Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli discussed new coach Romeo Crennel, the franchise's past and future as well as players in a wide-ranging exclusive interview with KCTV5 on Tuesday.
Pioli spoke the day after he and Chiefs owner Clark Hunt announced that Romeo Crennel had been named the head football coach. Pioli said he is committed to the vow he made when he came to Kansas City in 2009.
"I am going to spend every waking hour of my day bringing a winner here and trying to improve this football team," he said Tuesday during an interview with sports anchor Brad Fanning at the Chiefs headquarters. "I know this football team has improved, but we are clearly not there yet. But we are on our way. No one is putting more pressure on me than I am myself."
Pioli said he is fully aware of how he can improve as a general manager.
"I know where my mistakes are and where my failures are and where I need to improve," he said. "I've got a long list."
But he said he doesn't want to waste negative energy focusing on that. He said he is about focusing on building a better future and improving the team.
Pioli said he and Crennel will have a strong cooperative partnership built on mutual respect. He said they share the same philosophy and vision.
However, the general manager said Crennel will ultimately pick his own assistant coaches and coordinators.
The Chiefs will be looking at free agents while working to keep strong players in their fold. Pioli wants in particular to know about the future of cornerback Brandon Carr, running back Jackie Battle and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
"Where are we at with those players?" he said. "Yes, we want those players."
This included quarterback Kyle Orton. But Pioli said he doesn't know if Orton, a free agent, wants to stay in Kansas City, especially since he was here for a month. He also said the franchise needs to determine which players want to remain.
However, Pioli did not mention quarterback Matt Cassel, who is under contract, in his list of players. But he said, "We have a lot of players we want to bring back."
He also said he has not spoken in depth with Crennel about players that the team wants to retain or target in free agency. Crennel praised Cassel during his news conference Monday.
But some players will exit the team at management's request. Pioli said it would be disrespectful and unfair to the current players to talk about positions that need new players, but said the Chiefs have "many needs."
"One of the biggest ways to improve your football team is player development," Pioli said.
Pioli spoke about the storied history of the franchise and the heartbreak fans have endured as previous teams have come close, but not delivered, on their potential.
Kansas City is an extraordinary community, the general manager said.
"It's the Kansas City Chiefs. This is an amazing place," Pioli said. "This is an amazing legacy that is here. I came here to win as well."
But Pioli wouldn't be pinned down on when Chiefs fans could see the playoff win promise land again. The Chiefs haven't won a playoff game since 1994. Only the Detroit Lions, who lost their playoff game Saturday, and Cincinnati Bengals have seen longer playoff droughts.
"I came here to win games. I do believe in my heart, to my core that we are going to win," Pioli said. "I know we are. It is a matter of time. But I am not giving you an exact date."
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