Chiefs GM Scott Pioli on Belichick, Parcells and Changing the Culture

scott pioli interview

KCTV 5's Brad Stephens recently sat down with Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli for a 10-minute interview that touched on a wide range of topics.

Check out the video here.  Check out a few quick hits on the Pioli and Todd Haley interview here.

If you've watched any press conferences involving Scott Pioli then this interview will feel familiar. The man is intelligent, well spoken, confident and makes you feel more and more like Chiefs owner Clark Hunt picked the best possible GM candidate he could have picked.

Click through for a summary of the interview. There are some great quotes from Pioli. I also highly recommend watching the interview when you get a chance.

On the five months that have passed since his arrival on January 12th:

"It's a blur.  Honestly, it feels like I've been here for years.  Not in a bad way, either.  I didn't go home to see my family for....the first time I went back East was Memorial Day weekend."

"It's a long time."

"My parents still live in the same house I was born in.  I was in one place for 18 years, except five years for college.  So I call home, home."

On still talking to Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick:

"Oh yeah, yeah.  With Bill and Bill, they're unique relationships.  Parcells, Belichick...Parcells is my father-in-law, friend and we work in the same business so it's a unique relationship.  When it became a father-in-law, son-in-law relationship it changed.  But it changed for the better.  So we talk quite often."

Even though they're competitors:

"He still wants me to succeed."

On Bill Belichick:

"With Belichick, we stay in touch.  The important relationships in this business transcend what you do on the field.  It's like players and coaches.  There's relationships...with Belichick we worked together for 17 years and we were friends prior to that."

On the relationship with Bill and Bill:

"They're good advisers.  They've seen and been in this game their entire lives.  I'm starting to get older, I'm 44, but they've been in the game longer and seen more than me.  It's good to bounce things off people like that."

On former colleagues:

"You know Thomas Dimitroff, who worked under me, was a GM before I was a GM.  He and I stay in touch and we advise each other.  There's Jeff Ireland with the Dolphins.  There's a lot of close relationships where we can draw information on a lot of things.  And sometimes they're just good sounding boards."

On the road ahead:

"There's a ton more to accomplish.  Part of accomplishing anything you want to last is laying the foundation, laying the groundwork.  The team was 2-12 last season and 4-12 the year before that and there's that old saying,  'If things were good we wouldn't be here'."

"There's a lot that has been done and there's a lot that needs to be done.  A lot of it is changing the culture.  It's a popular phrase and there's a lot to that.  There's a lot of attitudes that need to change throughout the organization (on the football side of things)."

"There are things we're changing on a daily basis that we have to reinforce to ourselves, the players and the staff."

On expectations and continued success:

"Our expectations are that we're going to win.  Whether that's this year or next year we're not sure.  Part of winning long term and sustaining success comes from building a strong foundation.  Trying to do something too quickly, too fast just to change things to appease or pacify people or ourselves...that's where you plant the seeds for potential problems down the road.  There's a lot that needs to be done but Todd and I feel like there's been progress."

Progress from the beginning to now:

"First couple of days of the off season program, which were voluntary, there were guys dropping out of things, didn't wanna finish or if it was too hard for a day maybe they're not showing up for the next day or only three out of four.  Then they started showing up for all fo them, staying for drills and the conditioning part.  There's a lot to be done but there's been progress that's been made."

Do the Chiefs have the players to win?

"Every team has a team you can win with.  Winning and losing often comes down to not just talent but execution.  It's not just a matter of talent and having the players.  Players are going to make plays (Editor's note: And coaches are going to coach.  Thanks, Herm)." 

"It's how you execute from Sunday to Sunday.  There's are a lot do."

"Do we have the players to win?  Yes we do, but so do 31 other teams. But now it's getting the players the right way to do things and perform on a daily basis and limit mistakes."

On reflecting back on how far he's come:

"There's no time to do it.  There's only one moment when that happened.  When I was at the opening press conference, looking around the room and answering questions. Len Dawson winks at me (and goes thumbs up), that's when it hit me and I go 'That's Len Dawson.'  That's when it hit me, wow the Kansas City Chiefs.  That's Len Dawson.  That was the only moment that it kinda hit me.  Here's a guy that was one of my boyhood idols and he gives you that thumbs up and I go 'Wow that's what I'm doing now'.  Since then there's too much (to do).  If you're going to succeed you can't do those things and get caught up in that."

"That's not a big picture thought, that's a waste of energy thought in my mind."


That last answer comes close to topping my favorite Scott Pioli line from his opening press conference on January 14th:

“It’s not necessarily the best 53 players it’s the right 53 players. It’s bringing in football players who understand the culture that’s been created or is being created. It’s the personnel department and myself finding the players, knowing who the head coach is, what he is, what he stands for. Finding the players that can live within what the structure is going to be. What we will do is build a big, strong, fast, disciplined, smart football team. Those aren’t just words. We will have smart football players, tough football players, mentally and physically. We will have disciplined football players and discipline has nothing to do with the length of their hair or how many gold chains they wear. Discipline has to do with being on time, working hard, and paying attention. That’s the kind of staff we’re going to have, what our entire football operation is going to be.”

According to KCTV5's Brad Stephens, Scott Pioli comes off as a very, very bright man who will go the distance to make us a winner.

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