BUILT TO LAST: Reiss Sunday Article on Pioli and Team Building Approach

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by MoLewisrocks, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    This is kind of buried on the Globe web site with the positioning of Cafardo's and Shaughnessy's columns. Too bad as it's a lot more interesting piece than either - well if you're a Pats fan anyway... :rolleyes:

    Enduring success is Pioli's priority
    By Mike Reiss, Globe Staff | June 18, 2006

    FOXBOROUGH -- Classical music plays in the background as Scott Pioli leans back in his chair behind the large wooden desk, three computer screens flanking him in the meticulous office.

    On the wall to his left is the depth chart of every team in the NFC, in alphabetical order, from the Arizona Cardinals to the Washington Redskins. On the wall to his right is the depth chart of every AFC team -- Baltimore Ravens to Tennessee Titans.

    The NFL's 32 teams are aligned in neat rows, top to bottom. Every player has his place on a rectangular white card.

    So it's only fitting that the topic of discussion is one of Pioli's favorites: team building.

    As vice president of player personnel for the Patriots, the 41-year-old Pioli is in the team-building business. The squad has been constructed based on a philosophy he helped create, along with head coach Bill Belichick.

    ``When we first came here [in 2000], we wrote it down in our manual -- we're building a big, strong, fast, tough, smart, disciplined football team that consistently competes for championships," Pioli said. ``We don't want to subscribe to the theory that the window is only open for a short period of time, take a run at it, then worry about the next year, or worry about two years in two years.

    ``This is a `now' society. Now is important. But so is the future. From a team-building standpoint, you have to think that way."

    It's been seven years since Pioli and Belichick -- the duo targeted by owner Robert Kraft and vice chairman Jonathan Kraft to run the team's football operation -- took the first steps in their team-building process in New England. Seven years is an eternity in today's NFL.

    Only two organizations have had the same head coach and personnel chief working together in those roles for a longer period of time -- coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Floyd Reese with the Titans (12 years) and coach Brian Billick and GM Ozzie Newsome with the Ravens (eight years). The Steelers, with coach Bill Cowher and personnel chief Kevin Colbert, match the Patriots with seven seasons together.

    For Pioli and the Patriots, new challenges are always arising in the team-building process.

    ``There's a natural attrition on every NFL roster," Pioli said. ``Seven years later, depending on when a player is picked up, they're at different points in their careers -- some guys toward the end, others entering their prime, others entering free agency. Those are the things you have to keep in mind; there is always going to be that cycle and motion of players at different points in their careers.

    ``That's where the personnel job differs from the coaching job. The coaches are focused on this week, right now, this moment. From a personnel standpoint, you have to think about that, but you also have to keep an eye on the future."


  2. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #95 Jersey

    Two things stand out in the article. First, it seems as if Pioli has the dream job and dream situation ( great owner, coach and players who are all on the same page) which lends itself to future success. If the money is right, why would he leave? He could go to a situation where the owners are tightfisted
    (See Cardinals, AZ 1980-2005) or the players might not be good lockerroom influences (Bengals ) and might not have the success he has here. While it might be a challenge to turn around a franchise as Parcells has done repeatedly, it can be pretty good enjoying success and constant talk of being contenders or favorites for a Super Bowl.
    Secondly, the ability to draft for the future is a byproduct of the success. If you're a 2-14 type team, as the Patriots were for more than a few years, you don't have the luxury of drafting backup tight ends in the early or mid rounds
    in the hope that they can take a year or two and be ready to step in THEN and contribute. The poorer performers need people to contribute now and there's less long term planning, out of necessity and ultimately less long term success. Think of the Cowboys for the better part of two decades or the 49s thru the 80's and 90's and what the Pats have done over the last 5 years.
    The first two teams did it in a no-salary cap era and both were ultimately destroyed or hampered by the cap. What makes it more impressive is that the Pats have done it in a salary-cap era when other teams have been crippled by bad contracts (see Titans and the choice of $23million cap for McNair if they kept him or $14 million in dead money tolet him go- IIRC and Miguel can correct me if I'm wrong)
    While some of the columnists may moan that the Pats didn't give player X what he demanded and so he left via free agency, it seems that Pioli and Reiss (as usual) 'get it' and look at the big picture and the whole pie. If you give to one or everyone, pretty soon there's not enough left for anyone.
    It may seem like the obvious but after reading some of the columnists from afar and having the advantage of not having to suffer through the talk radio
    folks, it's nice to read an article that sums up the Pats Weltanschauung, their philosophy and view of how things should be done. It is as Holley wrote in Patirots reign, a successful corporate mentality distilled and transferred to the NFL. Sometimes, you have to make painful and difficult decisions for the ultimate long term good........
    End of rant, back to the family
    (OT) Happy Father's Day to all.......

    Just my $0.02,
    The Avatar is a picture of the 2006 NFL draft from the top level of Radio City Music Hall
  3. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

    This is the type of article that holds a reader's interest. We buy Patriot books to get this kind of a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes.

    I will say that Bill and Brady have helped make Pioli a genius, and the previous comment, about success allowing at team to have the luxury of planning for the future, is true.

    But Pioli works hard, and helps Bill do his thing. For that I am grateful!
  4. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

    Just a great article.

    The Patriots seem to be the best team to bet on if you were trying to pick Most Wins in Next Seven Seasons Combined.
  5. DB15

    DB15 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    great read
  6. Hoodie

    Hoodie 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Lying about his age?

    Scott has been 41 for a couple of years now. Welcome to the age reduction club Scotty.
  7. marty

    marty In the Starting Line-Up

    Good to see Reiss get this interview, well deserved!
    With all the not-so-well-written/researched articles put out by the majority of Boston's media, this one shines like the gem it is!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2006
  8. Patsman12

    Patsman12 Rookie

    I've been reading this board for a while but just today decided to register. The reason for this isn't necessarily to make waves, but I do have a question as an admitted outsider.

    I read pretty much everything I can get my hands on regarding the Pats. But I just don't understand the total infatuation with Mike Reiss' work. I like Mike and I believe he does a solid job. (So do dozens of others). But he can write some of the most innocuous stories and then get lauded here for some ground-breaking work. His Pioli piece on Sunday is just the latest example.

    By the looks of these posts you'd think he told us something we didn't know. Basically he said the Patriots model is working (big news flash there). If I have to read that "big, strong, fast ... football players quote" from Pioli again I'm going to hurl. Nothing in the piece was fresh and there was nothing we haven't read elsewhere countless times. Yet the praise flows in for this guy like he's the second coming of Peter King. I don't get it.
  9. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Blasphemer! Kneel down and worship Reiss and reject the false gods of Globe writers, you apostate!
  10. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

    While Reiss's Globe articles are fine, I'd say it's his daily blog that provides us with lots and lots of info that we can't find anywhere else.
  11. mikey

    mikey In the Starting Line-Up

    I also don't understand the love affair with Mike Reiss.

  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    we know you and Borges are related, so who is Pm12? Felger?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2006
  13. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Reiss deals largely in facts

    I don't think Mike Reiss is a particularly inspired writer, nor does he break a lot of news. But he's the Patriots writer I rely on most for information because he deals primarily in facts, and tells us how it is without putting his own spin on it (except where he signals that he is commenting).

    That contrasts positively with so many others who present their commentary and opinions as news and fact and descend regularly into either vitriol or sentimentality and have an over-inflated opinion of their importance in the world.

    So it won't win Reiss many Pulitzers, but it makes him an indispensable source.
  14. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think it's true that there are dozens of others doing as solid a job as Mike. Certainly, he's not an author who thrills you with his prose or impresses you with the depth of his grasp of the strategy of football, but he's incredibly quick to pick up any little thing that is of interest, he doesn't have an agenda and doesn't mind admitting if he's wrong. He deserves gratitude and support.

    I pretty much agree with you here.

    Sure, if you've followed the Pats for a while then you know all of this. But, if you have, you know too that the Pats never give away information that might be useful to an opponent. You're never going to hear Scott say to a reporter "well, we looked at Manny Lawson but we thought he's not going to give us anything we haven't got already with Monty Beisel". (That's why so many reporters resent the Pats. Let them, say I!)

    So the article was about as informative as a Bill Belichick post-game press conference. But for me the pleasure is just the fact that Mike was taken into the inner sanctum -- I mean, it's not a revelation that Pioli has a wall-chart with every other franchise's players entered on it, but Mike actually saw it! Wow!

    (By the way, one of Mike's best features, in my opinion, is that he's not "the second coming of Peter King".)

    EDIT: I forgot to say "Welcome to the board!"
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2006
  15. Patsman12

    Patsman12 Rookie

    I must admit that as a first-time poster I was expecting the response that I got (except for Mikey). In fact, most of you were even a little kinder than I was expecting.

    Where I would strongly disagree with all of you is that Mike doesn't have an agenda. EVERYONE has an agenda. It just so happens that we love Mike (and count me in the group that favors him over idiots like Borges and Cafardo) because his agenda happens to be very pro Patriot ... just like us (well, me anyway).

    Like his assessment on Sunday (and earlier on his blog) of the Pats offseason. He gives the team extra credit for re-signing Vrabel and Green during camp LAST year. That wasn't part of the 2006 offseason. It's certainly another glaring example of why the Patriots have been so consistently good ... but if you're asked to assess the 2006 offseason, those transactions can't be considered. Unless you have an agenda and are trying to spin things in a positive light.

    I'll give you another example of Mike's slant ... several weeks ago he posted a radio interview of Bob Kraft from WEEI on his blog. Mike transcribed the interview but left off a whole rant Kraft had about the Denver game and the officiating. I happened to hear the interview live and Kraft sounded like a whiny little baby complaining about how his team was robbed three months after the fact. Think Mark Cuban. Now Mike left that off and I have to assume the reason he did that was because he used to work for Patriots Football Weekly, and thus Kraft was his boss. Nothing like taking care of your former boss, especially someone so powerful. I can't say I would have done it any differently ... but then again I don't claim, or have people claim for me, that I don't have an agenda.

    Anyway, I'll try not to get on my soapbox too much when it comes to the media. I generally enjoy differing points of view rather than the same old "the Patriots are going to win because they always win" mantra. But I look forward to jumping into some of your discussions here in the future ... and thanks for not lambasting the new guy. (And BTW, I am definitely not Felger).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2005
  16. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Perhaps a trial membership in NAMBLA would help enlighten you.
  17. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up


    1) please name the 'dozens' of news journalist doing as good a job as Reiss, covering the Pats.

    2) When did Peter King become respected in these parts?

    We spend plenty of time bagging on the local sackwarmers like Borges and Felger, but why are you so inclined to throw Reiss to the wolves? Seems like he does a reasonable job to me, especially compared to the other options.

    Nobody is perfect.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2005
  18. Patsman12

    Patsman12 Rookie

    I'm not trying to throw Reiss to the wolves ... I said in both my posts that I actually like his stuff and think he does a reasonably good job. I just don't see why the admiration level for him in particular seems so much higher than Curran, Felger, Tomase or even the Patriots Football Weekly (Tom Casale, Andy Hart and Paul Perillo) guys. I'd add in Eric McHugh from the Patriot Ledger and Michael Parente from Rhode Island. So that's 8 ... maybe not a dozen -- my bad.

    Do these guys always write stuff I agree with?? Hell no, but they're at least as good as Reiss is at getting info. out there. Aside from what number Mel Mitchell will wear and some minor contract signings (Hochstein, for example) I don't see Reiss telling me much I don't already know ... and these kinds of things aren't all that important to me. They obviously are to you ... no big deal, just a difference of opinion.

    And I mentioned Peter King only because of his national status, not because I feel anyone around here is overly impressed with him. But he is a devout Belichick rump swab (obviously with good reason) and his status at SI and on HBO gives him a mighty big platform to work on.
  19. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

    If you leave Felger and Tomase off your list, I will agree that all those guys are good. I would not call anybody out for admiring any of those guys.

    The staff at PFT is very underrated, in my opinion. Curran is a great 'outsider' and willing to call out boneheads like Felger.
  20. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

    Rather, the staff at PFW (Patriots Football Weekly).

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