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What Scott Pioli Could Bring to Lions If Hired as General Manager

Scott Pioli is scheduled to interview with the Detroit Lions for their general manager vacancy.

Scott Pioli is the seventh known candidate who will receive an opportunity to interview to become the Detroit Lions' next general manager. 

He brings three Super Bowl rings to the table, along with accolades that include being named the NFL Executive of the Year on five occasions as well as the NFL Executive of the Decade. 

He is someone who was handpicked to be the right-hand man of the most accomplished coach in the history of the National Football League in Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.

Pioli is also Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells’ son-in-law. 

My path intersected with the GM candidate back when he was a first-time department director and he hired me to be one of two assistants in the pro scouting department with the New York Jets. 

We worked together every day for nearly two years, which is what makes me uniquely qualified to talk about what he brings to the table in Detroit

Here are his key attributes, based on my personal observations:

1.) It is Super Bowl or bust. 

I learned this one the hard way. In my first season with the Jets in 1998, we missed the Super Bowl by one game, losing to the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game. 

A couple of months after the season ended, we were on a scouting trip together, when I casually chimed in on a conversation in the car. I said, “Last season sure was great. We were one game away from the Super Bowl.” 

He turned, and glared at me and sternly said, “I do not ever want to hear you talk like that again. One game away isn’t good enough!”

2.) Pioli is intensely organized. 

The pro scouting department he was responsible for in New York was run like a well-oiled machine.  

For example, every player profile tape we had in our department was numbered and listed in a log. Everything was organized in a similar fashion. He paid strict attention to every detail. He excels at gathering information. This was the cornerstone of the operation with the Jets

There was even a saying around our building: “We’re in the information-gathering business.”

Pioli is relentless and proficient at gathering information from sources. This knack he has would give the Lions a distinct advantage in both contract negotiations and in terms of game-planning preparations.

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3.) He is a student of those successful  in the game

I remember Pioli carrying around the book, “Finding the Winning Edge" by Bill Walsh. His heart for people is something few know about. But, I got to experience it first hand. Pioli cares about people. 

Yes, he is demanding. However, I also got to see his soft, human and caring side.  

When it comes to Pioli interviewing for the general manager position in Detroit, I have this thought going through my mind about what a former Patriots scout shared with me after New England won its first Super Bowl. 

Belichick told everyone, “This never would have happened if we didn’t go through what we went through in Cleveland.”

Yes, we all know what happened in Kansas City when he was the general manager there. 

At the same time, I cannot help to think about what Belichick’s guy will do if he gets a similar second chance. 

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