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There have been 24 draft picks in his three seasons running the team, only a handful of which have given Kansas City meaningful downs this season. Among the most glaring misses are Tyson Jackson, the third overall pick in 2009, and third-round pick Alex Magee, who isn’t even on the team.

The Chiefs’ best players _ Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr and Derrick Johnson _ were holdovers from the previous regime.

“We’ve made some progress the last couple years and we’re at the point where some of that progress has slowed down,” Pioli said. “I do think we have a good, strong core of players here, but clearly I need to get to work, too, because if we’re going to be a good football team and continue to get better and consistently compete for championships, we need to have a good roster.”

That goes for whoever is chosen as the next head coach.

Crennel has said he wants a shot at the permanent job, and there are several other experienced coaches who have ties to Pioli. The decision to fire Haley with three games remaining gives him a chance to start surveying the candidates and whittling down the list.

Pioli said he understands the importance of getting this hire right. He was the one who picked Haley as his first head coach, and he saw firsthand how things unraveled this season.

Now that he’s missed on one head coach, he knows another failure may cost him his own job.

“Probably nobody is harder on himself or holds himself more accountable than Scott,” Hunt said, when asked specifically about Pioli’s job status. “As hard-working as he is, I know he’ll redouble his efforts to make sure we’re more competitive next year and the year after that.”