NFL Franchise Notes: Heading Into Crucial Season, Chiefs GM Pioli Says He Has Evolved
In K.C., Sam Mellinger wrote this year, more than any other, "is the one that could most dictate what people here think" of Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. His K.C. "judgment day is fast approaching." It took Pioli "a few years to realize that the Chiefs are way too big in Kansas City for fans and media to only hear from the head coach." Pioli said, "I think I've evolved. I think I've grown. I think I've learned." When asked how he has changed in the last year, or three, Pioli "speaks mostly in generalities -- especially regarding football -- but the signs are everywhere." The "most tangible are his hiring of a head coach who's comfortable in his own skin and dogged pursuit of a new vice president of communications who has one of the league's strongest reputations for promoting conversation with fans and media." This is the "convergence of Pioli's recognition of his own weaknesses and failures" (K.C. STAR, 9/8).
GROWING INTO HIS ROLE: In Houston, Tania Ganguli noted Texans Owner Bob McNair's son, Cal, has been "involved with the Texans franchise from its inception 10 years ago," and five months ago added the title of COO. Someday Cal McNair "will own the team, but it might be decades" with his grandfather still alive at age 102 and his father at 75. Texans Vice Chair Phillip Burguieres said, "I'm starting to see Cal change. I'm starting to see him get more involved. I think giving him the title of chief operating officer gave him a lot of confidence. ... I'm seeing a lot of good things." Cal McNair said, "Dad's not going anywhere. I'm not taking over. He's going to be here. His dad is over 100 years old. My dad loves to work" (CHRON.com, 9/9).
WHO NEEDS TICKETS? Colts Owner Jim Irsay said of the franchise a few months ago still having a few thousand tickets available for home games, "When you're going into a different era, you go 2-14 and you have a lot of changes with so many popular players, it's tough. But you have to consider this has been a tougher time for getting all of the stadiums in the league sold out. That's been the trend with the economy. We're going to be sold out for the opener. We're going to be sold out for the year. I don't think you can be disappointed with that. There is tremendous interest and excitement with the team" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/9). Meanwhile, in Denver, Andy Vuong cited StubHub as showing that "demand for Broncos tickets has increased by three times compare with last year" (DENVER POST, 9/9).