Yet another offseason has passed, and Eric Bieniemy has still not been hired as a head coach. To Chiefs fans and the general media, he’s extremely qualified for the job, but NFL teams seem to continue doubting him.
After a legendary college career and a respectable NFL career, Eric Bieniemy made the switch to coaching in 2001. He became the running backs coach for the University of Colorado, the same college he attended himself. Since then, he has coached Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, and Kareem Hunt as the RB coach for the Viking and Chiefs, developing them into stars.
Eric Bieniemy’s resume is impressive off of just that, but that doesn’t even include his past three years as the OC of the Chiefs. In those three years, he has coached up a league MVP and a Super Bowl-winning offense. The play designs and schemes he and Andy Reid come up with are revolutionizing the NFL, so why won’t a team give him a shot at head coach?
The reasoning remains unknown, but I do have a few guesses. One of the more prominent theories is that he isn’t the main reason the Chiefs offense is so successful and that it may be more of an Andy Reid and Mahomes thing. While Mahomes and Reid’s chemistry and the overall connection are great, there’s so much more than Bieniemy brings to the Chiefs’ offense.
He has been a huge mentor for Clyde Edwards-Heleire due to the similarities in their young careers. Bieniemy was a bulky, undersized RB out of college, just like Clyde, so I think there has to be some good input being traded between those two guys. Clyde needed a lot of guidance last year to really fit into the starting RB role, and he seemed to do a pretty solid job under Bieniemy.
Anyone who has seen Eric Bieniemy talking to the offense on the sideline knows how much of a leader he is. The energy of the offense is generated a lot from the sideline from Bieniemy, and it has been a huge factor in many key games of recent seasons. Mahomes seems to feed off of that leadership and become a leader on the field for the offense, a skill that is very impressive for a young QB like him.
Every single year, the media boasts Bieniemy has one of the top coaching candidates and reports all of the different interviews he’s attending. So then every year, many people, including me, are left wondering why he isn’t getting hired. Is he just being used as an easy target for the Rooney Rule?
There aren’t any other reasons I can think of that would make Bieniemy not seem like a perfect HC candidate for any team. I absolutely love him as the OC of the Chiefs, but at a certain point, he should get what he deserves in this league. He is one of the most humble leaders in the NFL, and I know that any player would love to learn and be coached under him.
With all due respect to the gentlemen that were hired this year, Eric Bieniemy would have most likely been the better choice for many of the head coach positions. Sure, many front offices have “connections” with guys, but some of the hires were simply baffling in my opinion. It is absolutely time for the NFL to finally give Eric Bieniemy what he deserves, so let’s all hope that happens next offseason.