The 2012 NFL Off-Season is in full swing; Franchise Tags, Combine Workouts, Free Agents and the NFL Draft are all in effect or just round the corner. The organization that is the Kansas City Chiefs have changed drastically since the last snap from the season. Official coaching staff changes were the only dominating headlines for the last month or so that didn't include some sort of speculation. We have already had one player related change to the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs this week and more are on the way. Every personnel move that the Chiefs have made and are to make comes down to one man. This is a look at GM Scott Pioli;
Scott Pioli signed on with the Kansas City Chiefs on January 13th 2009 so any personnel transactions before that point are mute to this posting. Below I have a listing of the important transactions that Pioli had a hand in during his time here. I have put current starting players or those who IMO could be quality starters in bold.
Patrick Surtain (CB) cut.
Damon Huard (QB) cut.
Donnie Edwards (LB) cut.
Matt Cassel (QB) traded (w/mike vrabel for 2009 2nd-round pick).
Jon McGraw (S) re-signed/unrestricted free agent.
Corey Mays (LB) signed/unrestricted free agent.
Zach Thomas (LB) signed/unrestricted free agent (one-year contract).
Rudy Niswanger (C) signed.
Jarrad Page (S) re-signed/restricted free agent.
Ryan Succop (K) signed/draft choice.
Matt Cassel (QB) signed (six-year contract).
Tyson Jackson (DE) signed/draft choice (five-year contract).
Zach Thomas (LB) cut.
Bernard Pollard (S) cut
Larry Johnson (RB) suspended (1 game (conduct detrimental to team)).
Chris Chambers (WR) acquired from waivers.
Larry Johnson (RB) suspension lifted.
Larry Johnson (RB) cut.
2009 Recap: Out with the old and ineffective in with the new and (at the time) promising. Patrick Surtain, Donnie Edwards and Damon Huard were all cut within a month of S. Pioli's arrival in KC. Four days later he brought Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel to KC and all it cost was a 2nd Rd pick. Pioli went on to bring in more locker room leadership with veteran LB Zach Thomas. To end 2009 he also had to deal with HB Larry Johnson, who he cut on November 9th.
Tyler Palko (QB) signed.
Mike Vrabel (LB) re-signed.
Jackie Battle (RB) re-signed/unrestricted free agent.
Chris Chambers (WR) re-signed/unrestricted free agent (three-year contract).
Thomas Jones (RB) signed (two-year contract).
Shaun Smith (DT) signed/unrestricted free agent.
Casey Wiegmann (C) signed (one-year contract).
Ryan Lilja (G) signed.
Derrick Johnson (LB) re-signed/restricted free agent (one-year contract).
Andy Studebaker (LB) re-signed/exclusive rights free agent.
Brodie Croyle (QB) re-signed/restricted free agent (one-year contract)
Kendrick Lewis (S) signed/draft choice (multi-year contract).
Tony Moeaki (TE) signed/draft choice (four-year contract)
Dexter McCluster (WR) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Javier Arenas (CB) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Jon Asamoah (G) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Eric Berry (S) signed/draft choice (five-year contract).
Jarrad Page (S) re-signed/restricted free agent (one-year contract).
Derrick Johnson (LB) signed (five-year extension (through 2015)).
Jamaal Charles (RB) signed (five-year extension (through 2015)).
2010 Recap: During this year S. Pioli was able to resign a lot of talent and had one of the best draft classes in KC history. Six KC starters were either resigned or drafted to the team. Vrabel was also brought back to mentor for another year.
Tamba Hali (LB) Designated franchise player.
Rodney Hudson (C) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Allen Bailey (DE) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Ricky Stanzi (QB) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Jalil Brown (CB) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Shane Bannon (RB) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Jerrell Powe (NT) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Jonathan Baldwin (WR) signed/draft choice (four-year contract (fifth-year option)).
Jackie Battle (RB) re-signed/unrestricted free agent.
Steve Breaston (WR) signed/unrestricted free agent (five-year contract).
Casey Wiegmann (C) re-signed/unrestricted free agent.
Kelly Gregg (DT) signed/unrestricted free agent.
Wallace Gilberry (DE) re-signed/restricted free agent.
Barry Richardson (T) re-signed/restricted free agent (one-year contract).
Brandon Siler (LB) signed/unrestricted free agent.
Le'Ron McClain (RB) signed/unrestricted free agent (one-year contract).
Justin Houston (LB) signed/draft choice (four-year contract).
Sabby Piscitelli (S) signed/unrestricted free agent.
Brandon Carr (CB) re-signed/restricted free agent (one-year contract).
Tamba Hali (LB) re-signed/restricted free agent (five-year contract).
Jared Gaither (T) signed/unrestricted free agent.
Kyle Orton (QB) acquired from waivers.
Jared Gaither (T) cut.
Ryan Succop (K) signed (five-year extension (through 2016)).
2011 Recap: Another year seeing talented starters resigned (Carr, Hali and Succop). The draft class wasn't as impressive and a few questionable players were taken (Houston and Powe). QB Ricky Stanzi (who IMO could be a future starting QB) was brought in as well was Jerrell Powe, both of which could develop into quality players.
2012 Recap: So far not too much, only Stanford Routt signing stands out. If B. Carr walks in Free Agency Routt will be a solid #2 to replace him.
From what I can see S. Pioli's plan was/is somewhere around;
1 - Cut the old/ineffective
2 - Youth movement/Leadership & Mentors
3 - Keep young talented players with long term contracts (if beneficial to the team)
4 - Only after the core of the roster is set take small calculated risks with more payoff than cost
5 - Fill holes
In closing; Scott Pioli is doing a DAM GOOD JOB.
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My Opinions of the near future;
1 - Matt Cassel can lead this team deep into the playoffs (if Trent Dilfer could why not Cassel). With a steady Offensive Coordinator, a capable Offensive Line and his current weapons Matt Cassel will be just fine.
1a - We have a QB on our roster that can be a FRANCHISE QB. Ricky Stanzi is sitting on the bench learning, not only what to do but what not to do. KC's own coaching staff have praised his abilities and have hinted to his capabilities. As long as KC does not rush him into the starting roll, KC will be set at this position for the future.
2 - The Defense is a NT from being ELITE. If we were to bring in a quality NT (Paul Soliai) that could command a double team the effects spread through G. Dorsey and T. Jackson to our OLBs T. Hali and J. Houston. One reason our pass rush was less effective is because our D line was being blocked one on one and that left 2 - 3 (depending on our defensive set) offensive linemen to pick up our linebackers. With a NT to command a double team that leaves 1 sometimes 2 blockers to stop T. Hali and J. Houston....I love those odds.
3 - The KC Chiefs IMO will draft 2 offensive linemen this year. I believe that we will take G David DeCastro (Stanford) in the first if he is available, and if he is gone then we will take the best OT available. In the 2nd round I see OT Zebrie Sanders (FSU) headed to KC. If we take a OT in the first round look for this pick to be a BPA in either a ILB, DE or HB.
4 - A healthy KC Chiefs squad will win the 2012 AFC West. Nothing other to say about this....it will happen.
5 - KC fans will enjoy at least two playoff games this season. Wildcard, Divisional or the AFC Championship I don't know how it will play out but there will be at least to games.
6 - With quick growth of rookies and 2nd year players, continued development on the defensive side and a healthy season the KC Chiefs will be AFC favorites by the 3rd Quarter of this season.
Everyone has their opinions, all of which are deserved. That is right......everyone deserves to have their own opinions. However KC Fans need to remember a few things;
- We are not in the business of running a NFL team. We all have tunnel vision when it comes to the KC Chiefs. We all only care about keeping the team exciting and winning. The guy that is getting paid to ensure that this happens is also getting paid to make sure it continues to happen year in and year out.
- In order to complete a NFL contract it takes two parties. The NFL team has the obligation to attempt to sign/resign players that fit their schemes and that will better their team. The NFL player has the obligation to do what he feels right based on his own situation. Just because we may fail or take a long time signing/resigning a player does not indicate laziness or lack of respect/effort on part of the team. It could simply be that the targeted player decided to say no.
- This team is young, talented and hungry. This team has a few holes that once plugged will form it into a constant playoff team. One thing that this team does need that it can't do too much to provide is a POSITIVE FAN BASE. Negative "attacks" towards players, coaches or office personnel are useless and IMO just wrong. We as the fans have no idea of what goes on beyond what microphones and cameras give us clues to.
- Just my thoughts.......