Former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli arrived in Kansas City, Mo., four years ago with an impressive resume from a New England dynasty.
It proved hard to ignore mulitiple Executive of the Year awards and three Super Bowl rings from a team anchored by two-time MVP franchise quarterback Tom Brady.
Like Pioli before them, new Chiefs coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, who will be formally introduced on Monday, arrive with noteworthy backgrounds.
Both got their starts in Green Bay during the 1990s with a Super Bowl-winning Mike Holmgren staff, complete with a franchise quarterback and three-time MVP in Brett Favre.
But that’s where the similarities end.
Success in the NFL often hinges on solving the quarterback position. And that responsibility falls on the men charged with evaluating talent and identifying the right player.
Considering Kansas City’s current situation, how did the respective decision makers fare after leaving their successful roots, or in Dorsey’s case, a return to origins?
Pioli’s departure from Bill Belichick resulted in disaster, as his hand-picked quarterback, Matt Cassel, didn’t meet expectations. The Chiefs are 23-41 since 2009, two head coaches didn’t produce, Pioli is gone and Cassel’s future in Kansas City is unclear with the sweeping changes.
Meanwhile, Reid left Green Bay in 1999 as a quarterbacks coach to take the head coach position in Philadelphia. He drafted a quarterback in Donovan McNabb and made the playoffs in nine of 14 seasons, which included six division titles, five NFC Championship games and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX, a game where the Eagles lost to the Patriots.
Dorsey, who in 1999 briefly left Green Bay to join Holmgren in Seattle, returned to his roots in 2000. Seeking Favre’s eventual replacement, the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005, a period when Dorsey served as the director of college scouting. Rodgers and the Packers won Super Bowl XLV.
Under Pioli, the Chiefs suffered through the likes of Cassel, Brady Quinn and Tyler Palko, among others.
Reid had stability with McNabb, and then got the most out of Michael Vick before the Eagles’ slide in the last two seasons. Dorsey worked with Favre and Rodgers.
Pioli’s chosen quarterback, Cassel, had one Pro Bowl appearance.
McNabb (6) and Vick (1) combined for seven Pro Bowl selections in Philadelphia under Reid. Dorsey watched Rodgers get selected to three Pro Bowls, garner a first-team All Pro selection, win a league MVP and Super Bowl MVP.
Ultimately, Pioli failed to sustain the magic from New England and it’s widely argued that Belichick is the real mastermind behind the Patriots dynasty.
Reid and Dorsey not only kept the magic from their roots, they translated it into success by not just acquiring the all-important franchise quarterback, but the correct one.
In the meantime, the Chiefs own the No. 1 pick overall in April’s NFL Draft with the absolute right duo to make the most of it.
Should Dorsey and Reid use the top pick on a quarterback, there should be a high level of trust surrounding that chosen player.
Given the new Arrowhead leadership’s respective track records, the next Chiefs quarterback – whether he’s acquired in April or free agecny – will come with more than one seal of approval.