Chiefs, Pioli Part Ways
The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Friday that the club and General Manager Scott Pioli have mutually agreed to part ways.
“After several productive conversations, we made the difficult decision to part ways with Scott Pioli and allow him to pursue other opportunities,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Scott has been an invaluable member of the Chiefs family since joining us in 2009, and we sincerely appreciate his tremendous contributions over the last four years.
Invaluable? More like unvaluable, amirite?
Jack Del Rio likely staying in Denver
While interest can still develop, it appears the Denver Broncos will have their defensive coordinator returning for the first time in seven years.
Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio told reporters Thursday he has not had any interviews for head coaching jobs set up yet. Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has interest from four teams and has interviews set for this weekend while the Broncos are on their bye during the playoffs.
While Del Rio has done a stellar job for Denver this season, the potential availability of college coaches Chip Kelly, Nick Saban, Brian Kelly, and Doug Marrone, one-time SB coaches Andy Reid, Lovie Smith, and Ken Whisenhunt, and sought after coordinators like Mike McCoy and Ray Horton, has JDR far down the list of eligible coaching candidates.
No complaints here. Considering what Del Rio has done with Denver's defense in just one season and after one draft, imagine what he can do after another offseason.
Lovie Smith has piqued the interest of the Buffalo Bills, but that isn’t the only team hoping to speak with the recently fired coach of the Chicago Bears.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the San Diego Chargers would like to meet with Smith about replacing Norv Turner, who was fired Monday along with general manager A.J. Smith.
Of the seven coaches fired Monday, two have far and away the most impressive resumes as NFL head coaches go. The first, Andy Reid, is reportedly close to taking the Chiefs job, while the other, Lovie Smith, is apparently a target for the other AFCW vacancy. But while each would appear an upgrade over Norv Turner and Romeo Crennel, both teams have tons of holes to fill.
And, they have to face Peyton Manning twice a year.
Andy Reid close to Chiefs deal
The Kansas City Chiefs are on the verge of a deal to make Andy Reid their next head coach, according to league sources.
There still are minor details to work out but after nine hours of meetings Wednesday, one source involved in the talks said “the major issues have been discussed and agreed upon.”
One source close to Reid said this morning, “This is going to happen fast.”
It doesn't sound like Scott Pioli would be kept around, should the Chiefs indeed hire Reid.
As recently as Tuesday, it was appearing that Reid would be turning the Cardinals into Eagles West. Will he end up doing precisely that in Kansas City? If so, he figures to fare better than Pioli did in remolding the Chiefs as his image of the Patriots.
Update 12:28pm ET - Reid has reportedly told the Chiefs that he and former Browns and Eagles GM Tom Heckert are a package deal, which would indeed mark the end of Scott Pioli's time in KC. As his leverage/backup plan, Reid plans to interview with the Chargers and Cardinals about their vacancies.
Update 2:13pm ET - Finalization of a KC/Reid deal is close enough that the coach is reportedly canceling his meetings with San Diego and Arizona.
Franchise Visualization Updated with 2012 Data
The brainchild of Chase Stuart of Football Perspective, the franchise viz plots the offensive and defensive production, in terms of EPA, on an x-y plot for every team since the 2000 season.
Looking back to the 2000 season, the 2012 Broncos feature the best offense and best defense they've since had.
No surprise there, and also as expected, the 2008 squad had the worst defense, while the 2011 team was the worst offensively.
Remember how it was said that all the 2008 Broncos needed was an average defense and they'd have been contenders? That was true, but unfortunately for Shanny, getting to average was a long road to hoe.
According to this visualization, Josh McDaniels and Mike Nolan pulled that off, turning out the best Broncos defense of the 2000-'11 span, but of course, that came at the expense of the offense.
(Be sure to click through to see exactly what we're talking about.)
Evans and Klatt hour 3 1/2/13
On the attitude of this year’s team:
“That’s the thing about training at this level. It’s called being a professional…we’ve got an unlimited amount of professionals on this team that just get it done each and every week. Every day as far as the film room; as far as the field; as far as doing the extra treatment. Guys are willing to put in the extra miles. It’s been great to be a part of this team.”
On getting the #1 Seed:
“I think it matters a lot. We’d much rather people have to come up here to Mile High and play in this altitude and play at our home field because we’ve got great fans out here in Denver so I definitely think it matters a lot.
Orlando Franklin will maul you at sea level.
At altitude, and in the 4th quarter, you might as well just give up and play dead.
Ray Lewis to retire after season
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said Wednesday he plans to retire as the end of this season.
He told the team Wednesday that, “this is my last ride.’‘
Amazing player. May have covered up a murder.
Koetter signs extension with Falcons
A source told FOXSports.com the Atlanta Falcons have signed offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to a contract extension that will keep him off the market until the 2014 offseason.
This is a rather bizarre development, unless Koetter - who interviewed with the Broncos in 2011 - was convinced he didn't have a real shot at any of the openings he was scheduled to interview for. He met with the Chiefs yesterday about their vacancy, was scheduled to meet with the Eagles and Browns, and will forego both opportunities to stay put in Atlanta.
For Mike McCoy, that's one fewer competitor for him to fend off for the Philly gig.
Update 10:50am ET - Koetter had also interviewed with the Bears, so he also drops out of the competition with McCoy for that job.
Report: Cardinals “very close” to hiring Andy Reid as head coach
Tim Ring, the sports director at KTVK-TV in Arizona, is reporting that the Cardinals are very close to hiring Reid as their next head coach.
As quickly as Mike McCoy's list of suitors had grown to three with the addition of Buffalo, it will apparently be pared to two again shortly, as Andy Reid is expected to become the man in Arizona. If the Cards do end up hiring Reid, that would reunite him with Kevin Kolb, the backup QB he'd dealt to Arizona just a year and a half ago.
Still, the Bears gig remains the best one available in our eyes, and there's always the chance that McCoy hears from more interested parties in the coming days.
Update - 5:50pm ET - In addition to Kolb, Reid would apparently be reconvening with familiar faces Pat Shurmur, Tom Heckert, Brad Childress, and Juan Castillo.
Former Chief Neil Smith sues NFL over brain injuries
Smith, 46, contended in his suit that because of repeated and misdiagnosed concussions he suffers from “permanent and debilitating injuries,” including loss of memory, “cognitive impairment” and early-onset dementia.
“Indeed, Mr. Smith suffered three concussions — all of which were improperly diagnosed and treated — in one game during the 1988 season,” the suit alleged. “Despite exhibiting concussion symptoms, Mr. Smith was regularly returned to play, significantly increasing his chances of longterm brain damage.”
According to nflconcussionlitigation.com, more than one-third of all living, former NFL players are now suing the league over its handling of head injuries.