

Clark Hunt has officially began the search for his new General Manager and the fact he did not return on the Chiefs' charter flight Sunday afternoon indicates he's going to start the interview process shortly.

So it's clear Lerner has a plan, but so does Hunt. Pioli has a decision to make.

If he takes the job in Cleveland, he'll be working for Lerner, who some believe is being tugged by too many outside influences who are filling his head with unrealistic offseason goals.

If Pioli comes to Kansas City, he could stay with the organization for 20 years and work with a young, dynamic owner that has already made the biggest move in the history of the organization by forcing the resignation of Carl Peterson. Top Stories