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An 0-2 start has the knives out for Scott Pioli in K.C.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Getty Images

The Chiefs got some notice in preseason playoff predictions, including the ones handed in by this writer for this website, in large part because it looked like they had a good defense.

Sunday’s 35-17 loss to the Bills left some egg on this face (even if leaving the Saints out of the playoffs feels better at this hour) and it left the Chiefs with 68 points allowed through the first two weeks of the season. Even the most optimistic Chiefs supporters have to admit that they don’t have the offense to win games if their defense is getting gashed like that on a regular basis.

Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star is convinced they aren’t going to win much at all as long as Scott Pioli is the General Manager. Babb penned a wicked takedown of Pioli in the aftermath of the lopsided loss to the Bills and writes that “the Chiefs will never win big while Pioli is this team’s boss.” Babb crushes Pioli’s managerial style, his drafting, his support of quarterback Matt Cassel and, overwhelmingly, his desire to protect his own job over doing the right things for the team.

“Now in his fourth season as GM, Pioli has spent too much time trying to justify his decisions, rather than trying to improve them,” Babb writes. “He whines to outsiders that the Chiefs’ salary-cap shortcomings are misunderstood? Well, spend more money, as team chairman Clark Hunt has said Pioli is authorized to do. Pioli excuses himself for his biggest mistakes, such as saying he just didn’t do his homework before hiring former coach Todd Haley? Well, why not? And he says privately that drafting a quarterback in the early rounds isn’t the point; it’s about drafting the right one. Well, Scott, then draft the right one. These things are big parts of Pioli’s job, but instead of acknowledging that, he chooses to tell himself — and, through back channels, you — that things are just fine.”

There’s a lot more where that came from and the whole thing is worth a read unless you’re a Chiefs fan trying not to spend all of Monday feeling frustrated by the direction of the team. The Chiefs are definitely a better team than they were when Pioli got to town. The first two games have made a compelling argument that they still aren’t good enough to compete at the highest levels, however, and they suggest that things might be trending in the wrong direction overall.

If things don’t turn around in a hurry, like next week in the Superdome against an 0-2 Saints team, Babb, who is leaving for a job at the Washington Post in the near future, isn’t going to be the only one calling for heads to roll in Kansas City.

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39 Responses to “An 0-2 start has the knives out for Scott Pioli in K.C.”
  1. joetoronto says: Sep 17, 2012 10:44 AM

    IT’s not just Pioli, it’s the cheap Hunt family too.

    Look, it’s one thing to shoot your load and lose, but it’s quite another to hoard the money and lose.

    You have to WANT to win.

  2. eagleswin says: Sep 17, 2012 10:51 AM

    Let’s face it, if Drew Bledsoe didn’t get hurt all those years ago and if the refs didn’t unearth an obscure rule called “the tuck rule”, everyone involved in the Patriots dynasty would’ve been fired years ago and Tom Brady would be out of the league.

    The unluckiest injury in Bledsoe’s life was the luckiest injury in the history of the patriots. Props to Brady for being the perfect QB for Belicheck’s system and taking advantage of his opportunity.

  3. unstaybill says: Sep 17, 2012 10:56 AM

    Clark Hunt has given Pioli his full support. Pioli himself has stated that there are no restrictions on spending. I’m tired of all the Hunt bashing as they have been an asset to our community. It looks like Clarks biggest mistake is hiring somebody who is intent on making himself look good, while the team circles the drain. KC has good players (most of which were drafted by King Carl). For some reason this coaching staff cannot put them in a position to win. Yesterday I missed seeing Haley on the sideline cuz I can guarantee he wouldn’t have been standing there with a blank look on his face. Somebody would have been getting his ass chewed.

  4. fin72 says: Sep 17, 2012 10:58 AM

    Sounds like Babb is taking one last shot on his way out the door to get even with Pioli for being tough on the media.

  5. tomthebombtracy says: Sep 17, 2012 10:58 AM

    I know the Chiefs are 0-2.

    I know this is all Todd Haley’s fault.

    But have you noticed, there’s not been one additional candy wrapper found in the stairwell.

    Pioli’s rep at NE was that he was a know-it-all who was always trying to get in the last line.

    Well, he’ll be in a different kind of line very soon.

  6. kelmcc says: Sep 17, 2012 10:59 AM

    So, these teams that keep hiring the Patriot’s re-treads realize that Belichick and Brady aren’t part of the deal, right?

    Weis held Belichick’s clipboard and helped manage practice… did not groom Brady or build/design that offense.

    Romeo the same…

    And Pioli provides business support services for Belichick, and executed his strategy.

  7. JSpicoli says: Sep 17, 2012 11:18 AM

    I knew this was a pos team from the get go. Never understood the media focus on them preseason.

  8. kcflake says: Sep 17, 2012 11:31 AM

    Pioli has been a disaster from day 1 in Kansas City. When he took over, we had personnel for a 4/3 defense, Pioli force feeds a 3/4 defense with the wrong personnel and spends the #3 pick in the draft on a useless defensive end. (The Chiefs already had Jason Babin on their roster when they used the #3 pick on a DE). Pioli chose a coach in Todd Haley who had barely any track record and had never been a head coach.

    This has been a disaster since he was hired for $25 million over 5 years. I could go on for days.

    If we do not see a turnaround and fast, then Pioli will need to head back to New England since Belichick is his security blanket.

  9. rc33 says: Sep 17, 2012 11:43 AM

    K.C.’s defense is garbage. It’d take a Brady, Rodgers-level QB to regularly win games with that group just hemorrhaging points week after week. If the KC defense doesn’t up their play…considerably…in the next few weeks its gonna be a long, disappointing season.

  10. radrntn says: Sep 17, 2012 11:43 AM

    afc west was so much better when raiders and chiefs game meant something…

  11. dawsonleery says: Sep 17, 2012 11:44 AM

    Chiefs have done pretty bad in the draft. All those high picks on the D-Line and it’s not even good. The best players on the team are the ones Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson drafted.

  12. citizenstrange says: Sep 17, 2012 11:45 AM

    Pioli has made an entire career based on accidentally drafting Tom Brady in the 6th round. It is that simple.

    He took that incredibly lucky once-in-a-thousand-lifetimes accident as proof that he could actually evaluate talent and thought he could somehow make lightning strike twice with lifetime backup clipboard holder Matt Cassel-hoff.

    Hubris.

  13. brenenostler says: Sep 17, 2012 11:48 AM

    Playoffs? Yeah maybe if three teams in each division qualify. Everyone knows Denver and San Diego rule that division.

    And even if three teams in each division went to the playoffs, I’m still not sure that would get K.C. in.

  14. riverhorsey says: Sep 17, 2012 11:49 AM

    The Chiefs should of kept Haley and fired Pioli last year.

  15. kattykathy says: Sep 17, 2012 11:55 AM

    Unstaybill

    Just how have Hunts been an asset to the community?

    Is it from building Worlds Of Fun?
    That was a business move that made Lamar millions before he sold it/

    Is it from Hunt Midwest caves?
    That also is a business development that was the doing of Lamar.

    Is it the Chiefs?
    Another business move by Lamar that got the idiots in city hall and Jackson County to fund a half billion dollar renovation, but vote down putting on a retractable roof?
    How freakin idiotic was that?

    The Hunts have never resided in the area, they have always been in Dallas.

    Lamar Hunt valued the fans, and he considered employees as family.
    Clark Hunt doesn’t value either. He is the greedy pompous heir and if the city would not have come up with money to renovate, you can bet your bottom dollar he would have moved.
    Ask some of the longtime employees how they have been treated and fired.

    If Clark hunt wanted to win, he would order Pioli to spend more money, not sit quietly in Dallas. Pioli works for him, so if the money isnt being spent to win, it falls on the boss for not ordering it, not Pioli.

  16. kattykathy says: Sep 17, 2012 11:57 AM

    With the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft the Kansas City Chiefs select Matt Barkley of USC

  17. sb44champs says: Sep 17, 2012 11:59 AM

    Sunday’s 35-17 loss to the Bills left some egg on this face (even if leaving the Saints out of the playoffs feels better at this hour)
    ————————————–
    Couldn’t resist taking a shot at the Saints… I guess that what we get for being the team with the most wins in the last 3 years!!!

  18. joetoronto says: Sep 17, 2012 12:00 PM

    unstaybill says:
    Sep 17, 2012 10:56 AM
    Clark Hunt has given Pioli his full support. Pioli himself has stated that there are no restrictions on spending. I’m tired of all the Hunt bashing as they have been an asset to our community. It looks like Clarks biggest mistake is hiring somebody who is intent on making himself look good, while the team circles the drain.
    **************************************************
    I’m wondering why a GM with “no restrictions on spending” from the owner, would restrict himself so bad, that the team is constantly at the top of the list in available salary cap space?

    This makes no sense to me.

  19. jolink653 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:01 PM

    I don’t understand how you can blame this solely on Pioli: He assembled a very talented roster that can’t put it together on the field…Jamaal Charles had 4 carries for 1 YARD…1 YARD…How is it he only gets 4 carries? BB did sell high on Cassel, which was the smart thing to do, but he benefited more from the system than actually being talented…Bowe is a top receiver and Baldwin has the tools to be up there too plus Charles and Hillis are a good backfield so the offense has all the tools…the defense is littered with #1 picks (Poe, Hali, Dorsey, Jackson, Berry, Derrick Johnson) and they can’t seem to get it together either…I think the coaches should assume as much, if not more of, the blame than Pioli

  20. southpaw2k says: Sep 17, 2012 12:01 PM

    Ouch. Well I have egg on my face for thinking the Chiefs could be a surprise team and win the AFC West. Though as bad as they look, I still don’t think they’ll end up with the first pick in next year’s draft. That dubious honor will go to Jacksonville.

  21. sb44champs says: Sep 17, 2012 12:03 PM

    If things don’t turn around in a hurry, like next week in the Superdome against an 0-2 Saints team, Babb, who is leaving for a job at the Washington Post in the near future, isn’t going to be the only one calling for heads to roll in Kansas City.
    —————————-
    Better start rolling the heads now as I don’t see them beating a very beatable Saints team in week 3…

  22. rc33 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:14 PM

    You could take Barkley and he’s probably gonna be a good, maybe great, NFL QB. K.C. needs to do better offensively but let’s be honest; they’ve given up 68 points in two games, including 35 yesterday against a Buffalo team that didn’t have their #1 RB, Fred Jackson or their #1 receiver, David Nelson.
    The D has some decent players but these guys are going nowhere until there’s a major upgrade on that side of the ball.

  23. r8rsfan says: Sep 17, 2012 12:15 PM

    Ha ha – with the first pick in the 2013 draft the Chiefs select Chucky Keaton, QB, Utah State University.

  24. gerryb323 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:19 PM

    “it left the Chiefs with 68 points allowed through the first two weeks of the season”

    Or 75 points allowed, but either way, BAD!

  25. passiveaggressivechiefsfan says: Sep 17, 2012 12:29 PM

    Pioli’s head is stuck in New England.

    It’s one thing to act all secretive and not give any hint as to what they are doing…similar to NE. BUT…it’s another thing to act like that and lose. The CIA type secrecy in NE works because they win.

    Hunt and Pioli are looking more and more incompetent when it comes to managing a football team.

    The face of this team is its proud fan base that has stuck with them through thick and thin. However, that same fan base is deteriorating.

    The Chiefs have become an embarrassment in the NFL.

    Come on Tinkerbell…you can’t just sprinkle fairy dust throughout the locker room to produce a win. You have to work at it.

    The fans used to think that an 8-8 season was shameful. Now that’s all I am hoping for.

    Pioli and Hunt work on the auspice of continually dangling the proverbial carrot in front of their fans to keep them buying tickets and merchandise. That’s not going to work too much longer. It wasn’t too long ago that Arrowhead was virtually empty on Sundays…and for those that did show – there were a lot of paper sacks over their heads. That may happen again sooner rather than later.

    In today’s economy – fans demand value for their dollar. Putting it towards a Sunday at Arrowhead is a stretch at best.

    Keep it up Pioli and Hunt…alienate your fan base…

    In these situations…its sometimes said that it will get worse before it gets better. Not in this case…it’ll get worse…and worse…and worse.

  26. CKL says: Sep 17, 2012 12:34 PM

    Pioli’s worst football related error staff wise might be in thinking RAC could be a HC. The guy is a fantastic DC, but horrible HC. Heck it took him a billion years as an assistant to GET to DC.

  27. mazblast says: Sep 17, 2012 1:00 PM

    You folks don’t understand. Pioli is from holy New England. New England has never lost a game, always wins the Super Bowl, and has never, ever done anything outside of league rules. They have the perfect coach, perfect QB, perfect assistants, and perfect front office.

    Furthermore, it is Known Fact that anything any person affiliated with holy New England does is perfect, whether while with holy New England or after leaving there to spread the Gospel of Belichick and Brady to the kuffar masses. This is proven by the documented successes of such St. Belichick disciples as Weis, Crennel, and McDaniels.

    Pioli has never made a mistake, since it logically follows from his having been with holy New England that he is incapable of error. All those personnel decisions and such were correct. If it appears to you that His decisions were incorrect, the fault must be with you.

    It is just an illusion that the Chiefs are a complete disaster right now.

  28. 49erca says: Sep 17, 2012 1:07 PM

    Unfortunately, K.C. Is an average team. At some point they need to acquire a real N.F.L. quarterback. Without that they will never beat Denver or San Diego. 2013

  29. gojags says: Sep 17, 2012 1:21 PM

    Mr. Pioli , you are most welcome to Join the jags organization heading the front office.

  30. yelix says: Sep 17, 2012 1:50 PM

    Pioli has done a decent job of assembling a talented roster and keeping good players in town, but they still play like the mess Herm Edwards had in 2007 and 2008. The fact of the matter is that Pioli has failed to build a coaching staff that can outsmart opponents, and he has failed to get a franchise quarterback to lead the team and score points when the defense struggles.

    I think I can speak for most Chiefs fans when I say the one thing we want more than anything else is a franchise quarterback drafted in the first round. Just because Todd Blackledge was terrible doesn’t mean they should never try again. Every other team in the NFL understands that, no matter how bad a bust the previous franchise QB was, you still need to try again.

    I knew they would lose to Atlanta, but after yesterday’s game, I’m completely done with Pioli, Cassel, and the “Patriot Way.” I’ll continue to root for this team to win every week, but unless they win a playoff game this year, the New England tablescraps need to go.

  31. applecool1981 says: Sep 17, 2012 1:59 PM

    rc33 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:14 PM

    You could take Barkley and he’s probably gonna be a good, maybe great, NFL QB. K.C. needs to do better offensively but let’s be honest; they’ve given up 68 points in two games, including 35 yesterday against a Buffalo team that didn’t have their #1 RB, Fred Jackson or their #1 receiver, David Nelson.
    The D has some decent players but these guys are going nowhere until there’s a major upgrade on that side of the ball.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Nelson is our number three wide receiver behind Johnson and Jones. I personally think he is better than Jones but is still not a starting quality receiver.

  32. jbholcom says: Sep 17, 2012 2:22 PM

    I believe Pioli’s main problem is with his coaching decisions. He’s put together a team that is light years ahead of what he inherited, but coaching is the problem. Blocking and tackling have basically been non-existent for several years now. Move in a coach like Jeff Fisher, Jim Harbaugh, or Pete Carroll and this is a Super Bowl contender even with an average QB. The Chiefs have the players, just not the coaching. Until Pioli goes out and gets a great coach, the Chiefs will be in this same situation year after year.

  33. geniusfan says: Sep 17, 2012 3:02 PM

    Piolo actually started his terrible drafting in New England. He’s responsible for a bunch of forgettable drafts the Patriots had over the years. Maroney, Meriwheather, they have Pioli’s fingerprints all over them. Belichick hated Meriwheather’s free lancing from the moment he got to Foxborough. Since he’s been gone Belichick has assumed more control and the drafts have been much improved for the Pats.

    I just don’t understand why teams keep taking the Patriots’ leftovers. There are only two reasons that team has been successful from 2001 to 2o12 and in no particular order that’s Brady and Belichick.

    Unless you manage to bring one or both of those two to your team their success will not be duplicated.

  34. Josh Alper says: Sep 17, 2012 3:14 PM

    I wasn’t blaming the defense for the McKelvin punt return, but feel free to do whatever you like.

  35. dougydougdoug says: Sep 17, 2012 4:41 PM

    Man alive. I normally make fun of the Raiders, because their fans get worked up in a lather, like neglected junkyard dogs.

    But your KC guys are just in such sad shape. What a pitiful excuse for a NFL team. I’m surprised the league didn’t just give you a third loss for how miserably those amateurs played in Buffalo.

    At least you’ve got some good BBQ out there in MO. I guess that’s about it?

  36. nawlinssaints1956 says: Sep 17, 2012 6:57 PM

    Wow Josh, I didn’t realize the playoff teams were determined after week two, my bad. The Saints will be in the mix. That being said, the Chiefs could not come along at a better time…

  37. johninthewest says: Sep 18, 2012 1:28 AM

    It comes down to the players and execution. This is just a bad team period! Nothing better than going 0-3 by next weekend! Bronco fans are loving it!!!

  38. jr420eightball says: Sep 18, 2012 8:59 PM

    i remember when the Chiefs use to be relevant. Man I’m getting old

  39. gerryb323 says: Sep 21, 2012 12:28 PM

    Josh Alper says:
    Sep 17, 2012 3:14 PM
    I wasn’t blaming the defense for the McKelvin punt return, but feel free to do whatever you like.

    ——————-

    Fair enough, although the linked article specifies that the defense gave up 68 points, while your post says the Chiefs did. I would argue that Chiefs were indeed playing on punt coverage as well (even if they were playing badly)…

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