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.