As you well know, my name is Scott Pioli and I am the current General Manager of your beloved red and gold team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Some 1,372 days ago, Clark Hunt graciously procured my services in order to attempt to rebuild this amazing city's storied football franchise. It was a monumental undertaking that Clark methodically tracked me down specifically to accomplish, due mostly to my reputation in diligently crafting an NFL franchise to be of championship caliber.
At this moment, there is no need to rehash my credentials prior to my career here as the leader of the football operations with the Chiefs. Nor is it necessary to even mention my former place of employment. As I am well aware the only thing that matters to you fans is the production level of your favorite football team. Not tales of Super Bowls from distant cities.
No, this moment is about apologies and explanations.
As Scott Pioli, the undisputed decision maker in the Kansas City Chiefs organization. I would like to take this time to personally thank the people of this great city and all of the wonderful Chiefs fans from around the globe. You see, I understand that the Hunt family has built a world wide phenomenon that is adored by millions of fans from every walk of life imaginable. It is also my understanding that those same amazing folks have one simple goal for their team: To Win.
In that simple aspiration... I have failed you.
It was never my intentions to turn the Kansas City Chiefs into a laughable franchise. Much to the contrary, when I signed on the dotted line to extend my services to this organization in January of 2009. My vision was a simple one. A vision we all share for this team.
That vision was to create a football team in Kansas City that would compete for the Lombardi Trophy on an annual basis. It was my thought that I could do that through devoted study of players, selecting only the ones that met a certain winning formula that would add up to 53 men bred specifically for the Arrowhead grid iron. Scientifically creating a team that would win on Sunday's and earn enough revenue to make Kansas City the most dominant venue in the entire NFL.
Over the last 196 weeks, I have poured my blood, sweat and tears into this team. I've spent countless hours flying across the country to personally scout potential Chiefs prospects. Our staff is comprised of some of the brightest minds that I have encountered in my professional career in the NFL and I truly believed in their skills.
We've devoured film, not only of our opponents, but of ourselves and every single college football team you can possibly imagine. All in the name of improving this team and fielding a team that can dominate in the NFL standings every single year to the final game in February. Where I often envision myself once again holding that Super Bowl prize high in the sky every night when I'm off to my few sparing moments off rest. Which by the way are flooded with restlessness as I drown in my thoughts of how to forge this team into a winner using my sure methods.
You may have noticed that I said, "sure methods"... it's true, I did use that term. You see fans of this great franchise, I believed in myself. I believed in my way, my plan, my vision. I wholeheartedly believed that if given time, this team would have started to win using the tactics we have been displaying over the past four seasons. It was a plan that I have been meticulously creating for almost three decades as I prepared for my shot at running an NFL team.
Don't believe for a second that I haven't read your words online or listened to your critiques on the radio. We have dedicated employees that scour over all of that information. Believe us, we know you didn't want to draft Tyson Jackson with the third overall pick in 2009. We get that you wanted to see Matt Cassel replaced with a quarterback of first round pedigree each season since we signed him to a long term contract to be the leader of the football team.
To each of you, your complaints must truly feel like they have fallen on deaf stubborn ears. However, you must understand, I believed in my methods. I believed Tyson Jackson could be the cornerstone of this defense. I believed that Matt Cassel could win several Super Bowls with a dynamic back like Jamaal Charles easing his load.
I'm not here to make excuses today fans. My plans have not succeeded. The Kansas City Chiefs are 1-5 right now and a far cry from the championship caliber football team that I have implied I would deliver on an annual basis. For that, I simply apologize.
Perhaps I'm stubborn. Okay fans, I am stubborn...
Scott Pioli's shoulders are burdened with the weight of a losing franchise and your fingers should point nowhere but solely in my direction. Todd Haley was my responsibility. I put my name on that, he was my first hire, my choice, my man, my first coach and in 2010, it seemed like he was going to deliver on getting this team to the promised land.
However, life has away of unraveling potential greatness. After getting a staff featuring Todd Haley, Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis in just my second year on the job. It truly seemed like Matt Cassel was our guy and we were going places, Super places. It was a great season and I just can't help it, I really believe in Matt Cassel. I've watched him develop from a guy that didn't start at QB in college at USC, to a guy that made the Pro Bowl in 2010 with the help of a team that I put together. To this day, I believe Matt Cassel is a legitimate starter in the NFL. Yes, even after these games.
I cringed because I knew Kansas City was booing me. I'm not in some shell where I don't hear the feedback. I am unaware of any super power I possess which gives me the ability to ignore the deafening yells for a change at QB over the course of four NFL drafts. I refused to get a QB, because I believed in Matt Cassel, believed he was a winner and could excel at this position. I was wrong.
At no point in my career were my mistakes put on display then when Matt Cassel was lying motionless on the field to a smattering chorus of cheers.
I know Kansas City Chiefs fans, and you weren't cheering Matt Cassel's pain. You were cheering because you finally beat my need to be right about the man. I forced the Chiefs to play him and I didn't sign anyone else that I thought could beat him in straight competition, because I thought he could win it all in the NFL. At no point was that failure put on display this season more than this past Sunday, when I allowed Brady Quinn to be the heir to Matt Cassel because I didn't want to sign a back up that could unseat him and prove me wrong.
Scott Pioli puts his name on that and apologizes. It is because of me that Eric Winston painted you guys in a bad light. Truthfully and sincerely, I apologize for that. It never should have came to that point.
Kansas City Chiefs fans weren't the General Manager in charge of organizational decisions for the past 32,929 hours. That was me, Scott Pioli.
Kansas City Chiefs fans weren't the people with almost 2 million minutes to pour over Matt Cassel's film and determine whether or not we could be winners with him as the Chiefs quarterback. That was me and my staff and we have definitely failed you. Especially me.
We have failed to produce a winner, we have failed to bring in prime free agents, we have failed to re-sign Dwayne Bowe, we have failed to secure a talented QB to be the future of this franchise with any high draft picks in four seasons, we have failed to install a game plan that can produce touchdowns and we have successfully managed to kill the Arrowhead advantage.
I'm well aware of how long it has been since the Chiefs have held the lead in an NFL contest. Also, I know how long it's been since the Chiefs have put points on the board on the first drive in an NFL game. We've done all the studies and tediously went over every detail of the why's and how's of each situation.
It all comes back on me in every instance.
This is simple Kansas City. I have failed you.
Please understand, this was never my intention. I simply believe in myself and my ideals. Evidently, to a fault.
Because of this realization. Because of all of the attempts at running draws on third and long. Because of all the errant Matt Cassel throws. Because of all the losses and bad decisions. Because of all the unused cap space. Because of my poor judgment in hiring staff and taking for granted that value of former Chiefs employees and making One Arrowhead Drive a shell of its former self... I can only come to one conclusion.
I can't do this job to the level that you fans deserve. So, without further words or more explanations of my failures. It is at this time I say that I am stepping down as the Kansas City Chiefs General Manager. Scott Pioli put his best effort into this organization and I will forever mourn in my failure to succeed.
It is a bitter pill to swallow and I only hope someday Kansas City can forgive me for the damage I have unleashed on this incredible football city in form of my pride and belief in my own ideals and plans. You didn't deserve it Chiefs fans and I wish you the best in your search for someone, anyone that can do the job that I dreamt of accomplishing:
Kansas City Chiefs World Champions!
Your Former General Manager
Seriously sorry about that whole Matt Cassel thing. Oops.