Eric Bieniemy’s agent: “Every year the standard changes”

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There’s still one vacancy, and Eric Bieniemy has already interviewed for it.

But the Chiefs offensive coordinator is close to missing out on another window of opportunity for a head coaching job, at a time of growing concerns about the lack of progress for minority candidates.

I think it’s discouraging, to say the least,” Bieniemy’s agent Brian Levy said, via Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports. “We’re really trying to find out what the standard is, and every year the standard changes. We’re just trying to swim against the current.”

The number of minority coaches in the league is static at four, after Ron Rivera was fired by the Panthers and hired in Washington. He rejoined Mike Tomlin, Anthony Lynn, and Brian Flores in a small club, one that Bieniemy can’t get into despite a strong resume and a hearty endorsement from coach Andy Reid (who has sent many assistants on to success in the league).

Bieniemy interviewed for the jobs with the Panthers and Giants which went to others, and he met with the Browns last week.

Levy said Bieniemy still views the chances to interview for jobs, afforded to him by the Rooney Rule, as positives.

“He’s learned something from every interview he’s had and he’s had some great people in it,” Levy said. “He’s met close to 25 people in front-office positions in the last year that he has a connection with. Where else are you getting that exposure?”

Reid said that exposure was important, and that assistants have to stack as much information as they can when given a chance to meet with other teams.

“They can learn a ton about other organizations and how they’re run, and expectations there,” Reid said. “That either gives them another opportunity down the road or something that they can file away, for whether it’s this year or the following year.”

And unless the Browns want him, Bieniemy will have to file away that information for another year.

58 responses to “Eric Bieniemy’s agent: “Every year the standard changes”

  1. Is it possible he doesn’t interview well? He wouldn’t be the first person to not get a job after a few interviews, regardless of his resume.

  2. This is not anything different than the actual, real world.

    Outside of a total grease job where you have a direct connection inside an organization, which basically breaks the door down for you to get the job, a thousand different things need to align for most people to get a nice job in our society.

    I wish these agents, the media, whoever would stop making this about race.

    Sure, there may be a few hidden racist owners in this league still, but it’s pretty clear the main focus for these owners is MONEY. They don’t care HOW they get it, whether it’s with a minority coach or not.

    This narrative is ridiculously outdated and over-sold. Again, I am not saying it can’t happen or won’t, just that it’s not the first thing on the list. It’s sort of insulting to people’s intelligence. This isn’t the 1980s or 1990s anymore.

    It’s fairly obvious the people that already got the jobs were first choice people. In each case, whether it was Rivera, Rhule (McDaniels never even got the chance), McCarthy (Jerrah gushing for some odd reason), or even Joe Judge (winning programs and leadership qualities), each team got what they were seeking. Also, Rivera is Mexian-American.

  3. It’s strikes me as insulting when you guys insinuate that EB (or any other black coordinator) didn’t get a job because of his skin color. Plenty of white guys didn’t get jobs either. I just don’t see NFL owners, in 2020, putting that much weight into skin color. I’m all for diversity, but this is bordering on something else.

  4. Cue the “it’s a meritocracy” crowd who want to believe that only winning matters to owners. They refuse to see the long history of under- or unqualified white coaches getting opportunities at a far greater rate than minorities. How many Freddie Kitchens flame out routinely. Yet Joe Judge is just accepted without question and Bieniemy et al are continually overlooked.

  5. I don’t think it’s fair to use him as the poster-boy for this. Maybe he just interviews like crap?

  6. I’m surprised the black NFL Asst. coaches don’t just say the hell w it and take college HC positions. There’s good money in it and the waiting is not working for them. The Rooney rule has no teeth in it. In the long run it’s bad for the NFL. The talent drain will hurt. Very short-sighted by the all white owners. They’re missing out on quality men. Ruhle, Judge, etc.? They may be good but so might be the experienced black guys. I just don’t get why they won’t be given the chance other than the obvious reasons. They all should just leave and go the college route.

  7. Why is it always about race!? It can’t be possible that he interviewed poorly or wasn’t a good fit? Forget that he took over an offense with Mahomes, Hill, Kelce and multiple other talented players.. he isn’t even being trusted with play calling..

  8. Maybe your client sucks at the interviewing process? Stop blaming others for your own shortcomings. He’s not being passed up because he’s black, and you’re stupid if you think he is.

  9. tvguy22 says:
    January 9, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    32 NFL head coaching jobs in the whole world. Tough to get.


    And only a few open at a time, and there’s always a backlog of candidates. Up and comers from college, young coordinators, old coordinators, position coaches, former head coaches, etc., all competing for the same 4 or so openings each year, and each year the number fo candidates grows. Bieniemy joins a huge crowd of other coaches, white and black, waiting for a shot that never comes for 99% of all hopefuls.

    Being an OC for a widely-respected coach on a top-flight team is a rare privilege as well. There are hundreds of coaches for whom that’s a dream job they’ll never get. Bieniemy’s already in rarefied air right where he is.

  10. The issue with Eric Bieniemy is that college rape scandal at Colorado when he was coach there. seems to be left out all the time

  11. tvguy22 says:
    January 9, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    32 NFL head coaching jobs in the whole world. Tough to get.

    Especially when you’re black and experienced.

  12. Great exposure and other perks mentioned in the article. Besides that every NFL HC job isn’t all that desirable pending on which owner and team you’re hired for!

  13. One would think that increasing your chances for hiring would be determined by how well the team you help coach performs and that you innovate within your positional responsibilities. I follow football and know nothing about what this guy did to make him “more special” than the other candidates. I’ve interviewed for many jobs and have never gotten them. I moved on and improved regardless of where I went.

    And I know what is not being said here and I’m insulted.

  14. I don’t have a clue as to the process and what owners might look for but I wonder if it would help him to take a job as a college head coach and then move to a NFL head coach? If you are successful there, you will eventually get a job. Hope he doesn’t give up!

  15. I’m sure his red flags sexual misconduct and run ins with the police had something to do with him not getting a HC job.

  16. He has only been the OC for 2 years and does he even call the plays? If I am not mistaken AR calls them. Same reason why I would never hire a Patriots DC as my coach. BB is mostly responsible for their success.

  17. The “Standard” is who the owner thinks is going to be a leader to run the business. Bieniemy might be hurt a little because he works for a Head Coach who’s regarded as the Offensive mastermind.
    But I bet he would do well with Mayfield and the other young egos on that team.

  18. Media is forgetting all of his red flags off the field… Which I’m sure will be immediately uncovered once he lands an HC job. He’s got some major RED Flags i.e sexual assault allegations, run ins with the police, drunk driving, and etc

  19. 1. Chiefs make the Super Bowl and teams will fire their HC to get a shot at him

    2. I hope they don’t, and I hope he replaces Pete Carroll in a year or two. Dude is legit and will get his shot, and will succeed when he does.

  20. I feel like the league should implement a rule wherein teams can’t interview or hire coaches until the season is over. It’s not very fair to position coaches in the playoffs since it can’t be made official. Sure there are going to be verbal agreements & the such (like it happens with players) but it would even out the playing field for sure.

  21. I like EB but let’s not pretend he’s really been calling any plays in KC…That being the case, is he really qualified? Doug Pederson was probably the closest thing to being a true OC under Reid. Nagy got hired because of Pedersons success. I would put EB and Nagy on the same category from Reid’s tree but Nagy has been average at best.

    So is a team supposed to hire an average at best guy because of his skin color? I don’t think so either.

  22. Maybe he’s a poor interviewer and doesn’t give the owner a secure feeling that he’s going to produce the results they’re expecting.

    Until someone from one of his interviews speaks it’s all conjecture.

  23. His main problem is his team is still in the playoffs and he might not be able to start until February. All the other guys who got hired could start immediately. That is a big difference.

  24. Calling your interviewers “racist” probably isn’t going to work to your advantage. Just saying.

  25. You don’t need to look any further than Kyle Shanahan, Wade Phillips, (gulp) Steve Belichick, the list goes on and on and on. Coaching is nepotism. Just like the Golic kid on ESPN. Were they qualified at the time, heck no but the beat goes on. If you weren’t born into the family business you are fighting an up hill battle but that doesn’t mean it’s not always worth fighting.

  26. Funny how Peterson’s role and duties as OC is so much greater than Bieneimy’s in the same position.
    The NFL is such a copy cat league. Pederson got a HC job when under Andy Reid and then won a SB. You’d think EB would have been snagged in a second for a HC position. I guess not…hmmm.

  27. Jimmy Haslam loves the Rooney Rule. Everyone forgets that twice the Browns have hired someone else to jobs over minority candidates but then hired the minority candidates to other positions as placeholders for when they inevitably fire who they picked to take the job over them. Cleveland might be the only team that hires backup coaches and GM’s.

    Even if they don’t give him the head coaching job they’ll offer him some made up position like Coordinator of tablet charging/assistant head coach.

  28. Hey Eric,

    Winning is the bottom line. Period.

    Yes, you have been a coaching for a long time, BUT you have not been been a winner or proven that your contribution has led to a winner, or even getting to the big game. Here is your competition:

    Ron Rivera: Lead his team to the Superbowl, 2 time NFL Coach of the Year.

    Matt Rhule: Has a PROVEN track record of turning around not 1, but 2 loosing college programs into double digit winners.

    Joe Judge: A part of the Patriots tree for 8 years. Winner 3 Superbowls in that time.


    Hang in their Eric. You WILL get a HC job, after your contributions lead to a Chiefs getting superbowl.

  29. ““We’re really trying to find out what the standard is, and every year the standard changes. We’re just trying to swim against the current.”

    That’s an odd statement in that he wasn’t ever a coordinator in the NFL until 2018. He is not some long-time big name who has repeatedly been passed over. Expecting to spend one single season as an OC and immediately get a head coaching job is awfully ambitious. This would realistically be the first year he would even have been under serious consideration.

  30. wah, wah, wah, I didn’t get a HC job….boohooohoooo I make 6/7 figure salary so I am gonna cry. No sympathy.

  31. “at a time of growing concerns about the lack of progress for minority candidates.”—-
    The only ones pushing this narrative are the liberal press, who have to twist and turn every story into a racial thing. The R.Rule itself is racist isn’t it? The fact that teams are being mandated to interview someone solely because of the color of their skin is just plain wrong. I bet that makes the “token”interviewees feel real good about themselves, knowing they’re just a part of the dog and pony show. Get rid of the rule.

  32. Hardcore Chiefs fan here and lets not put anything into this, what has he done with the Chiefs? We all know Andy calls the plays, so why does anyone think he deserves to be a HC?

  33. I would really like to see some of these interviews on tape. Of course, we never will. Who has the most energy? Who speaks the best when getting their point across? Who has the best plan set for all his assistants? Stop making it a black/white thing. Let us see the interviews, then it should be obvious what is going on.

  34. How about all the teams needing a coach next year have to draw names out of a hat , there ya go problem solved.

  35. whats the percentage of minority’s on staff on present NFL minority coached teams , get back to me …

  36. Very Disappointed for Eric. But, their loss is the Chiefs gain!

    I think there will be openings next year. Maybe at better placeS than Cleveland, NJ Giants, Skins, and Panthers.

    My crystal ball: I Bet the Browns (yearly tradition), Lions will be getting a whole regime change after next year. The Jets maybe etc.

    After Chiefs win a SB everyone will want that magic. Like teams pick the Pats assistants for the past few years.

  37. Levy said Bieniemy still views the chances to interview for jobs, afforded to him by the Rooney Rule, as positives.

    If the only reason he’s getting interviews is because of the Rooney Rule, then he doesn’t deserve to get the job. Maybe he’s getting the interviews because he earned the opportunity with his performance? If so, he’ll get a job eventually. If it’s just to check a box, why would we be surprised he isn’t getting hired?

  38. Belichick was a DC for six years before he got a head coaching gig, Mike Zimmer for 14 years. Bruce Arians was an OC for nine seasons before he got a head coaching gig. Hang in there, plenty of quality coordinators with Superbowl rings get passed over for some period of time before the right opportunity comes along.

  39. I love Eric and don’t want him to leave. BUT… other than Andy Reid saying he is ready. What does he have on his resume to say he is ready to be a HC. I am not even sure if he is an OC yet. He isn’t calling plays. the Chiefs running game is just average and he is a running back. I can tell you his interviews on the radio are not productive as he defers many details questions to Andy. He just answers in question in general only. I am guessing his interviews are hinting that he is riding on Andy’s coat tail too much?

  40. xiiprestige says:
    January 9, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Hardcore Chiefs fan here and lets not put anything into this, what has he done with the Chiefs? We all know Andy calls the plays, so why does anyone think he deserves to be a HC?

    So,he get paid to do nothing? While the former Pat’s WR coach calls a ton of plays.

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