KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If Herm Edwards is on his way out as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, his new boss isn't saying.
In his first news conference since being hired as the final authority on all Chiefs football operations, new general manager Scott Pioli would go no further Wednesday than to say he intends to visit with Edwards.
"I have a lot of respect for Herm. I had a chance to visit with Herm today," said Pioli, who spent the last nine years helping Bill Belichick build a dynasty in New England.
"I've got a lot of respect for Herm on a professional level and a personal level. This entire thing is going to be a process."
There have been reports that Edwards, 2-23 in his last 25 games, was on his way out.
"Contrary to reports that were out there, we're going to spend some time talking about Herm," said Pioli. "I'm actually looking forward to it."
Edwards and his staff were 6-26 in their last two years, the worst span in team history. They have been waiting to learn their fate since Dec. 15, when Carl Peterson resigned after 20 years as president, CEO and general manager.
Chiefs board chairman Clark Hunt, who has said he liked Edwards and thought he might be the best man to continue the organization's rebuilding, said only that he and Pioli would discuss the situation with open minds and that it would be a "joint decision."
Now that Hunt has hired Pioli to head football operations, he will go about putting someone in charge of business operations. He declined to say whether Denny Thum, a longtime team employee, would be given top priority, or even if he would interview other candidates.
A veteran of more than 30 years with the Chiefs' front office, Thum was former GM Carl Peterson's right-hand man in contract negotiations. The trust Hunt places in him was evident when word got out that Thum was assisting the owner in the GM search to the point of even taking part in the interview process.
Slowed by age in 2007, plagued by youth and injury in 2008, Edwards' teams have won only two of their last 25 games. Especially wretched this past season was a defense that at various times allowed team records in points and rushing yards allowed while managing an embarrassing 10 sacks -- an NFL record for pass-rushing good-for-nothingness.
Defensive line coach Tim Krumrie and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, who was Kansas City's head coach in 1999 and 2000, would seem to stand on particularly shaky ground. Also falling into that group would be special-teams coach Mike Priefer.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press