INDIANAPOLIS -- Scott Pioli has a little bite to him when it comes to dealing with the media. Like his father-in-law, Bill Parcells, it's mostly good-natured ribbing.
As Pioli stepped off the podium after his news conference at the Combine, the former Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel was approached by a group of New England reporters and said, "At least I wasn't asked if the Patriots' 3-4 defense was still effective."
Then, for good measure, he added, "Wasn't that you, Reiss?"
Pioli's memory is impressive.
At this time last year, one of the hot topics in New England was if the team's 3-4 defense was still effective in today's NFL. The line of thinking was that based on the increased speed on the game, maybe the Patriots needed to tweak what they do.
Pioli scoffed when asked about the topic last year, saying: "Everything goes in cycles. They thought that defense was dead in '86 when the Giants won the Super Bowl, and then didn't go to the Super Bowl for two more years. And that defense didn't go to the Super Bowl from '90 to '96. You guys have run out of patience up there, haven't you?"
Following up on the topic this year, Pioli turned to me and asked, "How many games did they win this season?"
Well done, Mr. Pioli.