An undefeated record will win you all kinds of fans. So Scott Pioli doesn't have to worry about anyone questioning the job he's doing for quite some time. And the Chiefs recent draft hauls and coaching schemes look to have the team in a positive direction for the foreseeable future. But it's interesting to look over at the East Coast and the recent Randy Moss trade news to see how things might look here in the Midwest once a few years are under our belt.
In his most recent column on ESPN.com, longtime Pats fan Bill Simmons, a.k.a. The Sports Guy, gave his take on the Moss trade and included this insightful description:
On the surface, it looked like the umpteenth example of Belichick putting the team's future ahead of one player. He consistently cuts ties with veterans a little too soon rather than a little too late. He stockpiles draft picks so relentlessly that you could do a "Hoarders" episode about him. He will never pay a player more than he's worth, even if that player's absence could threaten a season. He will always choose chemistry over talent, and he doesn't care what you've done for the franchise, just that you're doing something right now. You could call him ruthless, you could call him brilliant, or you could call him both. It's up to you.
My instinct tells me this will become a bit of foreshadowing for the years to come here in Kansas City. And this is important anytime we begin to consider what might happen beyond this 2010 season. If Matt Cassel continues to be inconsistent at the quarterback position, this mindset matters. If Tamba Hali extends his notoriety to mainstream Pro Bowl conversations and, consequently, jacks up his price tag in a free agent year, this mindset matters. If personalities ever become an issue again with names like Dwayne Bowe, this mindset matters.
Undoubtedly, there will be transactions where the hometown favorites leave town before their usefulness has run its course. You will find yourself owning an outdated jersey and questions why we didn't keep [insert name here]. If you've paid much attention to the Patriots over the last decade, several moments come to mind where even the staunchest of Pats defenders have questioned moves involving guys named Samuel or Seymour. Yet New England continually rests atop most preseason predictions each season because of Belichick's ability to keep the train moving forward -- despite an injury to his star quarterback, a holdout by a Pro Bowl offensive lineman or the loss of a defensive cornerstone.
The questions will come. Hopefully for the Chiefs, the ability for time to answer those questions with confidence will also come. If Pioli's former employer offers any perspective, the signs are positive.