Todd Haley got the axe and Scott Pioli is safe. For now. The Kansas City Chiefs general manager must realize, however, that hiring Haley in the first place was his call. So was drafting Tyson Jackson. So was trading for Matt Cassel. Those are a lot of questionable decisions for a general manager too feel too safe.
Bill Williamson of ESPN writes on this subject in his latest column He notes, "So, the Chiefs have a chance to get better quickly when these players return. It’s all on Pioli. He has to ensure that the Chiefs rebound in 2012. If not, he could soon be on the hot seat. He was the one who hired Haley, so he must take responsibility for it. Hiring Haley — an old colleague from their shared Bill Parcells days — was Pioli’s first move in Kansas City after being hired in January 2009.
“If they couldn’t get along, it is partly Pioli’s fault. He must be able to get along with his head coach. That’s why it is so important that he makes the right call with his next hire. If the next coach is a failure or if Pioli butts heads with him, it probably will be Pioli’s turn to pay the price. We will hear plenty of names connected to this job, including former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and former NFL coach Eric Mangini. Expect Pioli to take his time as he tries to get his second coaching hire right. Pioli has to know his long-term future in Kansas City is reliant on him making the right call.”
The good news is that Scott Pioli knows this for himself, referencing his own need to become better at his job several times during the team’s press conference today. Only time will tell moving forward.