Scott Pioli: Patriot Way Is Not For Everyone

Former Pats executive discusses his time with Belichick, drafting Brady, titles

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
August 30, 2019 - 10:04 am

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Scott Pioli knows Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots very well. Pioli was the VP of Player Personnel from 2002-2008 after being an assistant in 2000 and director in 2001. 

Pioli joined CBS Sports Radio's After Hours With Amy Lawrence Friday to talk about "The Patriot Way" and how it isn't for everyone. 

"We got on that run. We won a Super Bowl. It bought us time," Pioli said. "The next year, we didn't even make the playoffs in 2002. Having success allowed us to set the culture and dig our feet in on the culture. That way doesn't work for everyone. Just because that has worked in New England. That way of doing things isn't right for everyone. It's not right for every ownership group. It's not right for every locker room. It's a difficult way to do things. Everything about football is demanding and in that culture certain things are even more demanding and it's not for everyone. Trying to set that culture the way it is as I tried to do in Kansas City is difficult because it takes more than one person. It takes a host of people. 

Pioli was part of the organization when they decided to draft Tom Brady in the sixth round. That turned out pretty well. 

"We liked Tom the player, but we also knew that based on need, there were Tommy and a number of other players that we passed over as the draft went on," Pioli said. "The first real during the draft conversations that included Brady as to where he was stacked was probably the fourth round if I remember correctly. We kept on passing him and a couple of others over at positions where we didn't have a great need. We kept four quarterbacks. Most teams only keep two. Occasionally some teams will have three. Noone ever keeps four.

"We knew after being with him for a while that this guy had something that we wanted to develop and he had the makeup and truly he was one of the people that we identified quickly as having the makeup and the personality of what we wanted to be." 

Six Super Bowls later and Brady, Belichick and the Patriots have one of the great dynasties in sports history.