Being in front of a camera and microphone so much is a stark contrast from what we saw during Pioli’s time in Kansas City.
He kept all press at a distance and tried to make sure everyone employed by the Chiefs — on the football side and otherwise — did the same.
In an article written for Peter King’s MMQB site, Pioli talked about how he’s since realized that wasn’t the best approach.
“I was naïve to not understand that part of the job description of a GM included being one of the media faces of the organization,” Pioli recalled telling a group of potential head coaches adn GMs. “In my previous experiences, the head coach, the players and the owner filled that role. I was wrong. The game has changed and the appetite for content and the desire for faces and voices is insatiable, and I should have been more out front with the Chiefs.”
Though getting in front of the camera isn’t going to save a general manager when his or her picks are as terrible as the ones Pioli was making, it would have made stretches of his tenure much easier on everyone. There’s much less guess work about what exactly is going on when the man in charge is willing to talk to the press.
Pioli also talked about the different tasks that came across his desk that he never thought about before.
“Once in my tenure, we had to advise a player to disassociate himself from friends who were living with him. They were raising pit bulls on his property—very aggressive pit bulls. He did not want the dogs on his property, but didn’t know how to get rid of the dogs or his friends. We had to help him solve both problems and that was not an easy task. It cost us at least 10 hours of work, the equivalent of a full day we could have been spending trying to make our team better.”
He didn’t identify the player involved, but he did touch on the Larry Johnson Twitter incident of 2009. If you’ll recall, the former Chiefs running back took shots at Todd Haley and fired off homophobic messages. Pioli said that whole fiasco over a week of work time.
The former Chiefs GM also talked about Fantasy Football GMs bemoaning how his real players were hurting their fake teams.
“Over the last 10 years, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard comments from fans about the lack of opportunities that “their” players were getting. I’m sure Fantasy Football is good for the business of football, but it’s not good for players to hear they should be getting the ball more—or for teams just trying to do whatever it takes to win a game, not just compile stats.”
Considering how little we ever got to see behind the curtain, all of the “10 Lessons From Being An NFL GM” are worth your time and you can check them all out here.