Guest Aloysius Posted December 29, 2008 Report Share Posted December 29, 2008 Articles: Discussing Pioli's draft strategy "No one has done a better job in free agency than Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick," said Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, a former Patriots linebackers coach. "They've done a super job. They know what they're looking for, and I think it's somewhere in there between smart, athletic, and tough. That's what they go with, and it's been great for them, obviously." Pioli on visiting schools, scouting college players When Pioli is on a campus, he’s attentive to how prospects treat folks like the equipment manager, assistant trainers, grounds crew and, in particular, the females who work in the football office. He takes note of how hard they work in the weight room and how easy is it to coach them up at practice. “Being there at this time of year, in that environment, you get a truer gauge on who this person is,” Pioli said. That makes this a critical time of year for Pioli and his staff. By February, the seniors have agents and personal trainers and private tutors, all of whom have a singular goal of making sure they give the NFL what they want to see and hear. And, as Pioli noted, people can be easily fooled during a 15-minute interview as prospects spew prepared statements and canned responses. “But if I’m at a practice and I see a coach telling a kid time and time again correcting the same mistakes, I’m going to have a different opinion of what his intelligence is as a player,” he said. While football is a violent sport, the Patriots put a lot of stock in brain power. Taking it a step further, they’re looking for players who can not only think, but do so on their feet. “A very smart person told me one time don’t ever get intelligence confused with the ability to make good decisions,” Pioli said. “In this game, it’s the ability to make good decisions, under pressure, quickly. And that’s a different form of intelligence. “I’ve been around a number of quarterbacks who are highly, highly intelligent, but they can’t make the right decision quickly. For us, intelligence is very important.” Transcript of Pioli's appearance on Path to the Draft (11/03/05) Mayock: You know, Scott, one of the things that I find really interesting is that when I talk to people around the league they're almost scared to death to be drafting in the top five or the top ten. Not necessarily because that meant they were a bad team a year ago, but there is so much pressure not to miss in that top five because of the guaranteed dollars involved. Do you and Bill sit around and just say, 'Boy, thank goodness we don't have a pick in the top five this year'? Pioli: Fortunately, we haven't had to be in the top five, but we did have a number six pick in Richard Seymour when we took Richard. And again, something that we think is important [is] when you go to make that kind of investment, and really there is a significant difference in the dollars in one through five, but still, if you're in that top fifteen, there is a significant investment in dollars and years that you're making a commitment to a player. When we do that we want to make sure that the players that we get at that point, [that] we take a player that ... they're going to be people who are mature and can handle the lifestyle they're about to enter. It's no secret that if a player is picked in that first half of the draft they're coming into a lot of money and they're going to be changing their lifestyle dramatically. And we want to have players that we know or we feel have a real good chance to be that solid person. Mike Florio: Why isn’t Scott Pioli running an NFL team? Pioli once worked for Miami V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells, and Parcells saw fit to allow Pioli to marry one of his daughters. (Securing Parcells’ approval was likely no small feat for Pioli, undoubtedly involving a portable polygraph machine and/or a cat that can’t flush a toilet.) Interviews: NFL Network interview from before last year's Super Bowl NFL Network interview from before the '08 draft Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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