Why was Eric Bieniemy passed over this year?

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With six jobs filled and two more tentatively earmarked for folks other than Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, why didn’t Bieniemy get one of the eight open spots in the current cycle?

A strong argument could be made for Bieniemy. He’s in the spot that has produced Eagles coach Doug Pederson and Bears coach Matt Nagy, both of whom have quickly become great head coaches. The Chiefs offense found a higher level this year, in Bieniemy’s first season as the O.C.

I think the biggest difference is the mentality,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said on the #PFTPM podcast in late September regarding the transition from Nagy to Bieniemy. “Coach Bieniemy brings a fierce, aggressive mentality to the offense. Kind of a gritty, punch-you-in-the-mouth-type of mindset, and I think that has rubbed off on everybody, from Pat [Mahomes] throwing the ball aggressively down field. The play calling is a little bit more aggressive and, sure enough, everybody getting the ball has been a north runner. There’s not too much running sideways. Everybody’s getting downhill trying to finish the plays in the end zone.”

The problem is that Bieniemy doesn’t call plays. Then again, Nagy only called plays for half of a season in 2017, a season that saw the offense sputter after a strong start to the season.

The explanation could be more about the pursuit of quarterback whisperers, and Bieniemy’s lack of background in that area.

“I think the big thing is teams are looking for quarterback guys,” one league source opined to PFT. “Matt, Doug are both former quarterbacks and former quarterback coaches.” Bieniemy isn’t.

There’s still a belief in Kansas City that Bieniemy will become a great coach someday. For now, the Chiefs benefit. Then again, they likely benefit either way; they’ve done a great job filling the pipeline with more great offensive coordinators, as their offensive coordinators become great coaches.

62 responses to “Why was Eric Bieniemy passed over this year?

  1. Of course the exception is the Dolphins who want to hire a linebacker coach to be the head coach who is no quarterback whisperer .

  2. Dave Toub should get a shot before Bieniemy.
    Andy Reid is the real Offensive Coordinator in KC, not Bieniemy

  3. guys like him in a no win. coaching on the # 1 seed. it could be Feb before u can hire him. then he has to get a staff together . it almost a lost yr right out the gate. and as we all know its a what have u done for me lately League. he will get his chance at some point.

  4. Bienemy was also passed over for HC at his alma mater. He’s an excellent position coach and a stickler for sound fundamentals, but doesn’t come across as head coach persona. Maybe a little too OCD.

  5. The TB coordinators indicated the NFL is changing by hiring guys as HC that haven’t paid their dues. Goodwin thinks he didn’t get a HC job because he doesn’t call plays.
    It’s a copycat league and teams are looking for offensive guys, anyone with Gruden, Shanahan, McVay ties had an in.

  6. Maybe he didn’t interview well. Maybe it’s because he didn’t call plays for a team loaded with offensive weapons. Maybe it’s because he’s only been a coordinator for a year. Maybe it’s all that plus he’s a minority. Maybe it’s none of that or maybe it’s a combination of things. Maybe he doesn’t have a good enough agent pulling the right strings and saying the right things behind the scenes.

    I think he was a darling of the fans because of the success of the Kansas City offense, but there’s a lot more that goes into than that.

  7. Coach hirings shouldnt happen until after the Superbowl. Its too distracting to teams in the playoffs(since the coaches are typically on the staff of playoff teams). I wish the Broncos had hired Bienemy, rather than Fangio. (Because I am a Bears fan)

  8. Like was stated in the article…it’s a QB league now. The rules are so far tilted in favor of the passing game it only makes sense to get a guy who can maximize perhaps the most important position on the field–the QB. Pederson played fourteen years in the NFL at QB. Matt Nagy played QB for seven years in the arena league. Bienemy was a RB. Maybe that’s more important than the fact he’s a minority. If Bienemy can keep adding to his resume he’ll get his shot. I don’t think there’s anything ulterior going on here.

  9. “Maybe you should do a little research into his behavior as an alleged college student.”

    Exactly. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room…Bienemy has conduct/character issues.

  10. “Of course the exception is the Dolphins who want to hire a linebacker coach to be the head coach who is no quarterback whisperer .”

    As a Pats fan I’m shocked at Flores getting a HC position after a single year as de facto coordinator. He’s a good coach but I think its way too early for him to make that jump.

    Maybe the Fins figure a Belichick assistant will help them beat the Pats but they’ve be a particular kryptonite to NE for years anyway. They typically split every year with the Pats, its the other teams Miami loses to is the problem.

  11. Bieniemy didn’t call plays.

    Neither did Andy Reid before he got the Eagles job.
    Neither did Doug Pederson before he got the Eagles job.
    Neither did Matt Nagy before he got the Bears job.
    Neither did Sean McVay until he got the Rams job.

    Bieniemy will get his shot.

  12. By and large NFL teams are horrible at hiring Head Coaches. They really hire head Quarterback Coaches these days. He may get his shot once the hiring trends change, again..

  13. And Josh McDaniels was told “No Thanks” by the one team that would closely mimic the success he currently has.

    Some people, regardless of resume and race, simply do not interview well or demand things in an interview their resume doesn’t warrant (roster ir draft control for example).

  14. Lets see how he is as OC with a few years of experience. Then he has better standing to be a HC.
    You can take any team with a good D or O and say it was the coordinator, so hire him as HC. And 4 out of 5 times you would be making a mistake.

  15. I’m not saying that Nagy is not a good coach, but the Bears’ success this year is most attributable to a stellar defense coached by Fangio.

  16. heymister24 says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:46 pm
    Hue Jackson has more experience.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Criminals have lots of experience with laws and legal procedures but that does not make them lawyers. Hue Jackson was the worst head coach the league has seen in at least the super bowl era so there is no reason he should be considered for a HC coaching job again. His penchant for creating internal strife and struggles for power only make him seem that much worse.

  17. walllamp947460497 says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:24 pm
    Let me assure you, Cincy fans would burn the building down if Eric “1 yard on the carry” Bi-enema was let back in.

    —-

    1. Speak for yourself.

    2. Bieniemy was a good RB (and returner) in Cincy. Averaged 4.2 yards per carry and had 133 catches in 4 years. Not bad for a change of pace back. Still holds the team record for longest return as well (102 yards).

  18. charliecharger says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:49 pm
    Bieniemy just doesn’t look like a head coach.
    ——–

    Neither does Matt Patricia though. I think it has more to do with his RB background. Teams want the next QB guru. The only other guys getting real play are former Patriots coaches.

  19. Why wasn’t he hired this year?? Easy, it’s because team owners and GM’s want to see how good Kliff Kingsbury coaches a team WITHOUT Patrick Mahomes first and foremost ..!!

  20. therealraider says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:07 pm
    Why should teams hire Bieniemy? He’s a first year “OC” who doesn’t even call plays.
    ——————————————————
    Right they should hire guys like Kliff Klingsbury who doesn’t even win games.

  21. He still may end up being the Bengals coach, there is nothing yet confirming who they are making an offer to, only rumors.

  22. As a Chiefs’ fan I’m thrilled he didn’t get pilfered this year. His temperament is sorely needed on this team. He is the only coach on this entire staff who brings any intensity whatsoever. The players absolutely love him and we simply couldn’t afford to lose him yet. It would have hurt worse than losing Pederson and Nagy did simply because he brings a different set of skills and strengths that Reid does not have. Nagy and Pederson were just extensions of Reid, where Bieniemy is more of a motivator and non-QB positional coach.

    The obsession with finding “QB gurus” was the main factor I’m sure. Personally I hope he sticks around and takes over for Reid in a few years depending on how much longer Andy plans to coach.

  23. merde4brains says:
    January 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm
    I’m not saying that Nagy is not a good coach, but the Bears’ success this year is most attributable to a stellar defense coached by Fangio.
    _____________________________________________________________

    The playoff loss falls on Nagy’s shoulders for playing such a conservative game in the first half against a team with a weak secondary. But, I do think he will be a good coach in time. If Parkey makes the field goal, it’s a great comeback win in a game they should have won handily. You can’t just sit on your offensive game plan and expect the defense to always hold, and that was truly the reason the Bears lost that game. New Orleans is going to torch that secondary this weekend, just like the Bears offense torched that secondary in the second half. Rookie coach took the team farther than anyone expected. He just needs to learn from his mistakes.

  24. If you can’t tell the difference between last years Chiefs and this years Chiefs, you have a serious problem. It’s not the coaching, it’s the QB, stupid.

  25. kenmasters34 says:

    January 12, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Coach hirings shouldnt happen until after the Superbowl. Its too distracting to teams in the playoffs(since the coaches are typically on the staff of playoff teams). I wish the Broncos had hired Bienemy, rather than Fangio. (Because I am a Bears fan)
    ————–
    That would be a horrible idea. Teams who are hiring new coaches are usually non-contenders and by making them wait even longer their going to be even further behind other teams in off-season and draft prep. It’s also ridiculous to think it’s too distracting to teams in the playoffs. Coaches know how to compartmentalize and it’s not like their interviewing the day of games, there are restrictions to it.

  26. WHY? See Colorado.

    Poor coaches can look great with superstar talent. Until Mahomes, Eric was pedestrian or worse.

    Have NFL owners smartened up a bit?

  27. vikingsvoice says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:12 pm
    In a passing league it should come as no surprise that team’s aren’t high on a career RB coach to carve a path into the future.

    ———-

    Yeah…that Anthony Lynn guy is terrible.

    ——————
    ——————

    therealraider says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:07 pm
    Why should teams hire Bieniemy? He’s a first year “OC” who doesn’t even call plays.

    ——————

    That’s literally what Zac Taylor is.

    —————–
    —————–

    Every situation is different, every candidate is different. We don’t know how well he interviews. We do know he has a rather checkered history with alcohol and violence at previous stops, though, and that has to be a major consideration for teams before hiring somebody to lead the team and be the face of the franchise.

  28. struckgold49er says:
    January 12, 2019 at 1:13 pm
    Why wasn’t he hired this year?? Easy, it’s because team owners and GM’s want to see how good Kliff Kingsbury coaches a team WITHOUT Patrick Mahomes first and foremost ..!!
    ========================================

    This from a guy who’s HC has won just 8 over the last TWO YEARS!!!! Arizona will continue to stomp SF each and every year w/ a new HC it’ll just be Kingsbury calling the plays this time. 10 straight wins and counting, maybe win a game once every few years before talking, then again that’s all 9er fans can , talk. They for sure cannot win anything on a football field. They demonstrate that every season over 16 straight weeks.

  29. It’s also worth noting that in addition to his own history of alcohol and violence, in his 2 stops as a RB coach in the league he has coached AP (suspended/excempt 1 yr – domestic violence) and Kareem Hunt (exempt/released – assault).

    In his only experience calling plays at any level as OC at Colorado, they went 3-10 while 109th in scoring in 2011 and 1-11 while 120th in scoring in 2012.

    Maybe Bienemy wasn’t the #1 candidate for any of the 8 teams with openings???

  30. snowbake said:

    “Maybe you should do a little research into his behavior as an alleged college student.”

    snccoach responded:”

    Exactly. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room…Bienemy has conduct/character issues.”

    My two cents:

    People can’t change their past. All they can do is hopefully learn from it. I am sure plenty of people (like myself) would like to climb into the “Wayback” machine with Sherman and Mr. Peabody and change their own personal history. If only it were that simple. It isn’t.

  31. I like Bienemy as a coach.. The problem is he’s on a playoff team.. Most teams don’t want to wait till the playoffs are over to hire their HC coach.. Eight teams are looking for coaches.. It will be a thin group of assistants to choose from after the playoffs..

  32. snccoach says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:42 pm
    “Maybe you should do a little research into his behavior as an alleged college student.”

    Exactly. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room…Bienemy has conduct/character issues.
    ______________________________________________

    Then how do you explain Steve Keim the GM with the Cardinals and myriad of others who continue to get jobs? Hmm
    Maybe Art Rooney and his rule was onto something we don’t want to admit…

  33. swaynesworld says:
    January 12, 2019 at 3:12 pm
    snccoach says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:42 pm
    “Maybe you should do a little research into his behavior as an alleged college student.”

    Exactly. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room…Bienemy has conduct/character issues.
    ______________________________________________

    Then how do you explain Steve Keim the GM with the Cardinals and myriad of others who continue to get jobs? Hmm
    Maybe Art Rooney and his rule was onto something we don’t want to admit…

    Keim was with the cardinals for years before he became gm and did enough to earn a longer leash, even with his dui

  34. My take is Andy Reid is just like Sean Payton. They run the offense and their OCs are helpers. It’s hard to get out of the boss’s shadow.

  35. Maybe it’s because no team wanted to go through a coaching search next year when he becomes a one and done head coach like Steve Wilks in Arizona was this year.
    He seems like he has some time in the league but hasn’t really stood out other than to be on the coaching staff of Andy Reid and has the horses around him.
    The question I would have would be…..What has he developed ?

  36. Why was Gregg Willians passed over?
    I don’t know much about Biemeny but this year teams are looking for young QB oriented guys. Trends change and he has may years ahead to be considered again.
    Older guys like GW are passed over repeatedly.

  37. Could it be that there were better candidates….I know that sounds too simplistic, but could that be…just saying.

  38. Take a look at the skin color of the owners.
    After the latest rounds of hiring, take a look at the skin color of the head coaches. Of the 32 jobs, three are African-Americans. Five African-American coaches were fired this time around. Three Caucasians fired.

  39. harryhodag says:
    January 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm
    Take a look at the skin color of the owners.
    After the latest rounds of hiring, take a look at the skin color of the head coaches. Of the 32 jobs, three are African-Americans. Five African-American coaches were fired this time around. Three Caucasians fired.
    ——————————

    Heck. Let’s just go all the way. Make the league a third black, third white, and a third hispanic. All of the coaches and referees can be asian. That way nobody can complain, right?

  40. xlivsaints says:
    January 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm
    Why WOULD he be hired? Maybe it’s not his time. If the guy is that deserving, his time will come. His skin colour is irrelevant.
    ———–
    I didn’t see any mention of the color of his skin as a reason for not getting a HC job.

  41. Wow. Remarks like, ” He just doesn’t look like a head coach” is exactly what the problem is in this league and in this world.

    What a racist line; ” He just doesn’t look like a head coach”; Wow.

  42. In a league with majority black players and white owners, you’re going to see more white coaches. That’s just the reality

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