Pioli Understands Task Ahead

During Wednesday's introductory press conference for Scott Pioli, I counted down the minutes before a reporter inquired about the status of Head Coach Herm Edwards. But that's not what the day was about.

Instead, it was about learning what kind of man Clark Hunt hired to be KC's new general manager. After 48 minutes, it was clear Hunt had picked the right man for the job.

That last statement isn't much of a stretch. Pioli is the hired gun to bring Lombardi trophies back to Arrowhead. There's no other goal.

There are 242 days until the Chiefs open in September. After listening to Pioli talk about his plan, vision and the job ahead for his new football team, I simply can't wait for the season to start.

Over the past several weeks, when it became clear Pioli was the leading candidate to replace Carl Peterson, I asked everyone I knew that either covered the Patriots or knew anything about Pioli, what they thought about him. What I learned paled in comparison to what became obvious at Wednesday's press conference.

We learned about the types of players Pioli wants on his football team – big, fast, smart, tough and disciplined.

But what struck me about Pioli himself, as he gave his opening remarks, was just how much he seemed to "get it." All of it, or everything that has happened in his life in professional football to this point.

Pioli was emotional about his relationship with New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan. You could sense right away that he's a deeply passionate man who's life centers around, family, friendships and working relentlessly toward the ultimate goal - winning a Championship.

Despite that passion, Pioli made no brash promises about plans or time frames, and there were no guarantees except hard work. Fortunately, his resume is impeccable. He wins. That's all that matters.

Leaving New England wasn't easy for Pioli, who not only leaves behind the Kraft family but also his best friend, Bill Belichick.

Outsiders have speculated that Pioli might have been Belichick's yes man, but the two never did anything without talking about it when it came to their football team. They were brothers in every sense of the word.

Pioli comes to the Chiefs with little ego about his title. As he stated Wednesday, until he showed up at the Chiefs' complex he didn't even know what title Hunt had given him.

It's clear Pioli is not a control seeker and quite honestly probably will only address the media when he hires or fires a head coach, introduces a free agent, or prepares for the draft. Apart from that, we likely won't see him until training camp.

In River Falls, he'll be on the field watching the Chiefs, but he won't be worried about shaking hands or kissing babies. The only babies he'll deal with are the young players on KC's roster.

Right now through the eyes of the fans, Pioli is considered the savior of the franchise. Though he'll outwardly never say that's not the case, clearly he understands the totality of the job at hand in Kansas City.

Though he's only in charge of Football Operations, everyone expects the Chiefs to be a better football team in 2009. In Pioli's words, that's not as important as being good in 2010, 2011 and beyond. It's about time the Chiefs had a General Manager who not only says that but believes it will happen.

Even though it's only January the Chiefs are already a better team without making a decision on the head coach, signing a free agent or drafting a single player. That's because Scott Pioli chose to come to the Chiefs with his hard hat on. He's ready to remove the under construction sign.

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