Serving as the Chiefs offensive coordinator served as a stepping stone to a head coaching job for Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy, but Eric Bieniemy hasn’t been able to make the same leap.
Bieniemy has interviewed with multiple teams over the last two hiring cycles without landing a position, which has led to a couple of frequent responses. One of them is that Bieniemy is held back by the fact that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid calls the offensive plays.
Reid has pushed back on that by saying everyone is involved with picking plays and that “my energy” is devoted to making sure there are good plays to pick. Bieniemy also downplayed the notion that he’s a bystander while Reid runs the show.
“We have an operation in how we do things and we have a communications system,” Bieniemy said, via the Kansas City Star. “I mean, coaches communicate with me, I’m communicating to the quarterback. To be honest with you, I think people are making something out of nothing.”
Things worked in a similar fashion with Pederson and Nagy when they were in Kansas City, so it wouldn’t make much sense for that to be a significant stumbling block for Bieniemy. The other frequent response to Bieniemy being passed over has to do with the fact that he’s African-American, especially when teams hire less experienced assistants to run their teams.
A Super Bowl ring would make it all the harder to dismiss Bieniemy’s qualifications for a top job, although it’s likely to be about 12 months before we see how Bieniemy fares on his next spin on the coaching carousel.