Catching up with Chiefs Assistant Director of Pro Personnel, Mike Borgonzi

Get to know one of the guys behind the scenes for the Chiefs

The construction of an NFL roster isn't the work of just one person, although general managers are usually the ones you'll see out front and center.

In reality, it's the collaboration of efforts from a group of people working largely behind the scenes.

We're talking about the personnel staff, which is made up of scouts and evaluators whose names might not yet be known to much of the public, but whose footprints are all over the roster.

One of those people behind the scenes for the Chiefs is Mike Borgonzi, the assistant director of pro personnel, who briefly explained the role of their department.

"The year-round focus of the Pro Department is really to manage and evaluate the roster," Borgonzi explained. "From our standpoint, we're always evaluating our players and finding out if there are players out there who can help the Chiefs.

"If there's a player out there who can help us, it's our responsibility to find them."

Borgonzi has served in a variety of roles throughout his seven years in Kansas City.

"I came here in 2009 on the college [scouting] side," he said. "In 2010, I moved over to operations and it gave me a broad scope of the entire organization and allowed me to see all the moving parts that go along with it. Then I moved over to pro scouting the following year (2011).

"When I first came here with Scott (Pioli), it was Bill Belichick's way of scouting, and now learning from John (Dorsey) and the Ron Wolf philosophy, I couldn't be more fortunate than to have learned both ways."

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A passion that's turned into a career, even at an early age, football was always a part of Borgonzi's life.

"I grew up in football," he said. "I grew up in the greater Boston area, where I played high school football and then went on to Brown University, where I played for four years."

Borgonzi, a fullback, earned All-Ivy League honors in three of his four years at Brown (1998-2001).

After getting his business management degree in 2002, Borgonzi tried to further his football career and had tryouts with the Buffalo Bills and then the Green Bay Blizzard of the Arena League, but a foot injury in training camp would cut his professional career short.

It was then that Borgonzi tried to put his business degree to use.

"I went into mutual fund accounting, sales—kind of did that route for a while," he explained. "But I knew my true passion was football. It was just about getting the right opportunity and I was fortunate enough to get back into Boston College in 2007 as their assistant recruiting coordinator.

"I just loved the evaluation process and knew that someday I wanted to do it at the highest level."

His passion for evaluating players started at Boston College and has led him to the Chiefs, but Borgonzi doesn't forget where and how he started.

"One of my jobs [at Boston College] was the pro liaison. It gave me the opportunity to meet with a lot of these NFL scouts and personnel people that would come through our school. During my conversations with them, I would ask about their job."

He continued.

"It's a small network when you really look at it. The people I met there at Boston College seven or eight years ago are the same people that I see at the combine every year. We talk about our experiences back at Boston College and you become friends, it really gives you an opportunity to forge relationships."

Although there are some similarities to scouting the college and professional levels, Borgonzi said that finding out what makes a player tick is a huge part of the evaluation process in the NFL.

"Their football character—it really carries over to the next level because when you're here, there's nobody holding your hand anymore," he explained. "You have to grow up fast. You want to see how a guy prepares, how he works.

"When you get to this level, everybody is talented. The people who survive in this league are not only the most talented, but those who work, come every day prepared, who are willing to put the work in and treat their bodies right."

In his current role, Borgonzi not only helps with the evaluation of the Chiefs roster and any players out there who could potentially improve the roster, but he and the pro personnel department help the coaching staff during the season.  

"We'll help the coaching staff prepare for next week's opponent with scouting evaluations," he said. "We'll have a rotation of guys who actually go out on the road to watch that next opponent. We'll typically leave on a Saturday afternoon, watch the game and then come back Sunday night.

"Then we'll give our scouting evaluations to the coaches on Monday."

Photos of Clark Hunt, John Dorsey and Andy Reid.

Whether it's watching film and evaluating players back at the office, going on road trips to scout upcoming opponents or to meet with players, these guys spend a lot of time together, which means the atmosphere created by those leading the organization is paramount to the success of the group.

"We're with each other a lot, even outside of the office," Borgonzi said. "It's like a family atmosphere here. I think that makes us work together better. We have a common goal and that's to win. It's definitely easy when you're friends with the people you work with every day.

"It makes a huge difference."

For Borgonzi, he said he feels lucky to be in the position he's in and working for the people he's getting an opportunity to learn from.

"The thing about working with John (Dorsey) and Chris (Ballard), the director of player personnel, is first and foremost, they're good people," he said. "I think in any profession, you want to work with good people. We're fortunate enough every day to come in and work with them, see how they work and how professional they are. They have a lot of knowledge and they've been in this league for a while."

"At the end of the day, they give us a voice in this process. That's all you can really ask for with as much time and effort as you put into this job."

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