KC Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was passed on by NFL teams for a second straight year. What gives?
It really did seem like a near certainty that Eric Bieniemy would be hired as a head coach for one of the several teams in need of a new coach. Bieniemy has spent the past three seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs‘ offensive coordinator and despite a lot of attention by head coach-needy teams a year ago, he didn’t get any of the open positions.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and Bieniemy seemed like a lock to get hired somewhere. He interviewed with five of the-then six openings and would have been nice fits with a few of those organizations.
Well, the Jaguars hired Urban Meyer, the Jets brought in Robert Saleh, the Chargers went with Brandon Staley, the Falcons decided to hire Arthur Smith, and the Lions agreed to terms with Dan Campbell. Those were the five teams with who Bieniemy interviewed.
The Eagles fired Doug Pederson after the wave of firings and have already hired Nick Sirianni as their next head coach. They did not speak with Bieniemy (though a request was made to interview him, it never took place) and there were rumors that they were interested in Chiefs’ quarterback coach Mike Kafka, who previously played with the Eagles.
The only team who hasn’t hired a head coach yet is the Texans and they didn’t initially seem interested in Bieniemy. After news spread that Deshaun Watson wanted Bieniemy as his next head coach, however, Houston put in an interview request, but Bieniemy would be better off staying with the Chiefs than trying to turn that organization around, especially if Watson is indeed traded.
It’s mindblowing that after what he’s done as the KC Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, no teams are interested in bringing Eric Bieniemy in.
Why hasn’t a team wanted to hire Bieniemy as their next head coach? He’s worked with one of the best quarterbacks in the league the past three seasons and helped his team win a Super Bowl last year. He’s also played a huge role in Patrick Mahomes development and turning him into an MVP-caliber player.
While I never want to underestimate any of the new head coaches, it’s hard to believe that Staley or Campbell are better options than Bieniemy. The Chargers had a prime opportunity to get Bieniemy for their budding young quarterback and also take a key figure away from their divisional opponent, but they didn’t make that move.
The Lions and Falcons aren’t in great positions moving forward, but Bieniemy could have given their offense a spark. The Eagles didn’t even wait to hear what Bieniemy had to say about what he could provide their organization moving forward.
Perhaps Bieniemy was passed on because teams didn’t want to wait until after the Chiefs’ season was finished to hire their head coach. Maybe Andy Reid calling a majority of the Chiefs’ plays has teams steering clear of bringing him in. Or maybe, there’s a reason we’re not sure about as to why Bieniemy will likely go two head coaching cycles without getting hired.
Sure, Chiefs Kingdom will be thrilled to have Bieniemy back in 2021, but this is beginning to feel really unfair. When will Eric Bieniemy get a chance to prove himself?