The great Cincinnati mystery could end in Eric Bieniemy

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The first puff of smoke has emerged from Cincinnati, in the form of multiple assistant coaches being relieved of their duties. This move implies plenty, and it invites plenty more speculation.

Here’s what folks around the league definitely believe: (1) the Bengals know who they want; (2) the person they want isn’t available to be hired yet (because his team is still playing); (3) the person they want has preliminarily indicated he wants the job; and (4) the person they want has indicated that he won’t want those assistant coaches to stick around.

There’s nothing else tangible at this point, although there’s an emerging belief that 81-year-old owner Mike Brown has delegated much of the decision-making on this next hire to his daughter, Katie Blackburn, and her husband, Troy. That’s sparking speculation that they indeed have gone out of the building for a new coach, that it likely will be an offensive-minded coach (the opposite of Marvin Lewis), and that it very well could be the next guy from a line of offensive coordinators who have become successful head coaches: Eric Bieniemy of the Chiefs.

Bieniemy addressed his situation with reporters on Wednesday.

“I’d like to thank coach [Andy] Reid for really trusting me and putting me in this situation to have this opportunity,” Bieniemy said. “Also, grateful that Clark [Hunt] and Mark [Donovan] would agree to allow me to be the coordinator. I will say this, I’ve said this to a few people that I’ve had the opportunity to speak to. Everyone should be blessed and fortunate to have that opportunity. It gives you the opportunity to see things from a different perspective, but on top of that it’s one of those things that, ‘Hey, you know what, I’ve been working a lot of years to be put in this situation to have this opportunity.’ But that was last week, this is now. Now, it’s on to the Colts.”

Watch the video of Bieniemy’s comments, which as noted by Joe Goodberry of TheAthletic.com include a smile that potentially gives away Bieniemy’s knowledge that he’s in the process of parlaying his opportunity to be the Kansas City offensive coordinator into a head-coaching job of his own.

The Bengals could do a lot worse (and, by considering Hue Jackson for the job, they almost did). Chiefs players have raved about Bieniemy, who succeeded Matt Nagy and Doug Pederson. At a time when Bengals fans aren’t raving about anything relating to their team, Bieniemy could be the key to turning things around.

47 responses to “The great Cincinnati mystery could end in Eric Bieniemy

  1. Bieniemy is a good dude. When he was the RB coach with the Vikings, they had the best running game in the league. Not sure if he has the pedigree to be a great HC, but he deserves a shot.

  2. Eric Bieniemy played for the Bengals in their lost years. I’m a(n apathetic) Bengals fan and I’ll admit that if any player that was here during those years ever wanted to come back in any capacity it’s because they either have no other opportunities or they genuinely believe that Mike Brown is willing to change his ways. From what I’ve heard of Bieniemy, he’s over qualified to work for Mike Brown so hopefully Mike Brown really did let his daughter do most of the work on this one.

  3. I’m not sure that I would hire someone based solely on the success the Chiefs have had on Offense. Other teams don’t have the same personnel and the plays and play calls may not work as well when other players are running them.

  4. Anyone would be an improvement over potentially hiring Hue as your HC. Helps that Mike Brown is patient/stubborn as sin, would give Bieniemy plenty of time to build the roster to how he would want it.

  5. I’m not sure that I would hire someone based solely on the success the Chiefs have had on Offense. Other teams don’t have the same personnel and the plays and play calls may not work as well when other players are running them.
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    Nagy and Peterson I’m sure would disagree. Those two plus Reid AND Bieniemy were all in the playoffs this year. I think Reid has a great eye for offensive talent and grooming OCs to head coaches. And its nice to see the NFL finally getting away from all the old retread coaches and bring up these new young coaches with fresh ideas. Maybe Mike Brown finally got his head out of his rear end and decided to move they Bungles in the 21st century. Sheesh!

  6. Eric Bieniemy and Kevin Stefanski were hired for their first NFL jobs by Brad Childress. Are we seeing the beginning of a Childress coaching tree?

  7. As a Chiefs fan, I would hate to see Bienemy leave. And, not until after he coaches in 3 More Victories this year.

    I do think he would be a Great Hire. Better than Kingsbury in AZ, Fangio in Denver, Lafleur in Green bay. Bienemy will be a Damn good coach for whoever gives him a shot.

  8. So the Bengals, who were supposedly the worse HC spot in the NFL with supposedly a horrible QB in Andy Dalton is likely landing the #1 first time HC candidate. Meanwhile the Browns had to settle on an in house candidate on no one elses radar and was repeatedly turned down because no onewants to deal with Mayfield’s ego and immaturity…. I guess the Bengals opening was the #1 HC opening after all.

  9. I thought “league insiders” were saying it was going to be Hue or Vance?

    I hope “league insiders” are right this time.

  10. Hey…you finally realized that coaches currently employed by playoff teams CAN be hired for an available head coaching position.

  11. So the Bengals, who were supposedly the worse HC spot in the NFL with supposedly a horrible QB in Andy Dalton is likely landing the #1 first time HC candidate. Meanwhile the Browns had to settle on an in house candidate on no one elses radar and was repeatedly turned down because no onewants to deal with Mayfield’s ego and immaturity…. I guess the Bengals opening was the #1 HC opening after all.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    You don’t actually believe that do you? If he was the #1 choice he’d be in GB or AZ or Miami already.

  12. Well chit. I hate how this process works. No coaches should be allowed to be hired until after the Superbowl. Every year my chiefs get distracted by this.

  13. Wow, is that really where he wants to land? I’d be tempted to stick around KC for another year and wait for those future vacancies.

  14. God, I don’t ask for much as a Bengals fan… but PLEASE let it be Bienemy and NOT Hue or Vance as HC… especially not Hue.

    Cleveland fans understand this…

  15. jm91rs says:
    January 10, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    So the Bengals, who were supposedly the worse HC spot in the NFL with supposedly a horrible QB in Andy Dalton is likely landing the #1 first time HC candidate. Meanwhile the Browns had to settle on an in house candidate on no one elses radar and was repeatedly turned down because no onewants to deal with Mayfield’s ego and immaturity…. I guess the Bengals opening was the #1 HC opening after all.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    You don’t actually believe that do you? If he was the #1 choice he’d be in GB or AZ or Miami already.

    ___________

    Sure he would. Let’s break this down…

    Green Bay: Diva QB on the tail end of his career, got the last coach ran out of town. Not a good gig.

    Miami: LOL…. Need I really say more? No QB, so so roster and horrible Ownership. Miami isn’t a destination in the NFL World.

    Arizona: The team that fired a HC after year 1 of a rebuild, with THAT roster and a GM that isn’t any good? There is a big, BIG reason the Cardinals had to settle on a below average College coach.

    Cincinnati: Patient, fair Ownership that doesn’t pull coaches after one or two seasons and will stick it through, above average Personnel guy in Tobin who drafts better than over half of the NFL, an experienced nucleus of veteran talent that gives a few year window to build around and an experienced Franchise QB who is a selfless class act.

    The Bengals get a bad rap with the Media but they were the best Coaching opportunity available this year, and because of it landed the candidate those other teams were interested in. Got to respect that and give the Bengals their due credit.

  16. The Bengals have been better than the Bears over the last 10 years. It’s not even close really.

  17. I like this guy and wish the Packers had at least seen fit to interview him. Hope for Bengals fans that this is true.

  18. Anything that is outside the box thinking is a step in the right direction. There is zero chance that the fans would buy into Hue Jackson. No one would be at the games and it would really anger the fans more than they already are. A fresh start is needed I think the roster is not bad they have holes but for the most part it’s a good roster with some young talent and an established core. The line backing core needs an overhaul and the right side of the line needs fixed but other than that it’s not a bad roster. I want Dalton to get a chance with a coach not from the Marvin Era before you get rid of him. If he doesn’t preform fine but I think he deserves a shot.

  19. If true, it’s a good hire. may take a couple seasons to get the team players he wants but
    better than hue or vance. It would become a great hire if he hires Greg Williams to run the defense.
    seize the DEY

  20. No, Mike Brown has never been patient with his HC; he just forgot one was in place.

    Cleveland-haters say no one wanted the job because of Mayfield’s juvenile antics and immaturity; name one who refused an interview with Cleveland because of Mayfield. And how many candidates wanted to be interviewed by Dorsey but were turned down.

    No candidates for HC should ever be interviewed before the end of the SuperBowl. I refer to Patricia, having been hired by Detroit before the SB, whose play calling in the ultimate game was lack-luster and uninspired. Were he not already hired by another team, Belicick would’ve fired him for his pathetic play-calling.

    McCarthy was spurned by the Jets, uninvited for an interview by the Browns; Arians wanted to coach the Browns and Mayfield, but was never considered by Cleveland’s FO. I’m just waiting to see whom Kitchens/Dorsey hires as OC, DC, and all the position coaches.

  21. I don’t think he is being hired because of KCs offensive performance at all. Maybe for the schemes which you can read into and determine if he is a good offensive mind. But if you think Mahomes threw 51 TDs this year just because of his supporting cast, you haven’t been watching the kid play. He is truly special, a generational talent who will rewrite a few record books. Caveat of course that all QBs of this and the last generation (Manning, Brady, Rodgers, etc) have benefitted from rules that favor the offense. Would love to see them play the 85 Bears, and I am not even a Bears fan.

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