The Chiefs Next GM Is …


With the rumors increasing of the impending firing of both Crennel and Pioli, the rumors are also increasing of who could be the next GM of the Kansas City Chiefs. The name that is getting tossed around more than any other is Bill Polian.  Let’s look at his history.

Bill Polian, 2011Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-USA TODAY Sports

Polian was promoted to GM of the Bills in 1985 after Buffalo had suffered back-to-back 2-14 seasons.

  • 1986, 4-12
  • 1987, 7-8
  • 1988, 12-14, Lost Conference Championship
  • 1989, 9-7, Lost Divisional Playoffs
  • 1990, 13-3, Lost Super Bowl
  • 1991, 13-3, Lost Super Bowl
  • 1992, 11-5, Lost Super Bowl

In his tenure the Bills played in three Super Bowls and made the playoffs five times in seven years. Polian was fired after Buffalo lost Super Bowl XXVII to the Dallas Cowboys. He was then hired as the GM of the expansion Carolina Panthers.  In only their second year, 1996, they made it to the NFC Championship game.  He used that leverage to earn the GM and President position of the Indianapolis Colts in 1997.  The Colts held the 1998 first round pick in the NFL draft, and famously used that pick on Peyton Manning.

  • 1998, 3-13
  • 1999, 13-3, Lost Division Playoffs
  • 2000, 10-6, Lost Wild Card Playoffs
  • 2001, 6-10
  • 2002, 10-6, Lost Wild Card Playoffs
  • 2003, 12-4, Lost Conference Championship
  • 2004, 12-4, Lost Divisional Playoffs
  • 2005, 14-2, Lost Divisional Playoffs
  • 2006, 12-4, Won Super Bowl
  • 2007, 13-3, Lost Divisional Playoffs
  • 2008, 12-4, Lost Wild Card Playoffs
  • 2009, 14-2, Lost Super Bowl
  • 2010, 10-6, Lost Wild Card Playoffs
  • 2011, 2-14

Looking at the above list, his tenure with the Colts resulted in one Super Bowl win and playoff appearances in 11 of the 14 years. If those were the results of the next 14 Chiefs seasons, who wouldn’t sign that check?

There are many rumors surrounding Polian and his son, Chris. Their style of management and the way they work with people will certainly be a stark contrast to the Pioli regime. That’s probably a positive in itself and Bill Polian has a track record of turning around three different organizations in short order and making them annual playoff contenders. I know that Bill is aging at 70 years, but when you know football, you know football.   During his tenure in Indianapolis, he hired three head coaches; Jim Mora (1998-2001), Tony Dungy (2002-2008) and Jim Caldwell (2009-2011).  Mora and Caldwell each made the playoffs in two of their three seasons. Dungy made the playoffs in every year as the Colts head coach.  To realize how bad our head coaches have been, here are the quick stats.

  • Marty Schottenheimer, 1989-1998, 7/10 playoff appearances, 3 wins
  • Gunther Cunningham, 0/2 playoff appearances, 0 wins
  • Dick Vermeil, 1/4 playoff appearances, 0 wins
  • Herman Edwards, 0/3 playoff appearances, 0 wins
  • Todd Haley, 1/3 playoff appearances, 0 wins
  • Romeo Crennel, 0/1 playoff appearances, 0 wins

To find the last playoff win by Kansas City, you have to go back to 1993 when the Chiefs beat the Steelers and Oilers before they were beat in the AFC Championship by Polian’s Bills. Polian won, not with a single coach, but with three different coaches during his tenure with Indianapolis. Probably the most important statistic is that all those wins came with only one QB, Peyton Manning.   Whether or not you like Polian’s style, you cannot argue with his record.

If the next GM of the Kansas City Chiefs is Bill Polian, it will sound very sweet to Chiefs fans indeed!