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Scott Pioli under fire for slow Kansas City Chiefs start

It's safe to say the honeymoon is over for Scott Pioli in Kansas City. The city's two major sports columnists have these headlines leading their articles on Monday:

» Chiefs will never win big with Pioli in charge.

» Hunt needs to make major changes to fix this Chiefs mess.


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Kent Babb absolutely eviscerates Pioli in an-almost personal attack that feels like a settling of old scores.

"(Pioli's) priorities are too misguided, his insecurities and denial too immense to allow Kansas City's favorite team to win the Super Bowl that he was brought here to claim," Babb writes in the Kansas City Star.

And it just gets started there. Babb takes issue with Pioli's media strategy and "whining."

"Pioli cares more than you can imagine about what others think; about how his gilded reputation still shines nearly four years after it landed him this job."

Whether you agree with Babb or not, it's worth a read. The media discussion is on point; Pioli does exert influence behind the scenes as well as executive. (Then again, that's part of the job.) Former coach Todd Haley and Pioli engaged in a not-so-under-the-radar battle of blame last year, and it's clear whose side Babb is on.

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The histrionics about the Chiefs never winning under Pioli feels sensationalized. Babb admits the Chiefs have a talented roster. We just finished Week 2.

Sam Mellinger, also of the Kansas City Star, was no kinder to Pioli Monday morning.

"Four years is enough time to fairly judge an NFL GM, and so far Pioli looks like a substitute teacher," he writes. "He is failing -- badly -- and to save his football reputation, and shelve serious questions about his job, he needs the kind of turnaround over the next 14 games that is quite unfathomable at the moment."

The Star is one of our favorite papers to read for NFL coverage. Babb and Mellinger are both very talented, but some of this reaction feels like over-reaction. It lacks perspective. What will they write if the Chiefs are 5-3 at midseason?

A turnaround from the Chiefs is far from unfathomable. Crazier turnarounds happen after two weeks every season by teams less talented than the Chiefs. (Heck, Kansas City actually looked worse to start last year before righting the ship.)

The battle lines have been drawn here. With Haley gone, Pioli is in the crosshairs. The Chiefs need to win or he can expect a lot more Monday mornings like this one.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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