BOSTON (CBS) – Scott Pioli served as a TV analyst after being let go of his general managing duties by the Kansas City Chiefs following the 2012 season, but now he’s back in the front office of a pro football team.
Old friend and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who’s also a Belichick disciple, reached out to Pioli and hired him to serve as assistant GM for Atlanta on January 22, 2014.
It’s hard to criticize Bill Belichick as a head coach, but one thing he’s caught flack for recently is his ability to draft and select talent. As we’re all well aware, it was under Scott Pioli that the Patriots won 3 championships in 4 years.
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Felger wants to know: was there any mention of bringing Pioli back to New England? If not, would he have considered a return? The conversation was never had between he and the Patriots, and his familiarity with the Falcons staff was too good to pass up.
“I enjoyed the media stuff, but the Falcons have a power structure in place that I was comfortable with. This was an opportunity, and something I’ve learned over the past few years is you do this because of the people. If you’re going to work in the business as hard as you work, you want to be around people you genuinely care about,” said Pioli Thursday afternoon.
Besides Josh McDaniels and Brian Daboll, there hasn’t been any Belichick staffers to return to the team – why is that?
“It’s like certain relationships: time changes and time changes people, and things and circumstances. That was a beautiful moment in time. It was spectacular on so many levels, and a lot of things came together. It wasn’t just the personnel staff, it wasn’t just the coaching staff – the players were really good, the training staff; there were so many people that were a part of that. You can’t always recreate magic the way it was. Everyone has moved on to other opportunities for different reasons,” said Pioli.
Thomas Dimitroff’s Atlanta Falcons were a few plays away from appearing in last year’s Super Bowl, but a rash of injuries and other factors doomed them to a 4-12 record. What went wrong?
“We started in a little bit of a hole and we could never get out of it unfortunately. That was difficult for us. We were consistently inconsistent. We made a lot of changes, and there’s a lot of potential changes to be made within the organization. We’re still in the process right now, and we’ll continue to dig in. We misassessed the readiness of our offensive line to block for Matt Ryan. We had some young guys there that we were banking on, and looking back it was about too much projection. We need to know concretely if a guy can play or not.”
Listen below for the full discussion and hear Dimitroff & Pioli weigh in on what’s changed in the league since the Patriots’ last Super Bowl, as well as some insight into coach Belichick :