Pioli rumors just won't stop

BY foxsports • October 15, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The rumor mill surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs
continued to churn Monday, a day after the team's miserable 38-10 loss
to Tampa Bay dropped the Chiefs to 1-5.

And the speculation continued to swirl around the contract status of Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli.

On Sunday, CBS Sports reported that according to an NFL source, Pioli
had been offered a two-year contract extension earlier this season,
though he had yet to sign it because of a disagreement over the buyout

But The Kansas City Star contradicted that report later Sunday, saying
the Chiefs have not offered Pioli a contract extension at all, according
to a source close to the situation.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt then told the newspaper he would not answer questions about Pioli's contract status.

"We don't discuss people's contract publicly," Hunt said.

But the story got even juicier Monday when former Chiefs defensive
lineman Bill Mass went on local sports radio station KCSP and said he
expected Hunt to dismiss Pioli as early as this week as the Chiefs begin
their bye week.

Maas did not cite any sources.

"I think you're going to see unprecedented history happen this week in
the NFL," Maas said on the air. "I don't think we've ever seen a GM
fired in the middle of the season. It's just become the logical thing to

Actually, there is precedent. The Detroit Lions started 0-3 in 2008 and fired Matt Millen on Sept. 28 during their bye week.

Maas also suggested a new regime could turn around the Chiefs almost instantly.

"There's talent on this team," he said. "A coach with leadership
capabilities can come in and turn this thing around instantaneously. Let
me tell you something guys, this is a heck of a football team for a guy
to come in and take over. It reminds me of 1988 (before Marty
Schottenheimer arrived in Kansas City)."

The subject of Pioli's contract status even came up during head coach
Romeo Crennel's Monday press conference, though Crennel said he had no
insight on the matter.

"The only contract I'm concerned about is mine," Crennel said, which
drew some laughter among reporters. "Really, Scott has to deal with his
contract situation, whatever that is. I think there's a team policy
anyway that we're not supposed to talk about contracts, but I'm not

Crennel, of course, had other matters of pressing concern to him, such
as a team that now has gone two straight games without scoring an
offensive touchdown.

"It's frustrating," he said. "I think mainly what we need to do is
establish more balance on offense. If you establish balance, you make
the defense cover more things. And once you make them cover more areas,
you can attack them differently.

"We were unable to run the ball effectively (against Tampa) and that made us one-dimensional."

But Crennel also cited issues on the defensive side of the ball.

"We were in position to make plays but just didn't make the play," he
said. "It's not like guys on Tampa were running wide open. We were
there, in position to make a play, and didn't make a play.

"I thought we could have come down with the ball in three situations and
had some interceptions. That would have changed the game, changed field
position. Those are the things we have to get better at."

Crennel also indicated he wasn't ready to pick a quarterback for the
next game - Oct. 28 against the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium - and that
he wouldn't speculate that Brady Quinn might start even if Matt Cassel
is healthy.

"That's a hypothetical," Crennel said. "I know that Matt hasn't even
been cleared to practice yet. When and if Matt is cleared to practice,
we'll evaluate the situation at that time."

As for all the off-the-field news the team is generating lately - the
Eric Winston comments about the fans the previous week and the Pioli
rumors this week - Crennel said he does not feel the need to stress to
his players to stay on course.

"We have to ignore all the other stuff and forge ahead," Crennel said.
"I think the main thing we have to do is win a ballgame."

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