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Scott Pioli Describes Chiefs 'Business-Like' Draft Room

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When I interviewed Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli a few weeks ago, I asked what the draft room was like on the big day. I felt like we were talking about some sort of trade secret because, as fans, we never get a chance to see what the draft room is like during the draft itself.

So with the draft just a few hours away, I wanted to pass along what he had to say about his draft room. The most important aspect to take away is that they approach it in a business-like manner with little distractions and outside noise.

"We've done all our meetings and the board is set," he said. "Like New England, it needs to be really quiet. It's a personal requirement. It's funny because people make assumptions that we keep people out of the draft room, or I keep people out of the draft room, because it's "top secret". But the more people you add to the draft room and the more background noise there is, the more opportunity you have to lose focus.

"These are some of the most important decisions. For me personally the environment that I need to think and be thoughtful and make decisions is to eliminate noise. I want us to be focused."
So you've got your draft room set-up. It's quiet. There's not any background noise. You have months (or years) of information in front of you. At most, there will be about eight people in the room.

"The coaches are all in their offices," he said. "They're working on minicamps and doing work. And the scouts are in their offices. Everyone has a job that doesn't necessarily have to be done in the draft room. It's more of a personal desire. For me, I need quiet. To focus and to be paying true attention to what's going on."

So why limit it to just eight people? Pioli says with the more people you add, even the most focused people "can't be in that environment for that many hours and just sit and watch. Idle conversation will start to take place. I want people to stay focused because I need to stay focused."

Any coaches or scouts in the personnel department that are needed will be called in. He says those that are in the draft room are allowed to talk but it needs to be kept at a low-level. He kept using words such as "business-like" to describe the atmosphere.

My favorite word he used to describe it: sanitary. (I don't know why I like that so much as a descriptive word.)

"I keep it very sanitary," he said. "This is business. It's just like game day. You need to make thoughtful decisions. I believe, in order to make good, sound and consistently thoughtful decisions, you need to maintain your composure. There's not a lot of reacting. There's not a lot of idle chat. We'll talk about guys but it's very business-like, professional. There's not a lot of clowning around or, again, idle chatter."

So they're not in there kicking their feet up, popping open a few beers and downing some nachos like the rest of us. This is a work night for them. In some ways, jobs are on the line with how this draft class comes out so they're not like us where they can throw up a bunch of mock drafts and see what sticks -- they need to be right.

I'll leave you with one final thought from Pioli that I enjoyed:

"I'm not afraid to ask for help. That's the thing -- these aren't my draft picks. These are our draft picks."

Are you ready for it yet?