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AP Interview: Pioli admits ‘I’ve made mistakes’
Question of the Day
KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - The worn-out notebook with the blue cover that Scott Pioli drags out of pile of paperwork on his desk is from 1994. The handwriting inside of it, mostly scouting reports on college players from a bygone era, is tiny and deliberate.
It’s the few pages toward the front, though, that are the most interesting.
That’s where the current Chiefs general manager, back then a young front-office assistant for the Cleveland Browns, has given himself a withering self-assessment _ several pages of improvements that he’s made over time, and things he could be doing better going forward.
It’s not unlike the scathing critique Pioli has been putting himself through this week.
The Chiefs are mired in 1-5 rut to start the season, and most of the blame for it has fallen on Pioli, the disciple of Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick who has struggled to endear himself to increasingly hostile Kansas City fans weary of losing.
“Clearly there are things we need to fix, things we need to change, things we need to improve upon,” Pioli said during an interview with The Associated Press, “and it starts with me.”
The Chiefs haven’t just been losing, they’ve been getting blown out. Four of their five losses have been by two touchdowns, and their lone victory required a franchise-record comeback. They’re off this week before facing Oakland on Oct. 28.
“We’re all frustrated,” Pioli said Wednesday, sitting in his office overlooking the Chiefs’ practice fields. “It’s not what any of us came out of the gate expecting.”
Naturally, it’s made Pioli’s job status the topic du jour.
Pioli said he’s not concerned about his future with the organization, even after a group of fans paid for a banner to fly over Arrowhead Stadium calling for him to be fired. Pioli said the biting criticism comes with the job, and that he deserves most of what’s coming his way.
“Everyone has to do their job better in this thing, starting with me,” he said. “I’m in charge of the football operation and there are things we need to get fixed.”
What are they, exactly?
“I’m not going to get into specifics,” he said. “I mean, it’s on display every Sunday.”
The job done by coach Romeo Crennel, the porous defense, the lousy quarterback play, the lack of impact players, shallow depth across the board _ all of it appears to be fair game.
Pioli admitted changes are necessary, though he said “getting into the specifics publicly is not in anybody’s best interest right now.” The former NFL executive of the year did say he remains confident in Crennel, who has appeared to struggle as he juggles duties as the team’s defensive coordinator.
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