Eric Bieniemy, 51, is headed to the Super Bowl for the second straight season.
He is the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, and as the Chiefs have flourished so has the speculation about his coaching future.
Many believed he would fill one of the head coach vacancies left after the 2020 season, but that was not to be.
Chiefs' OC Eric Bieniemy interviewed today for the Jaguars' HC job, as well as the Jets' HC position, per source. Bieniemy interviewed for the Chargers' HC job Tuesday, and Atlanta and Detroit on Monday. He now has interviewed for all teams with HC openings — except the Texans.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2021
Bieniemy’s resume as a former player and coordinator appears good enough to get a head coaching opportunity.
Why isn’t anyone hiring him?
Here are three theories as to what the problem could be.
1. He Is Not Calling The Plays In KC.
Yes, Bieniemy is the offensive coordinator, but everyone knows who the offensive mastermind is on the Chiefs’ sidelines.
That is Coach Andy Reid.
To his credit, Reid is a tremendous mentor of future coaches; his coaching tree is living proof of that.
Bieniemy has been with the Chiefs since Reid arrived in 2013.
He served as running backs coach from 2013-2017 before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018.
Bieniemy has the confidence of his players and Reid who have spoken openly about him not getting a head coaching position.
Tyreek Hill and Andy Reid share their thoughts on OC Eric Bieniemy not being hired as a head coach. pic.twitter.com/Lh0jCoO40c
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 29, 2021
“It’s crazy…You understand how great of a coach he is, how great of a person he his, how great of a leader he is. So, it’s crazy that he hasn’t gotten his chance to become a HC.”
#Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes on Eric Bieniemy still not having a HC job: “It’s crazy. … You understand how great of a coach he is, how great of a person he his, how great of a leader he is. So, it’s crazy that he hasn’t gotten his chance to become a HC.”
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 22, 2021
2. He Is “Unprepared” At Interviews
Ever heard of the excellent student who is not a good standardized test taker?
Maybe there is a hint of a similar behavior for Bieniemy.
There has been speculation that he is not prepared at these interviews.
Could that be because the Chiefs are still competing and he’s focusing on his primary job?
There are a slew of conflicting reports specifically about Bieniemy’s interview with the Falcons.
The whole "He's a terrible interview" thing is overblown. He wouldn't keep getting interviews if that was the case. It doesn't add up.
— Corbin Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) January 28, 2021
Some said he was not prepared while others said he was.
Hard to know what to believe in this situation, but it is possible Bieniemy doesn’t interview well once he emerges from Coach Reid’s shadow.
3. There Are Concerns About Off-The-Field Issues From Decades Past
Everyone has a past, but Bieniemy’s could be creating roadblocks for him.
Maybe his past is being reviewed in light of his decision-making skills, it’s really hard to say.
Some notable incidents include:
- Involved in a barfight in February 1988
- Shoved a firefighter in July 1990
- Grabbed a female parking attendant by the neck in September 1993
- Arrested for DUI in April 2001
All of these incidents happened in Colorado.
His name also was mentioned in conjunction with a 2004 ESPN report that Colorado recruits were lured with alcohol and sex.
These events were alleged to occur in 2001 and 2002 when Bieniemy was Colorado’s running backs coach and a leading recruiter for the program.
All of these incidents happened decades ago, and Bieniemy is not the only person in the NFL who has experienced off-the-field troubles.
In the meantime, Eric Bieniemy has a pretty good job.
He is headed to his second straight Super Bowl and has a good chance of being part of a back-to-back championship team.