Another GM candidate emerges for Detroit Lions: Ex-Chiefs GM and Patriots exec Scott Pioli

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
 
| Detroit Free Press

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The Patriot Way failed the Detroit Lions miserably last time, but that might not stop the organization from going that route again.

The Lions are scheduled to interview former Kansas City Chiefs GM and longtime NFL executive Scott Pioli next week, ESPN reported Thursday.

Pioli, who worked for the New England Patriots in 2000-08 and helped train recently fired Lions GM Bob Quinn, is the seventh known candidate for the Lions GM job.

In-house candidates Kyle O’Brien, Lance Newmark and Rob Lohman interviewed for the job last week, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick is scheduled to talk to the Lions on Friday, and ex-GMs Rick Smith and Thomas Dimitroff will interview next week.

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Pioli helped construct the Patriots dynasty of the 2000s, leaving the New York Jets to join Bill Belichick in New England before the 2000 draft.

He was part of the front office team that made Tom Brady a sixth-round pick, and won three Super Bowls in New England.

Pioli took over as Kansas City Chiefs general manager in 2009, where he unsuccessfully tried to recreate the Patriots with Todd Haley as head coach and ex-New England assistants Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis as coordinators.

The Chiefs won 10 games and a division title in 2010, but sunk to 2-14 by the end of Pioli’s tenure in 2012 in what the Kansas City Star reported was a toxic working environment.

Pioli, now an analyst for NFL Network, spent six years as assistant GM with the Atlanta Falcons, where he helped the Falcons reach one Super Bowl.

In 2016, the same year the Falcons lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, the Lions hired Quinn.

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Pioli said at the time he would be a sounding board for Quinn if he ever needed advice during his time in Detroit. Asked then what he thought the Lions would look like in five years, Pioli told the Free Press he never makes predictions.

“I think they’ll have tough players and smart players that are solid citizens, or at least trying to be solid citizens,” Pioli said. “Will he deviate from that every once in a while? Yeah, because I think all of us do. All of us have rules and principles, but we also make exceptions. But I think those are the kind of guys that I think he’ll look for, I think.

“Here’s what I do know, too, what will be one of the foundations that they have is they will have a group of people working their butts off.”

Quinn hired another ex-Patriot, Matt Patricia, as head coach in 2018. Both were fired Nov. 28.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. 

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