Analysis Opinion

A way too early look at best HC fits for Eric Bieniemy in 2021

Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been a prime head coaching candidate over the last two years. Over that time, he has interviewed with seven different teams. Despite interviewing with almost a quarter of the league, he still has not been offered that much coveted head coaching gig.

Bienieny will most likely once again be a target for teams looking for a coach after the 2020 season. Here are a few teams that are the best potential fits right now for Bieniemy in 2021.

Atlanta Falcons

After making Super Bowl LI, the Falcons went 10-6 and 7-9 the two following seasons. After a 3-9 start in 2019, it appeared the Falcons were on their way to needing a new coach. The Falcons then won their last four games, including a game at San Francisco, saving Quinn’s job. If the Falcons continue to slip, they will part ways with Quinn, opening the door potentially for Bieniemy to step in. With Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman all on the roster through 2022 (as of now), Bienemy has the weapons on offense to elevate the Falcons back to a top offense in the league. He would also have Calvin Ridley for at least the 2021 season.

Chicago Bears

Matt Nagy won Coach of the year in 2018, going 12-4 and leading the Bears to an NFC North title. Could his leash really be short just two seasons after that? It is possible, after a steep regression in 2019. Not only did Mitchell Trubisky’s play significantly regress, but the Bears could not run the football either, ranking 27th in the league with 91.1 yards per game. If the team regresses again, or even fails to improve after an 8-8 season, they could look in a new direction. If Trubisky is still QB1, Bieniemy would be tasked with improving his play and the run game. The defense should still succeed with investments in Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Jackson.

New York Jets

On any list of coaches on the hot seat entering 2020, Adam Gase is probably right at the top. After going 23-25 in three seasons with Miami, he was hired by the Jets. His first season in New York started off as a disaster, with QB Sam Darnold missing three games with mono and the team starting 1-7. Much like the Falcons, a strong finish saved Gase’s job. However, even with the addition of Le’Veon Bell and a season under Darnold’s belt, the Jets mustered a mere 17.2 points per game, ranking only above Washington. Similar to the situation in Chicago, if Darnold and the offense to fail to improve, Gase could be let go, and Bieniemy could be a prime candidate for the job.

Kansas City Chiefs (only if Reid retires within the next year or two)

Some have mentioned the possibility that Bieniemy could stick around and wait for Andy Reid to retire, so he could succeed Reid. While there are no givens in the NFL, it is hard to see Reid walking away any time in the next few years, with a QB like Mahomes and an offense that compares to some of the top offenses of all time. That being said, he is definitely at the top of the list for Reid’s successor if Reid does decide to hang it up after 2020 or 2021. Anything later than that, however, Bieniemy is likely to walk and take a job elsewhere, which is an opportunity he has fully earned and deserves.

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