Since Pioli left his post as vice president of player personnel in New England to become general manager for the Kansas City Chiefs, the perception is that the Patriots haven't been nearly as successful in the draft and with other player moves.
Any criticism of Patriots coach Bill Belichick's personnel decisions is "ridiculous," though, Pioli said in an appearance on The Big Show on WEEI. He also called Belichick "the best coach in the NFL."
"I haven't paid attention to it, but I just think it's ridiculous, quite honestly," Pioli said. "The reality is Bill's done a great job with that football team. Bill does a great job with personnel."
For nearly a decade, Pioli and Belichick guided one of the most successful periods for any franchise.
It was a special stretch that neither has been able to duplicate since Pioli's departure.
"What happened during our time here together for the nine years was special," Pioli said. "A lot of things came together, the alignment of a lot of things: ownership, coaching, players and all the other people.
"It's inevitable that things are going to change. I'm not sure why Patriots fans are disillusioned at different times, because they're going to be in the hunt every year. They still have great ownership, they still have the best coach in the NFL and there's a lot of good people there that are finding players.
"It's still a special place. Don't worry, Patriots fans."