The names all sound familiar at this point. Whether it's Scott Pioli's ties with Kirk Ferentz as old friends or Eric Mangini and Josh McDaniels from his time in New England, the list for the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs are all connected in some relational way or another to Pioli's coaching tree, as Len Pasquarelli calls it. Yet Len also writes that Pioli needs to avoid such a tree in order to really find the right person for the job to replace Todd Haley, who was fired yesterday.
Pasquarelli writes in his latest column that the team needs to shift out of the comfort zone to find their new head coach. Instead of someone who will offer something familiar, perhaps the team needs to shake things up. He writes:
Forget the so-called "short list." A "long list" doesn't even exist yet. But when it does, when Pioli and owner Clark Hunt sit down and draw up a list of potential replacements, it probably shouldn't include Crennel. Or Josh McDaniels, another Belichick creation who already has one strike against him as a head coach, and who ironically is the Chiefs' offensive coordinator. Or Eric Mangini. Or anyone else with ties to the Belichick-Pioli glory years with the Patriots.
Pioli is one of the brightest, most astute football people we know, and we're hardly qualified to offer advice. That said, this suggestion, humbly offered: It's time, Scott, to plant a new tree.