Could a Sean Payton splash save Scott Pioli's job in Kansas City?

Chris Graythen

It's time for some wild speculation because the Kansas City Chiefs sit with a 1-7 record and it's become an almost certainty that a new coach will be roaming the sidelines at Arrowhead stadium next season.

Let's go ahead and start by saying this is all pure speculation and I don't think this is likely in any way. But that doesn't make it any less-fun to talk about. Romeo Crennel is still the coach in Kansas City but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone, anywhere that believes he's going to be coaching this team again next season.

While we were joined on Chop Talk Sunday night by Soren Petro of "The Program" on 810 Radio in Kansas City, we began discussing head coaching possibilities for the Chiefs next season. Petro made a point that I strongly agree with regarding the Chiefs next coach. It's going to be a name. Someone that almost any football fan will know and would help sell this team to a fanbase that is having a hard-time digesting a season that began with quite a bit of optimism, only to collapse in historically bad fashion.

One of the names that was brought up between Joel Thorman and I later in the show after Petro was already gone was former Saints head coach Sean Payton. Payton made the news on Sunday when the NFL voided the rest of his contract as head coach of the New Orleans Saints. It didn't matter for this season because Payton was already suspended for the entire season for his role in the bounty scandal. He is essentially a free agent coach right now.

That started a wildfire of speculation of Payton to the Dallas Cowboys. He recently bought a home in Dallas and played quarterback at Eastern Illinois University, as did Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo. He was also the quarterbacks coach for the Cowboys from 2003-2005 under-then head coach Bill Parcells. That combination led all the 'experts' to believe the Cowboys would be the landing spot should be not re-sign with the Saints.

I'd say there's a better chance that he stays in New Orleans than coaches anywhere else. But if we're going to make the assumption that he might leave, let's try and figure out if Kansas City could be in the mix and how that might happen.

With Payton's ties to Bill Parcells and therefore Scott Pioli in a loose-way (yes, loose) because it's his father-in-law. If, and it's a BIG IF, Scott Pioli could lure Sean Payton to Kansas City, would that be enough for Chiefs fans to accept giving Scott Pioli another chance at a head coach for the Chiefs? I think it would.

I think if you try and narrow down the biggest issues for this team right now, which Soren Petro described as 'fundamentally flawed' when describing the whole picture, the biggest issues are at the quarterback position and the coaching staff, particularly head coach. The quarterback position should be addressed very high in the draft this spring and with Sean Payton as head coach there'd be reason to feel optimistic, even with Pioli here as general manager. In six seasons as a head coach in New Orleans Payton has had just one losing season and that was a 7-9 mark in 2007.

Again, this isn't likely. But it's a noteworthy discussion whether or not a big-time coaching hire like Sean Payton from Scott Pioli could be enough to save his job in Kansas City. If his job is even in jeopardy, but a 1-7 record this year and staring down a possible third head coaching hire in four years, things don't look good on that end.

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