The Detroit Lions just transitioned away from a New England Patriots influence in their front office, but could they look to bring some of it back?
In addition to Thomas Dimitroff who was revealed as a candidate on Thursday, the Lions are also reportedly set to interview Scott Pioli for their general manager job according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Pioli is currently seen on NFL Network and CBS Sports as an analyst, but he has serious NFL experience to rely on, including working with the Patriots for nearly a decade during the height of their dynasty in addition to becoming a general manager as well as an assistant general manager in the league.
Pioli’s addition to the search is interesting considering how badly his tenure ended in Kansas City. Since that moment, he’s not received many looks for general manager role, but did work under Dimitroff in Atlanta until he resigned from that post in 2019.
So far, the Lions have tended to prefer experience within their interview process, and Pioli certainly adds a high degree of that.
Scott Pioli Biography
Pioli, 55, has football in his blood. He started his career by coaching Syracuse as a graduate assistant in 1988 and 1989. From there, he spent a pair of seasons coaching Murray State’s offensive and defensive lines. In 1992, he accepted a role with the Cleveland Browns as a pro personnel assistant and would stick with them through their first season in Baltimore in 1996. He transitioned to the New York Jets in 1997, where he stayed as their director of pro personnel. In 2000, he followed Bill Belichick to New England to become the team’s assistant director of player personnel, and he would thrive in that role, capturing Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX with the Patriots. He then became the Chiefs’ general manager from 2009-2012. As part of both of those stops, Pioli was named NFL Executive of the Year four times. In 2014, he got back into football and joined the Atlanta Falcons as the team’s assistant general manager, vacating that post for his television gig in 2019.
Pioli is an interesting name given he has been a high level executive and had plenty of success while doing so. He should also have good perspective on what went wrong in his career in addition to what went right. Interestingly, he is married to Dallas Pioli, the daughter of Bill Parcells.
Lions General Manager Rumors
Detroit has begun the process of picking out who they wish to interview now, and those interviews will not be able to begin for a few more weeks in the case of successful executives from playoff franchises. Detroit has committed to change on a deep level for the future since the firing of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia a few weeks ago, and are looking for a new voice in the front office to help set the tone from the top down.
An experienced name could be what the Lions need the most considering the problems they have had on the field and with regard to roster construction the last handful of seasons. Thus it’s no surprise that early on, John Dorsey, Jerry Reese and Rick Smith have been the three experienced candidates with the most traction in terms of the general manager position, and it’s no surprise that both of them are veterans of the league. Dimitroff fits this profile as well, as does Pioli. Other names have surfaced too, such as ESPN’s Louis Riddick. Look for these interviews to happen in the next few days before anyone else gets contacted from the outside. Detroit has completed interviews with three in-house candidates already.
Pioli gives the team another experienced mind to chat with in this ever-evolving process.