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Scott Pioli Talks Chiefs On Boston Sports Radio

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Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli went on Boston sports talk radio station WEEI talking about the Monday night game with the New England Patriots. One of the hosts of the show was Michael Holley, who wrote the book "War Room" (worth checking it out).

The tone of the interview was slightly different -- sorta like old friends catching up -- since Pioli obviously used to work with the Patriots. I gathered up some of the highlights of the interview and posted them below.

  • "I've honestly never heard a stadium quite that loud." Pioli says he had a few friends in town for the Monday Night Football game at Arrowhead, and they've been to all the Super Bowls, and they said that was the loudest stadium they've ever been in.
  • On returning to New England: "A lot of mixed emotions. It's going to be a business trip. Once the game starts, it's business. But the time leading up to that...anyone who is in a situation like this, and I know I'll certainly feel this way, I spent nine tremendous years here. Myself, my family and a lot of people who were part of the organization, close friends, Bill, Nick, Nancy, the Kraft family, Robert and Jonathan...I know it will be impossible for me to remain unaffected emotionally, going back into Gillette Stadium. It's a special place and it was a really, really special time I spent here. It was a lot of fun for a lot of different reasons."
  • Pioli says they won five games in New England in the first year, then won a Super Bowl and then had a 9-7 season. Talking about the Chiefs, he said, "I think in this league there's a lot of ways you can quick fix things, and patch things up, [but] it's going to take a little while. We did make a dramatic step last year in winning the division. We also weren't kidding ourselves, we knew we had a long way to go. Obviously the way things have gone this year has been a little frustrating and disappointing in some of the injuries, not just with Matt, but beyond Matt earlier in the season. But that's part of it. You find a way to deal with it and have other players step in. Just continue to not get so frustrated that you lose sight of what the big picture plan is and that you need to continue making progress even though it changes from year to year."
  • Michael Holley brings up the old saying from Bill Parcells on injuries: "Nobody gives a (bleep)." Pioli says he was with Mark Shapiro, GM (now president) of the Cleveland Indians, the night before his wedding and the Indians were going through a bunch of injuries. So Parcells says to Shapiro at one point in the weekend: "Listen, nobody gives a (bleep)."
  • On Tyler Palko: "He's kind of guy you would love to have as a teammate. He is one of the first people in the office every morning. He's a guy, along with Matt and Ricky Stanzi, we have an excellent group at quarterback. Those guys are there before sun up and after sun down."
  • Pioli says Tyler Palko, stylistically, is a little bit like Jim Zorn was as a quarterback.
  • Glenn Ordway brings up a story in Michael Holley's "War Room" about Pioli meeting Bruce Springsteen a few years ago. The two met for what was supposed to be a two-minute introduction but ended up getting into a long conversation and, according to Holley's book, Pioli and Springsteen ended up both crying during the conversation. "Tears rolling down the face is certainly a little dramatic," Pioli said of the description in Holley's book. Laughing, Holley said, "Don't be ashamed you were crying, don't try to back away from it now!" 
  • Pioli talks about an organization losing so many people (like the Patriots did with Pioli, Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, etc) and competing every year. "I'm not sure why Patriots fans are disillusioned at different times because they're going to be in the hunt every year because of the same reasons. They still have great ownership, they still have the best head coach in the NFL and a lot of good people there that are finding players. It's still a special place. Don't worry, Patriots fans."
  • Calls Bill Belichick one of the best listeners around.