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Pioli joins Falcons as assistant G.M.

Pioli AP

In 2012 and 2013, Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff had to rebound from the departures of director of player personnel Les Snead to the Rams and his successor, Dave Caldwell, to the Jaguars.

This year, Dimitroff has gotten much better news.

Director of player personnel Lionel Vital is remaining with the team after drawing interest from the Bucs, and former Chiefs G.M. and Patriots V.P. of player personnel Scott Pioli is joining the front office as assistant General Manager.

The Falcons announced moments ago the hiring of Pioli, who spent the 2013 season with NBC and SiriusXM NFL Radio.  Pioli and Dimitroff worked together in New England, with Dimitroff serving as director of college scouting.

After helping coach Bill Belichick build a roster that won three Super Bowls in four seasons, Pioli became G.M. of the Chiefs in 2009.  A playoff appearance in his second season created hope for the future, but a couple of bad seasons resulted in a total house cleaning after 2012.

Still, Pioli left behind a strong nucleus of talented players, to which new coach Andy Reid and new G.M. John Dorsey didn’t need to add much to become a playoff team again.

The Falcons need a similar turnaround in 2014, after unexpectedly hitting a pothole in 2013 and plunging from 13-3 to 4-12.  Pioli will be charged with the task of helping Dimitroff use free agency and the draft to address weaknesses on both the offensive line, defensive line, and elsewhere.

But the Falcons have a franchise quarterback and plenty of other talented players.  With Dimitroff, Pioli, and Vital, they should be in good position to find the talent that will help the team recover from its first non-winning season since 2007.

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32 Responses to “Pioli joins Falcons as assistant G.M.”
  1. realnflmaster says: Jan 22, 2014 9:27 AM

    Maybe if you beg King Belichick enough he’ll let you come back to a real franchise.

    Three rings to………..ZERO

  2. logast says: Jan 22, 2014 9:29 AM

    Nice hire by Atlanta. Pioli is a great exec.

  3. 1uniquename says: Jan 22, 2014 9:31 AM

    Good for the Falcons, that team will be right back in the mix next season and could even surprise and find themselves in the Super Bowl.

  4. securb2013 says: Jan 22, 2014 9:34 AM

    Isn’t this the guy that gave Matt Cassel a 16 million dollar contract?

  5. jcampol says: Jan 22, 2014 9:37 AM

    Sooooo the falcons have basically hired a 2nd g.m before the dolphins could manage to hire one? Why do I continue to support this team? Everyday it’s something new.

  6. snikerbotloot says: Jan 22, 2014 9:41 AM

    Idk – is Matt Ryan a franchise QB? Seems like like they have a franchise WR and above average QB. Just sayin…

  7. dynastyposeiden says: Jan 22, 2014 9:44 AM

    belichick should be begging pioli to come back not the other way around … belichick is a terrible drafter and pioli built a dynasty when he was there
    bill should stick X’s & O’s … where his expertise lies.
    great hire for the falcons but I will miss him on PFT he was terrific

  8. falconlifer says: Jan 22, 2014 9:45 AM

    How many has New England wins since Pioli left?

  9. jjackwagon says: Jan 22, 2014 9:46 AM

    Congrats….to Carolina, New Orleans & Tampa.

  10. ez4u2sa says: Jan 22, 2014 9:46 AM

    Great move by the Falcons. Pioli and Belichick were a great team for the Patriots. Maybe Atlanta can capture the same magic.

  11. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 22, 2014 9:57 AM

    0 Super Bowls for NE since Pioli left. Or maybe that was just because of the lack of spy tools.

  12. johnnyjagfan says: Jan 22, 2014 9:58 AM

    Pioli & Dimitroff were a great team for Belichick.

    Hope Pioli is involved in scouting.

  13. red26sox says: Jan 22, 2014 10:01 AM

    belichick should be begging pioli to come back not the other way around … belichick is a terrible drafter and pioli built a dynasty when he was there
    bill should stick X’s & O’s … where his expertise lies.
    great hire for the falcons but I will miss him on PFT he was terrific
    —-
    Really, BB is so terrible at drafting that his team always makes the playoffs. Look at this years draft, both second rounders Collins and Dobson had good years. Collins came on particularly strong at the end and Logan Ryan played great for a third round corner.

  14. dynastyposeiden says: Jan 22, 2014 10:08 AM

    hey red sox
    darius butler
    ras- i dowling
    myron pryor
    jermaine cunningham
    taylor price
    ron brace
    patrick chung
    brandon tate
    all 3 rd round or higher complete whiffs mostly

  15. mogogo1 says: Jan 22, 2014 10:09 AM

    Assistant GM might be the role Pioli can fill. Because as the head GM with the Chiefs he created an absolutely cancerous front office situation. It doesn’t get much worse than the head coach accusing the GM of wiretapping his phone. And the fact Haley was almost immediately hired again suggests NFL insiders actually thought his claims might be true.

  16. kcfanatic says: Jan 22, 2014 10:15 AM

    Good thing he’s not your GM. Pioli overpaid mid level talent, and gave away some of the best talent on the Chiefs. During his time here in KC, all of the stars were holdovers from the previous regime. I’m glad to see him anywhere but here…No, actually I wish he had went to Denver

  17. jbaxt says: Jan 22, 2014 10:26 AM

    No, he gave Matt Cassel a 63 million dollar contract, traded away the best TE in the history of the game, went through 2 coaches in 3 years after going to the playoffs, had phone lines tapped due to low self esteem, would randomly place trash in areas to see if anyone would pick it up, got no good free agents in 4 years, seemingly drafted well but it took a new regime to see their abilities, wouldn’t bench Cassel after horrendous play, promoted Romeo Crennel to a position he clearly wasn’t qualified for, let Todd Haley make him look like a fool by giving him Tyler Palko as a backup, wouldn’t talk to the media, had choke collars on his coaches, proved Bilichick was the brains behind NE, and on and on.

    The guy is a head case and only has a job because of his friend. Good luck ATL, muzzle him and put him in the corner if you’re smart.

  18. citiciti says: Jan 22, 2014 10:31 AM

    He should have been hired by the Browns.

  19. jagsfan1 says: Jan 22, 2014 10:42 AM

    PATS = TIGER WOODS

    BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND THEM AND NO MORE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  20. mcmccii says: Jan 22, 2014 11:01 AM

    Good Luck! He’ll need it, as they need to fill MULTIPLE spots on the O-Line right now.

  21. jbaxt says: Jan 22, 2014 11:07 AM

    Oh ya, he ran off Brian Waters and Casey Wiemann too. Both went on to have pro bowl seasons elsewhere for a couple years. He should be scout, but his input should stop there.

  22. gritzblitz66 says: Jan 22, 2014 11:10 AM

    Not that hard to make the playoffs in the AFC east. You get 6 wins just for being in the division.

  23. kcflake says: Jan 22, 2014 11:11 AM

    Watch your back Falcons, Pioli ran the KC Chiefs into the ground. He was a pathetic GM for us. Couldn’t find a QB or Coach that was worth a damn. Good thing he won’t be In Charge for you guys.

    Somewhere Clark Hunt is doing cartwheeels, since he won’t have the pay all of Pioli’s remaining salary with the Chiefs.

  24. riverhorsey says: Jan 22, 2014 11:47 AM

    Pink Panther Pioli strikes again

  25. behike54 says: Jan 22, 2014 11:49 AM

    Why anyone would hire Pioli is beyond my comprehension. Pioli has a management style akin to Joseph Stalin. Anyone who will call a building wide meeting and rant and rave about a candy wrapper being found in a stairwell is not someone who is focused on the big picture!

    He gave up a 2nd round draft pick and 60 million dollars to Matt *bleeping* Cassel. And stubbornly stood by the guy when it was painfully obvious that the Chiefs would never go anywhere as long as Cassel was the starter at QB.

    Speaking of draft picks, the only impressive pick he made while in Kansas City was getting Justin Houston in the 3rd round. Many of his other selections were either marginal players or selected to high.

    Pioli thought, I suppose, that he was going to replicate New England’s success in Kansas City. Problem was he was lacking the main two ingredients, a HOF head coach and a HOF QB that just fell in your lap in the 6th round. Without those two items the Patriots are no better than the Dolphins.

    If I was an NFL team owner, I’d have laws passed forbidding Pioli from even entering my City, let alone running (destroying) my team. The atmosphere Pioli created in KC had to have one of the most toxic situations in recent league history.

    Good riddance, and good luck Atlanta.

  26. amac0109 says: Jan 22, 2014 12:38 PM

    I agree with most of the things above but if you are going to bash him for the misses you have to give him credit for the things he got right.

    In Atlanta there is NO WAY he is a talent guy. He’s a contract/ cap/ #’s guy. Take a look at Jaamal Charles’ contract, that’s his first contract off of his rookie deal. Other than the rookie contracts that has to be (I’m not going to take the time to look) top 3 most team friendly contracts.

    He did the same thing with Derrick Johnson. Maybe he just got lucky but it seems like he has a feel for timing and when to strike. (letting brandon carr leave excluded)

  27. dalcow4 says: Jan 22, 2014 12:40 PM

    It’s hard to reconcile the Chief horror stories with the smart, engaging gentleman we see on tv.

    In the end, though, the NFL is pretty much a giant buddy system and it might be telling that Pioli is just now getting another gig. The Patriots didn’t ask him back, and no one else in the league wanted him.

    I wish him well, though. I like him a lot on the interviews etc.

  28. amac0109 says: Jan 22, 2014 12:40 PM

    Being a Chiefs fan is brutal. There is always someone to blame and his “My way/ Patriot way” attitude made everyone hate.. HATE.. him when things spun out of control.

  29. onixtorres says: Jan 22, 2014 12:45 PM

    When Pioli took over as GM of the Chiefs they were 2-14… Four years later when he was fired he was 2-14. . . The numbers don’t lie – this guy is overrated.

  30. xxsweepthelegxx says: Jan 22, 2014 2:42 PM

    @dynastyposeiden
    Drafting isn’t easy, it’s skill and a lot of luck. If you’re going to point out the misses, you can’t discredit his hits right? it works both ways.

    Jerod Mayo
    Mathew Slater
    Julian Edelman
    Sebastian Vollmer
    Aaron Hernandez (pre murder)
    Brandon Spikes
    Rob Gronkowski
    Devin McCourtey
    Marcus Cannon
    Stevan Ridley
    Shane Vereen
    Nate Solder
    Alfonzo Denard
    Chandler Jones
    Donta Hightower
    Jaime Collins came around this year
    Logan Ryan
    etc…

    Those are some damn good players. I will say he has missed on some 2nd rounders for sure, and overall, he cannot draft/develope a WR for the life of him (outside WR that is).

    Overall his misses in the early rounds aren’t great, but he more than makes up for it in the later rounds.

  31. noladat says: Jan 22, 2014 3:05 PM

    Yep they need all the help they can get.

    No line on either side of the ball.

    Wr they sold the farm for now has a bad wheel!

    White can’t come close to backing up his mouth anymore

    Ryan is getting really paid and is not really good!

    No rb or te!

    All the help they can get cuz they need a whole team!

  32. tavisteelersfan says: Jan 22, 2014 3:44 PM

    It’s funny you mention Miami not having a GM yet. Pioli used to talk up the Fins all the time on Sirius, especially Tannehill and Philbon, oh he loved to talk up Philbon.

    Maybe all that boot licking wasn’t enough and he is left taking a second banana job.

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