That wasn't surprising. Frankly, it would have been more earth shaking if this Bill Belichick disciple had been more dynamic, forceful or — dare we say it — even funny.
Oh, there were some flashes of good humor — always important for a man inheriting a 2-14 team with losses in 23 of its last 25 games.
Asked, for instance, about Kansas City's quarterback situation, Pioli allowed that he knew the Chiefs had gone through a progression of quarterbacks last year.
"Of course, you also ran through one of ours,'' he added dryly.
That reference to the season-opening, season-ending injury to Tom Brady got some chuckles, though probably not from Bernard Pollard. There was another lighthearted reference to the possibility of finding Italian food in Kansas City as good as that on Boston's North End, which meant Pioli avoided any Steve Bono cuisine blunders at his first presser.
But anyone expecting Dennis Leary-style New England humor from one of the NFL's top talent evaluators was doomed to be disappointed.
That, after all, is not the Patriot way.
What we got instead — and what Chiefs fans really needed to hear — was a cool, calculated, clinical and confident discussion of what it means to build a team, something Pioli did masterfully under Belichick's steely-eyed guidance in building three Super Bowl winners and four AFC champions over their nine years together in Foxboro.
"My job is not to collect talent, but to build a team,'' he said. "Individuals make the Pro Bowl. Teams win championships. That is our goal."
"What we will do is build a big, strong, smart, fast, tough and disciplined team,'' Pioli added.
"Those are not just words. You will see over time that we will have smart players, because smart players do smart things. We will have tough players, mentally and physically."
"We will have disciplined players who are on time, paying attention and working hard. That's the kind of staff we'll have, the kind of personnel department we'll have. That's how our entire football operation is going to be. And those players will reflect those values.''
Hardly sexy stuff, I know.
Yet there's a lot to be said for a quietly confident man who has been there/done that, who knows what works for a victor and has a sense of how to instill those values in the vanquished.
And no, Pioli also didn't say the words many hungry Chiefs fans wanted to feast upon. That is, that Herm Edwards and his staff had been left twisting in the wind long enough, and that he'd already made a decision to seek a new head coach.
Again, that wouldn't have been the Patriot way.
Actually, it was somewhat comforting to hear Pioli talking about taking his time in evaluating all aspects of the Chiefs football plant before handing out pink slips. While some fans are anxious for a French Revolution style changing of the guard, the more reasoned approach says that a man who immediately calls for the rolling of everyone's head may not be in complete control of his own.
And Scott Pioli is anything but a hothead.
"We're still talking to Herm,'' said Pioli, who had his first meeting with Edwards upon arriving at the Chiefs new training complex Wednesday morning. "We'll go through a process and see how that goes. It's not fair to set a timetable, because this is not about timing. It's about getting it right."
"This process will be very methodical,'' he added. "Not just in our coaching situation, but in our scouting and personnel situation. It's a process that takes time, so I won't put any time parameters on it.''
That likely won't sit well with those who wanted a whole new staff in place by, oh, say, Monday's first workouts at the Senior Bowl.
Dare we suggest that these folks relax a bit? One of the NFL's most acclaimed talent evaluators will have the Mobile workouts well scouted — probably even personally. That much we will guarantee.
We'll also guarantee this. We in the public likely won't be seeing much more of Pioli between now and draft day. Oh, there may well be a press conference to deal with a coaching change, but beyond that, look for the Chiefs' new GM to be a behind the scenes guy who lets his head coach, yet to be determined, be the voice of the franchise.
If I had to take a guess, I don't expect him to fill my notebook with quotes worth re-quoting, either. The Patriot way, you understand.
Pioli's Entrance Undramatic
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