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Scott Pioli named assistant GM for Falcons 01.22.14 at 11:00 am ET
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The Falcons announced Wednesday that former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli was hired as assistant general manager. Pioli will start with the Falcons on Feb. 3, when his contract with NBC Sports Network and SiriusXM Radio ends.

The move reunites Pioli and Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, as the pair spent six years together with the Patriots in the 2000s.

“€œAdding a seasoned personnel executive with the track record like Scott’€™s is in line with our organizational philosophy of making investments in hiring the best people,”€ Falcons owner and chairman Arthur M. Blank said. “€œThis move was made as a result of Thomas’€™ competitive drive to build the best personnel team in the NFL, and the addition of Scott to his team certainly reflects that.”

Pioli rose from assistant director of player personnel to vice president of player personnel during his stint in New England from 2000-08, while Dimitroff was the team’s national scout in 2002 and then the director of college scouting from 2003-07.

“€œScott is one of the most respected and adept talent evaluators in the NFL and a member of three Super Bowl championship teams,”€ Dimitroff said. “We have worked together well in the past and been friends for more than 20 years. We have had the opportunity to experience a lot of success together, and I am very pleased that he has agreed to join our personnel team so we can work together again. We have made the commitment to improve every aspect of our organization this offseason, and with the addition of Scott to our personnel department, we have taken an important step to enhance our scouting staff.”

Pioli started in the pros with the Browns in 1992 as a scouting assistant. From 1993-95 he was a pro personnel assistant for Cleveland. In 1996, he was named pro personnel coordinator for the team as it moved to Baltimore. From 1997-2000 he served as the director of pro personnel for the Jets.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Scott Pioli
Autopsy shows Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher was drunk when he killed girlfriend, himself 01.14.13 at 1:18 pm ET
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Jovan Belcher

Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was legally drunk when he killed his live-in girlfriend and then himself on Dec. 1, according to autopsy results released Monday.

The Kansas City Star reports that the former University of Maine star had a blood-alcohol level of .17 when he died. Police discovered Belcher sleeping in his car outside the apartment of another woman at about 3 a.m. following a night out, but officers noted that his car was legally parked and he “became more fluid and coherent” shortly after being woken up, and there was no smell of alcohol.

Belcher, 25, shot his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, nine times a few hours later at their home after an argument. The couple’s infant daughter and Belcher’s mother were in the home as well. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and spoke to general manager Scott Pioli, linebackers coach Gary Gibbs and head coach Romeo Crennel before turning his gun on himself.

Read More: Jovan Belcher, Romeo Crennel, Rumor Mill, Scott Pioli
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Shocked Chiefs attend memorial service for Jovan Belcher 12.06.12 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Broncos at Raiders, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Knicks at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Vanderbilt at Xavier, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Long Beach State at Syracuse, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Chiefs players gather outside a memorial service for Jovan Belcher on Wednesday in Kansas City. (AP)

♦ Chiefs players and staff attended a private memorial service Wednesday for Jovan Belcher, the linebacker who killed his girlfriend and then himself over the weekend.

General manager Scott Pioli gave a eulogy for Belcher during the one-hour service. Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel tried to calm Belcher before the player shot himself in the stadium parking lot on Saturday.

“It was rough on him,” Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said of Pioli. “It’s a sad situation. You never want to be put under those situations. … You don’t want to see things like that. For him to get up and say something, I don’t know how he got through it.”

Chiefs players attending the service had little or nothing to say, but Bell summed up their feelings.

“You don’t wish this on anyone,” said Bell, a Chiefs linebacker/defensive end from 1963-74. “He’s done what he did, and it’s over with, and now we have to sit back and see where we go from here. I’m in a daze. … I can’t understand a young kid, 25 years old … his life is in front of him, and for it to be cut this short.

“Now the team has to move forward. It’s tough on them. A lot of the guys … when you see somebody and played with them, your buddy, your friend … he was just too young, man.”

Meanwhile, it was reported Wednesday that the estate of guardian of Belcher’s infant daughter will receive more than $1 million under terms of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

♦ Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who served jail time after accidentally discharging a gun at a nightclub when he was with the Giants, talked about NFL players and guns in the wake of the Belcher murder-suicide. Burress said he didn’t think NFL players would change their attitudes despite the tragedy in Kansas City.

“Things like this happen to people every day,” Burress told USA Today. “It just happened to be Jovan, somebody that we knew. That’s why we’re having this discussion. But it goes on in society all the time.”

Added Burress: “It’s not really the culture of the NFL, it’s about what’s going on in society today.”

Gerald Wallace became the second NBA player to be fined for flopping, joining Nets teammate Reggie Evans on the list of offenders. Wallace was fined $5,000 Wednesday, after the league reviewed his third-quarter dive while guarding LeBron James during Saturday’s 102-89 loss to the Heat. Wallace’s first flop came during a 96-89 overtime victory over the Knicks, when he was defending Carmelo Anthony.

The Nets are the only team with more than one player who violated the new rules.

♦ Utah State basketball player Danny Berger was in critical condition Wednesday after collapsing at practice a day earlier. The 22-year-old junior had to be revived via CPR and a defibrillator after he stopped breathing.

Berger’s older brother, John, read from a prepared statement Wednesday and thanked assistant athletic trainer Mike Williams for his prompt response.

“He saved my brother’s life and I thank God for him,” an emotional John Berger said.

Wednesday night’s scheduled game at Brigham Young was postponed due to Berger’s situation.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 6, 1976, the Red Sox traded a young Cecil Cooper to the Brewers for which two players?

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Read More: Danny Berger, Gerald Wallace, Jovan Belcher, Plaxico Burress
Chiefs franchise WR Dwayne Bowe 03.05.12 at 4:46 pm ET
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With a slew of teams applying the franchise tag to various players Monday, the Chiefs joined the fray by applying the franchise tag on standout wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, team general manager Scott Pioli said in a statement.

It is the non-exclusive franchise tag, meaning that Bowe can receive offers from other teams when free agency opens on March 13. However, that would cost a bidding team two first-round picks, making it unlikely that any team will make the effort to reach out to Bowe.

The 27-year-old Bowe completed his fifth NFL season in 2011, a season in which he hauled in 81 catches for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns. The season before, Bowe had career highs in receiving yards (1,162) and touchdowns (15), the latter of which led the NFL.

Read More: Dwayne Bowe, Rumor Mill, Scott Pioli,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Former Chiefs staffers accuse team of bugging rooms, phones 01.16.12 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Stars at Blues, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Thunder at Celtics, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
NBA: Bulls at Grizzles, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Mavericks at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Louisville at Marquette, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Texas A&M at Missouri, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Syracuse, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Baylor at Kansas, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Former Chiefs coach Todd Haley feared that his cell phone was bugged by team management. (AP)

♦ According to an article by Kent Babb of The Kansas City Star, former Chiefs coach Todd Haley was convinced that team management had bugged rooms and phones in an attempt to monitor employees’ conversations, and he wasn’t the only one with paranoid thoughts. Since Scott Pioli was hired as general manager in January 2009 (away from the Patriots), the article states, “life for many inside the Chiefs’ front office has been marked by massive staff turnover, fear and insecurity about how closely they are watched.” There are also charges of age discrimination. Three former department head sued the Chiefs in 2011.

According to a former high-ranking staffer: “The level of paranoia was probably the highest that I had ever seen it anywhere. … If you make the wrong step, you might not be able to pay your mortgage.”

Team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt played down the accusations, saying that an emphasis has been placed on individual responsibility. “We needed a culture that pursued excellence,” he said. “One that valued honesty and integrity, one where the employees would be held accountable.”

♦ Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson was the latest to come to the defense of quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was referred to as “lazy” by an unnamed Jet last week. Tomlinson implied that some of the team’s wide receivers had an ax to grind with Sanchez after a “disconnect” throughout the year.

“There are a lot of things you can say about Mark Sanchez, but to call him lazy is a bit much,” Tomlinson said. ”This is a guy that has worked very hard off the field, in the film room. I’ve seen it, in the weight room, putting in extra time with the coaches early in the morning after practice when everybody is gone. He is putting in time. So, he’s not lazy.”

♦ Former Giants running back Tiki Barber said he tried to set up a meeting with coach Tom Coughlin to mend fences after criticizing the coach’s style, but Coughlin said no. Barber, who tried to make a comeback this season but did not get an offer from an NFL team, remains optimistic about getting back in the Giants’ good graces. “One of these days I’m sure it’ll happen, because as we know, time heals all wounds,” Barber said on ESPN Radio. “And I think at the end of the day, Giants fans, despite their dislike of me at times, know that I was one of the guys that put [it] on the line every time I put on my uniform.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 16, 1974, which Bruin became the eighth player in NHL history to record 450 goals when he scored in a 5-5 tie with the Blackhawks in Chicago?

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Read More: ladainian tomlinson, Mark Sanchez, Scott Pioli, Tiki Barber
Head Chief in KC 01.14.09 at 11:45 am ET
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Now that he has the job of re-building the Kansas City Chiefs, reaction is coming in on what kind of job Scott Pioli will do and what it will mean to Chiefs fans who are hoping the executive who helped build the Patriots dynasty can do the same for them. Adam Teicher, of the Kansas City Star, has the main story, including the fact that Pioli will report directly to Clark Hunt, the team’s chairman. Kent Babb details how Pioli has been preparing for this moment all along in New England. Teicher writes that if, as expected, Pioli fires Herm Edwards, there will be a competition to find a new suitable coach. However, it’s believed that Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz is the guy that Pioli has targeted all along. One guy it probably WON’T be is Tennessee defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio tells us. Pioli is expected to be introduced to the Kansas City media sometime late Wednesday afternoon.

Read More: Chiefs, Kirk Ferentz, Scott Pioli,
What next… 01.12.09 at 11:45 am ET
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With Josh Mcdaniels about to be introduced as the new head coach in Denver later today, and Scott Pioli still on the radar of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots will get busy on considering candidates to replace them. While there still exists the possibility that Pioli will return to Foxboro, one thing is for sure, the Patriots will have to find themselves a new offensive coordinator. Our own Michael Felger breaks down what it all means. Will they, as Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe suggests, promote from within to help with the transition or have head coach Bill Belichick get more involved in play-calling? Or will they consider names like Mike Martz, whom Belichick has always admired as an offensive mind, and Kevin Gilbride, should he get axed from the gig with the Giants.

Read More: Josh McDaniels, Mike Martz, Scott Pioli,
New Year’s play… 01.01.09 at 12:08 pm ET
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The Cleveland Browns don’t want to wait around on Scott Pioli, according to the Boston Herald. The paper is reporting that the Browns want a decision by today from Pioli on whether he wants the job. Pioli is interested in hiring Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz as head coach, as Ferentz has a history with Pioli and Bill Belichick when the two were in Cleveland in the 90s. The Herald reports Pioli is making demands of Cleveland that would be extremely difficult for any football franchise to meet. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Browns are also interviewing Atlanta Falcons team President Rich McKay. The Boston Globe is reporting that Kansas City has also received permission to speak to Pioli. In an intriguing twist, the Browns have asked for and received permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. It’s not clear whether Browns owner Randy Lerner might hire a head coach separately of a new general manager.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, Rich McKay, Scott Pioli
From Foxboro to Cleveland and back… 12.30.08 at 12:35 pm ET
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There seems to be a great deal of mutual interest between Scott Pioli and the Cleveland Browns, concerning their vacant general manager’s position. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that Pioli is very interested in the gig while there could be an intriguing third party entering the picture. Should Pioli stay in New England or head to Kansas City or Detroit, Bill Parcells could quickly enter the picture since he has a lucrative buyout clause in Miami if owner Wayne Huizenga sells his interest in the team and he is said to be considering selling the Fins within the next two months. Meanwhile, the Browns are interested in northeast Ohio native and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to replace Romeo Crennel, who could stay on as defensive coordinator. Browns owner Randy Lerner fired G.M. Phil Savage over the weekend while Crennel was fired as head coach on Monday. The Browns are also interested in axed Jets head coach Eric Mangini. Besides being the single individual who could overhaul the Cleveland Browns with an injection of New England Patriots personnel, who is Randy Lerner?

Read More: Bill Parcells, Romeo Crennel, Scott Pioli,
Black Monday… 12.29.08 at 3:13 pm ET
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It’s the Monday after the final NFL regular season game and the blood-letting has begun. We begin first in New York where the axe has come down on Eric Mangini. The New York Post screams ‘Dump ‘em’ and that’s what owner Woody Johnson and G.M. Michael Tannenbaum have done in firing Mangenius. … The Cleveland Browns have shown Romeo Crennel the door in the mistake by the lake. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting that the Browns have asked the Patriots their permission to speak to Scott Pioli for their vacant G.M. job to replace Phil Savage. Mangini could be a candidate to replace Crennel. Not surprisingly, after leading his team, the Detroit Lions, to the first 0-16 finish in NFL history, Rod Marinelli is looking for work today. Wade Phillips didn’t get fired by Jerry Jones in Dallas but judging by the Dallas papers and his press conference today, maybe he wishes he had.

Read More: Eric Mangini, patriots, Rod Marinelli, Romeo Crennel