Pioli Praises Edwards

With the hiring of Scott Pioli and the exit of longtime public villain Carl Peterson, many Chiefs fans are still waiting for the last shoe to drop. That proverbial last shoe is Herm Edwards, and many believe his termination as head football coach is inevitable.

It's not just the overwhelming majority of the fans who believe Edwards' days in KC are limited to one or two, but many media members, also. After Wednesday's press conference introducing Pioli as GM, numerous members of the Kansas City media talked about how Edwards is finished and that comments made by Pioli and Clark Hunt about his retention were just a dog and pony show.

I don't follow that line of thinking. Let me go on record as saying I believe Pioli when he talks about the tremendous amount of respect he has for Edwards, and Hunt when he said what to do with Edwards is a decision he and Pioli will reach together. Call me gullible, call me whatever you want, but I draw my conclusion not just off the words of two men, but off the goals, ideals, and beliefs about how to build a winning football program headed by three men.

Let's first start with the pleasantries Pioli showered upon Edwards:

"I've known Herm for a long time. I've got a lot of respect for Herm on a professional level and a personal level. He's a fine man. We're going to spend some more time talking, and like I said, this entire thing is going to be a process, and we're going to continue to spend some time talking with Herm. And contrary to some reports that were out there, we're going to spend some time talking with Herm. I'm going to spend some time talking with Herm, and I'm actually looking forward to it very much…"

"I know this, Herm's been around enough teams that have been very successful and have gone to the playoffs, and he's brought enough teams to the playoffs, so he knows something about players and playing and winning games."

"The first thing that jumps out to me with Herm Edwards' team is how hard they play. Herm's players play hard, and they play hard for him, they play hard for themselves. I've known Herm not only as a competitor, but I've gotten to know him over the years, and have a good personal relationship with him. His players play hard, they play very hard, and that's one of the things I really respect about him. He coaches passionately as well and I believe in passion."

Some may scoff at Pioli's comments about Edwards, and certainly the "any incoming GM is going to be complimentary of a well-respected coach already in place, but that doesn't mean he's going to keep him around" argument is untreatable. I get that, but look at some of the things Pioli talked about when he wasn't referring to Edwards,' but rather the organization and his philosophy about winning in general.

"The relationship that Bill and I had was professional and personal, and I think the relationship with the head coach, for me is going to need to be personal, because there's a lot of, hopefully peaks and there's certainly valleys in this business. And when you reach those different times, you need to have a close relationship and a mutual respect for someone to work through where all the difficult situations are…."

Didn't Pioli say he's, "gotten to know (Herm) over the years, and (has) a good personal relationship with him"?

It seems Edwards fulfills one of Pioli's criteria in selecting a head coach.

Also, Pioli was asked to describe the "Patriot way," and this was part of his response: "It's about a group of people that work passionately together and work very hard."

Well, did Pioli not also give Edwards props for his passion? That's now two checkmarks in Edwards' favor.

"I believe in the draft. I believe strongly in the draft, it's the backbone of your football team. I also believe that in certain situations depending on opportunity and need that you can compliment and auppliment your roster with free agency…The other thing that we're trying to build here is not a team just for 2009, not just for 2010. The goal here is to build a team a team that consistently competes for championships."

Don't those remarks sound an awful lot like something Edwards might say?

Maybe I'm dead wrong, and Pioli and Hunt are still putting on a charade about really considering retaining Edwards, and all of this is just a show because Hunt knows deep down that he signed off on the rebuilding project with Edwards as its architect, but the losing turned out to be more than he could handle.

Maybe, but something tells me that Herm's future truly hasn't been decided yet, that Pioli really might give him the chance. Maybe I'm gullible, but honestly, it looks like Edwards and Pioli have similar views of how to rebuild a team. Sticking my neck out on this one isn't a terrible bet, because if I'm wrong, we'll just chock it up as another "L," but if I'm right, man will I do some bragging. I feel like the guy who took Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson, and hopefully, I'll be laughing my way to the bank.

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