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Before the Chiefs embark on free agency or the draft process in 2010, they are already well ahead of where they were a year ago in the mind of general manager Scott Pioli.
Speaking to the media at the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Pioli talked about how the changes made to the coaching staff this offseason — most notably the additions of offensive coordinator Charlis Weis and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel — have put the organization in a much better position entering the upcoming campaign.
"(We) feel a lot more comfortable, feel a lot more energized," Pioli said. "It feels like there's more stability. A lot of people are focusing on just Charlie and (Romeo), there's a number of coaches that we've gone through a full cycle with here. There's been some other additions. At this time of year (in ’09) we were interviewing people trying to get our staff figured out. Now we can be solely and exclusively focused on football players, which is good."
Besides bringing in Weis and Crennel, the Chiefs also hired some new blood since season's end, including Anthony Pleasant (defensive line), Bernie Parmalee (tight ends) and Emmitt Thomas (defensive backs). Combined with veteran holdovers such as LB coach Gary Gibbs, OL coach Bill Muir and special-teams coach Steve Hoffman, Kansas City believes it has put together a good balance of young and old coaches for field boss Todd Haley to work with.
Pioli emphasized how important it is for he and Haley, both entering their second year on the job, to have sounding boards in place on the staff. Unlike last year, they now have veteran coordinators to bounce ideas off, which could go a long way toward each becoming better at his duties. He also said how it would be helpful to have coaches around who wouldn't always agree with his or Haley's opinion.
Above all else, though, Pioli thinks that the chemistry the new staff will eventually build could be what helps the Chiefs improve on their 4-12 record and overall poor campaign.
"Something that I've learned over these years is chemistry is critical," the GM said. "People just talk about locker-room chemistry, but chemistry within any close-knit unit where you're going to have good times and bad times, ups and downs, and knowing those people and having an idea of how they're going to react in certain situations is really helpful."
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