As the NFL Draft approaches, Chiefs general manager plans to remain flexible with his team’s picks and players writes Adam Teicher.
Pioli comes from a culture where draft trades are not only the rule but also the expectation, so he will listen to any and all offers from other teams. Those calls are surely to include Tony Gonzalez, Brian Waters and Larry Johnson but not just because they have asked out of Kansas City in the past:
“The decisions are made by the Kansas City Chiefs as to whether players are here or not. It’s not up to the players. The players are under contract. A player under contract doesn’t make decisions as to whether or not he’s going to be here.”
He was also known as a busy draft-day trader with the Patriots, often moving down in or out of a given round to collect more picks. New England entered last year’s draft with the seventh pick but wound up choosing tenth after a trade with the Saints that brought the Patriots an extra third round pick. Pioli cautioned fans to pay attention on draft day:
“Right now, we’re not picking again until the second day of the draft. That may be the case, and it may not be the case. So after we make that first pick, don’t grab your pizza and go home for the night. You never know… That’s the beauty of the draft. There are so many opportunities to do so many different things.”
Is it draft day yet? Gez, I get excited for the NFL Draft every year but with Pioli in the fold it’s gone to a completely different level. Hopefully I’m not building myself up for a big disappointment and clearly Pioli has set up some huge expectations with fans across the board so he need to really deliver, but I’m cautiously optimistic. Is there a better line than “don’t grab your pizza and go home for the night”?
Yesterday, John Madden announced he is retiring from broadcasting and Chiefs coach Todd Haley was asked about his memories of the former Radiers coach:
“As a young kid, following my dad around the Steelers, I hated John Madden on the sidelines. I hated the Raiders. When he went through his stuff on the sidelines … I told him that at the owners meetings when I just saw him, I said, ‘Growing up a Steelers fan, I hated the Raiders’ and couldn’t stand anybody with the Raiders.”
We’ve talked plenty about needing to see results from Haley, but the one way to please every fan is to use the words “hated” and “Raiders” in the same sentence. As for Madden, I actually thought he had one more season left in him. He hasn’t been at the top of his game for a while now, but I’ll take a 75% Madden over any of the second tier CBS or FOX color guys.
610 Sports has been reporting that Todd Haley’s conditioning program is so intense that WR Will Franklin asked for his release and other players have anonymously voiced their displeasure as well. The folks at Arrowhead Pride caught the whole rundown on 610.
Apparently Haley’s reputation for run-ins with players and coaches was on full display at the Chiefs voluntary workout the end of last month. 610 Sports was speculating that Haley’s behavior with Franklin was meant to send a message to the players left over from the Herm Edwards ear. They also reported multiple players have said, off the record, that they like GM Scott Pioli but Todd Haley is an “***hole.” The players 610 talked to have said they do not like Haley.
I have a couple different reactions to this. On the one hand, I’m glad he isn’t coddling the players the same way Herm Edwards did because you aren’t supposed to be friends with your players. You are the coach, act like it. Edwards never did. In some aspects, Haley clearly is. At the same time though, I don’t want Haley picking out “Herm guys” just to give them a hard time specifically. That would be no better than Edwards letting the better players make their own team rules. I want Haley to ride the players, but it should be whoever deserves it no matter who brought them to Kansas City. Keep in mind though that the “off the record” statements could be from Franklin who clearly would want to paint Haley as the villain instead of accepting he screwed up by showing up to camp fat and out of shape.