Lightning-rod Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli accepted responsibility for the team’s 1-5 record, but side-stepped talk about his contract situation, in a get-right conversation with the local media.
Pioli has been pilloried locally, largely because his hand-picked quarterback Matt Cassel has underperformed.
But Pioli jumped on the grenade, saying it all comes back to him, when asked the most disappointing part of the situation.
“The record, the overall performance, the performance by everybody,” Pioli said, via Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star. “We all have a hand in this thing, starting with me. Ultimately I’m responsible for the football operation, and we’re 1-5.
He was also asked about the conflicting reports about his contract status, but fell back on owner Clark Hunt’s statement to the Star that they weren’t going to discuss contracts.
“Clark spoke to The Star last week, and that’s our organizational philosophy,” Pioli said. “We don’t talk about players’ contracts, we don’t talk about coaches’ contracts, anybody who has a contract, we don’t talk about those things. It’s an organizational philosophy that I believe in as well. That’s where it’s at.”
Asked where the extension report originated, if no one talked about such things, Pioli said it wasn’t important.
“I don’t waste energy on that stuff,” he said. “You know what I’ve got to do? I’ve got to get this thing fixed. That’s where I need to spend my time, energy and emotion on is getting this football team fixed. Not chasing rumors because those are the things that are offshoots of what the real problem is. It becomes a rumor, it becomes a story because we’re not winning.
“This isn’t about me and my contractual situation. This is about getting the team right.”
Pioli’s contract runs through the 2013 season, which means if nothing changes, he’ll have a chance to fix things this offseason.
The first step needs to be at quarterback, though Pioli pointed that away from Cassel when asked if an elite quarterback was a necessity.
“You need a good football team to win in this league,” he said. “You need a good football team that is going to do all the things the right way. Heck yes, you need a quarterback to play well, and you need a team to play well.”
At the moment, he has neither.