Falcons hire Pioli as assistant general manager

  Print article

In a league of second chances, former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli found his.

The Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday announced the hiring of Pioli as an assistant general manager. He will answer to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

Sept. 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Then-Chiefs GM Scott Pioli talks with Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff during pregame warmup at Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons won 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sept. 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Then-Chiefs GM Scott Pioli talks with Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff during pregame warmup at Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons won 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The hiring is effective Feb. 3 once Pioli’s contract with NBC Sports Network and Sirius XM expires.

Pioli reunites with Dimitroff, as both served together with the New England Patriots (2002-07).

This move actually makes sense for Pioli despite his last stop with the Chiefs (2009-2012), a four-year period that saw the team go 23-41 in the regular season.

Pioli’s strength is evaluating player talent, and the current Chiefs regime inherited from Pioli a roster that sent six players to the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season.

But where Pioli failed miserably in Kansas City surrounded his stubbornness to address arguably the most critical position in the NFL – the quarterback.

He won’t have that problem in Atlanta, where franchise quarterback Matt Ryan resides.

Meanwhile, the stories out of Arrowhead Stadium during Pioli’s tenure as the man in charge surrounded paranoia and an alleged candy wrapper incident.

The scenarios were brought to light in former Kansas City Star Chiefs beat writer Kent Babb’s “Arrowhead Anxiety: Turnover off the field causes concern.”

The apparent toxic environment during Pioli’s regime extended to the locker room, where players, including outside linebacker Tamba Hali, have been on record the past season to compliment the differences under the current regime of general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid.

And the most recent notable comment to take a dig at the prior leadership came from wide receiver Dwayne Bowe in the week leading to the Chiefs’ first-round playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

“We always had great players, but we just needed a staff that knows how to handle guys at this stature,” Bowe said during a Jan. 1 media session . “We fortunately had a chance to work with Andy (Reid) and John Dorsey. And those guys know what they’re doing on this side of the football and it’s been paying off.”

Still, for all the carnage Pioli left in Kansas City, he has an opportunity to learn from his experiences.

Prior to taking the general manager position in Kansas City, Pioli established his reputation as one of the league’s astute evaluators of talent.

Pioli won’t be in charge in Atlanta, and a position behind the scenes doing what he built his name on could very well prove the perfect fit.