Mike Tomlin frustrated Eric Bieniemy can’t get a head-coaching job

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been speaking out publicly this offseason about his belief that there’s been too little progress toward getting more Black head coaches in the NFL.

Tomlin said he’s particularly frustrated that Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who got interview requests from all seven teams with head-coaching vacancies, was passed over this year.

Bieniemy is a real head-scratcher for me,” Tomlin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Every offensive coordinator Andy Reid has had in the last 20 years got a head job. One of those guys, Brad Childress, hired me in Minnesota in 2006. Now, Andy has the best offense he’s ever had and [Bieniemy] can’t get a job?”

The NFL has touted the Rooney Rule for promoting diversity, but there are no more Black head coaches now than there were when the Rooney Rule was adopted 18 years ago. Tomlin says he isn’t sure what else to do.

“I don’t have an answer for you as to how to make it better,” Tomlin said. “The optimist in me says things will get better, but there’s been no evidence in the recent cycles to back that up. Without evidence, all we have is hope. We just haven’t been able to move the needle.”

One thing Tomlin could do is hire a Black coordinator, something he has never done. Tomlin acknowledged that but defended his own record.

“I always do what is best for our organization,” Tomlin said. “I believe in hiring from within in most cases. . . . I’m highly sensitive to it, but I don’t regret [not having a Black coordinator].”

When Tomlin was hired in 2007, there were six Black head coaches in the NFL. This year there will be three.

50 responses to “Mike Tomlin frustrated Eric Bieniemy can’t get a head-coaching job

  1. Bienemy is the modern day Jim Caldwell and was outcoached like Caldwell was in the Superbowl. I’m sick of hearing about this guy.

  2. I fully agree that Eric Bieniemy should be a head coach by now. However, when one of the few Black head coaches says “I always do what is best for our organization” when questioned about why he doesn’t have a Black coordinator, it’s hard to listen to his opinion. I guess it’s okay for a Black coach to use the “I always do what is best for our organization” line when he doesn’t hire someone who is Black, but heaven forbid a White GM or owner should feel or say that.

  3. Well, the fact that he couldn’t or wouldn’t make ANY adjustments in the superbowl certainly isn’t going to help his chances, he was exposed, BADLY. Coaches should be hired on merit, period. Byron Leftwich had a MUCH better and more imaginative offensive game plan than “sleeping with” Bienemy did, and Todd Bowles defensive strategy was genius. Both of those men should get head coaching consideration before Bienemy. I know that Bowles had a shot at it previously, but maybe the second time will be the charm.

  4. To wit:
    1. The Chiefs looked awful in the Super Bowl. Couldn’t stop the pass rush of Tampa Bay because of OL injuries.
    2. Said Chiefs never made adjustments, or didn’t appear to, not in the first half, not after halftime, not in the fourth quarter. They looked discombobulated, even Patrick Mahomes, which isn’t seen often.
    3. We’re told constantly when we say Andy Reid is the real offensive coordinator of the Chiefs, that “No, that’s not fair to Bienemy. He’s the offensive coordinator.” OK, well, if he’s the offensive coordinator, why didn’t he make adjustments? He got outcoached. Reid probably was distracted all week with his son’s problems, but the rest of the Chiefs’ coaching staff — which should have been led by Bienemy — should have picked up the slack. They didn’t.

    You can’t have it both ways. He can’t have all the credit when things go well and none of the blame when they don’t. Bienemy may make a fine head coach one day, much like Tomlin. But maybe — just maybe — he’s not ready yet. And maybe the football people interviewing him have enough sense to know that.

  5. He needs to be frustrated on his defensive calls in another under achieving loss in the playoffs and focus on what he needs to do.

  6. Maybe he should try his luck in Canada or College. Perhaps he has some sort of reputation good or bad that’s keeping him from an NFL HC job. Not everyone gets that opportunity. Just because he colored doesn’t mean he auto gets an NFL HC job.

  7. Why didn’t he hire him and step down as head coach, giving him the job or hire him and make him a co-head coach?

    Must not be that bothered by it

  8. He keeps getting interviews and no job offers. Maybe he doesn’t have his own vision for running a team or maybe he just sucks at interviewing.

  9. Has anyone considered Bienemy is a product of Reid and Mahomes AND that college assault cover up at Colorado would be drummed again during the Me Too movement?

    I mean, find it odd that Patricia had his name dragged through the mud over an incident that apparently never happened and Bienemy’s well publicized cover up (amongst others), gets no press at all.

  10. touchback6 says:
    February 27, 2021 at 1:49 pm
    Has anyone considered Bienemy is a product of Reid and Mahomes AND that college assault cover up at Colorado would be drummed again during the Me Too movement?

    —————————————————

    OK so Bienemy is a product of Reid, but Nagy wasn’t? Pederson wasn’t? Childress wasn’t? Shurmur wasn’t? Marty Mornhinweg is STILL getting jobs based off of what Andy did for him.

  11. Take away the lights out brilliant performance of Mahomes over the past couple years and Bienemy could be just another Josh McDaniel without Brady and Gronk.

  12. Maybe, just maybe, it has to do with his off the field record? There are to many other options for head coaches to take a risk on someone and have it blow up in your face.

  13. People (GMs in this case) tend to hire people that look like them. Do some GMs avoid hiring Eric because the owner or gm doesn’t want a man with brown skin as coach? Maybe. But maybe some of the other candidates had better interviews and assuming that all candidates were equally qualified this will continue to happen. Until the ownership changes, this will continue to happen. If I (some minority billionaire) have the dough to buy an NFL team, not so sure that purchasing a team is the best use of that capital. Maybe players should consider negotiating this issue as part of the agreement.

  14. I’ve read several times that Bieniemy gives lousy interviews. Besides, teams would hire a Charlie Manson if they thought he could coach, so race shouldn’t be an issue.

  15. itoldyouso says:
    February 27, 2021 at 2:04 pm
    Take away the lights out brilliant performance of Mahomes over the past couple years and Bienemy could be just another Josh McDaniel without Brady and Gronk.

    9 3 Rate This

    ——————

    I’m a Pats fan and I agree.

  16. Mike Tomlin is 145-78 in 14 seasons as Steelers head coach. That’s more than 10 wins per season. He’s never had a losing season, and he’s won a super bowl. He also has 7 first place finishes in his division. Before the Steelers hired Tomlin, I has heard that HOFer Russ Grimm was the Steelers new coach, but then the Rooney family decided that they should hire Tomlin because, after all, The Rooney Rule was named after them. It was just a rumor, so who knows. Regardless, there hasn’t been a better head coach in the league than Mike Tomlin. So even if the decision to hire him took into account his race, it ended up being a great decision. Had Tomlin interviewed with 8 other teams, there’s a good chance none would have thought he was qualified, when indeed he was more than qualified. On the other hand, had Tomlin been hired by a bad organization, there’s a good chance he’d have been fired after 2 or 3 seasons and never gotten another opportunity. Every Steelers’ coach for the last 50 years, and there has only been three, has won at least one super bowl, and has been very successful. On the other hand, no coach, and there have been some great ones, has been successful working for the current owner in Washington. So getting a job opportunity is half of it. Going to a franchise with a chance to succeed is the other half.

  17. Take away the lights out brilliant performance of Mahomes over the past couple years and Bienemy could be just another Belichick without Brady and Gronk

  18. First off the Chiefs offense being Andy’s best are true but Andy drafted that team, Bienemy didnt put that team together. It would be hard for any OC to look bad with that talent. Second, Andy calls the plays not Eric. It’s obvious

    Watching Andy all those yrs in Philly his 2 weakness”s were game time adjustments and clock management. Both showed in the Superbowl. For Tomlin to have never had a black coach/ coordinator then rant that there isn’t enough black coaches is ridiculous. What owner would hire a black coach over a white coach who he feels is more qualified? Why are all the people complaining about Bienemy getting a head coach spot ignoring his very checkered past or his bad interviews, or that he never called plays? I’m so sick of this “Everyone is racist” thing when what they are saying is actually racist. To not hire a person because of his color is as racist as hiring a person because of his color is. Byron Leftwich is way more qualified then Bienemy is and I’m sure he’ll get his shot. Bienemy I’m not so sure he will, his checkered past is not a good look as the face leading a franchise.

    NO owner of ANY sport team would not hire not a coach who is the best man for them to win with because of color. Owners DO see color and it’s not Black/white its green. Winning makes them more money. Until Tomlin hires a black coach himself, he should keep out of others decisions about who they hire.

  19. Maybe he is horrible at an interview. Not prepared. He does have a lol bit of a rap sheet. At this point if I’m EB I don’t want a pity interview. Some are not leaders of men. The biggest issue to me is why him? There are plenty of other guys that are looked over.

  20. Maybe, just maybe this has NOTHING to do with race and EVERYTHING to do with the fact the Bieniemy is a horrible interview.

  21. redclaw1314 says:
    February 27, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    The Chiefs’ offense was embarrassed in the Superbowl. Maybe the teams in the league knew something about Eric that Tomlin doesn’t.

    ———————–

    The Chiefs offense made it to back-to-back Super Bowls and just missed making it 3.
    I don’t think there’s any problem with the Chiefs offense.

  22. Look at how many coaching disciples Mike Tomlin has had in his tenure…. Zero… Less than his total playoff wins in the past 10 years (3).

  23. Hey coach – ya think it may make more sense spending time wondering why you still have the Steeler job after your teams have crumpled the last 3 Dec’s like a folding table?

  24. 50DrunksInABar says:
    February 27, 2021 at 1:57 pm
    touchback6 says:
    February 27, 2021 at 1:49 pm
    Has anyone considered Bienemy is a product of Reid and Mahomes AND that college assault cover up at Colorado would be drummed again during the Me Too movement?

    —————————————————

    OK so Bienemy is a product of Reid, but Nagy wasn’t? Pederson wasn’t? Childress wasn’t? Shurmur wasn’t? Marty Mornhinweg is STILL getting jobs based off of what Andy did for him.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Mornhinweg was a Offensive Coordinator years before working for Reid. Mornhinweg’s own potential got him a HC job, again, all before working for Reid. Oh, when he did work for Reid, he called the offensive plays.

  25. Nagy, Childress and Pederson aren’t exactly poster children for building dynasties…I would guess that those prior hires are working against him, not in his favor.

  26. Tomlin should focus on his own team/issues. Dude hasn’t done anything playoff wise in quite some time. That being said – Eric Bieniemy will likely get an opportunity next season. You also have to wonder how much of the Chiefs success is related to Bieniemy or the fact the Reid & Mahomes are two of the most skilled and talented HC/QB tandems in the league.

    And even if Bieniemy is an excellent offensive mind that doesn’t mean he will be an excellent head coach. In fact many successful coaches that have been around for years like Belichick, Harbaugh and Tomlin have success because they are more CEO type coaches that can manage many other aspects of the team and players. That is tough to do year in year out and maybe these GMs just aren’t seeing that from Bieniemy. Who knows. I believe racism was certainly prevalent in the NFL at one time amongst past NFL owners/GMs, but I don’t believe any of today’s owners/GMs would not hire a guy they believed could bring them a Lombardi trophy due to skin color. Maybe I’m wrong about that but I think Bieniemy wasn’t hired this season because the other candidates impressed, prepared and interviewed a little better than he may have. The Chiefs will be awesome again next year and I believe Bieniemy will get a HC position after the 2021 season. I will be rooting for him.

  27. Here is an idea since there is only 32 coaches needed. You quit and on your way out put in a good word for him.

  28. The Chiefs’ offense was embarrassed in the Superbowl. Maybe the teams in the league knew something about Eric that Tomlin doesn’t.

    That he’s better than 30 other offensive coordinators in the NFL and got to the Super Bowl?

  29. He has been not selected so many times that rest of the teams figure if he was not good enough for those that interviwed him so he is not good enough for us

  30. I keep hearing that there is such a disparity of African American coaches in the NFL and it’s brought up again in this post.
    African Americans make up 13% of our population so that would translate to 4 African American coaches in the NFL. 13% of 32 is 4.16. We’ve had as many as 5 African American coaches recently. Personally I don’t care what color a coach is and the sooner we get to that point that we look at each other as American citizens the better.

  31. there are 3 black head coaches because there is 3 qualified black head coaches. Bienemy’s color
    has nothing to do with getting hired in my opinion.

  32. Maybe because it’s politically incorrect to fire a minority coach, aka Tomlin, when he has horrible results. Unfortunately I think other teams see this and say if Biennemy can’t handle the job I can’t fire him.

  33. Tomlin should be worrying about the Steelers, not someone else’s assistant coach

    So you are lying in the road bleeding….I should just worry about myself? You would be the first to ask for help and the last to offer it…..karma.

  34. Once again, the media blows the horn of racism where there is none. It’s nice to see that fans see through this nonsense.

  35. touchback6 says:
    February 27, 2021 at 1:49 pm
    Has anyone considered Bienemy is a product of Reid and Mahomes AND that college assault cover up at Colorado would be drummed again during the Me Too movement?

    I mean, find it odd that Patricia had his name dragged through the mud over an incident that apparently never happened and Bienemy’s well publicized cover up (amongst others), gets no press at all.

    ————-

    So because Patricia was a pat , it never happened. But Bienemy is guilty. Got it. And Aaron Hernandez didn’t murder anyone.

  36. No one ever mentions the tripping thing anymore, I kinda feel like that should be in any article about Tomlin

  37. Give your spot up, agitator. You make the sacrifice of your spot. He sucks so bad that your bosses wouldn’t hire him. Give it up!

  38. maybe at his interview he demands they trade for Mahomes Kelce and Hill as part of the package

  39. Eric Bieniemy doesn’t come accross as a TYPE A personality (to me). Not calling plays and then having been HUMBLED by the Bucs defense has not helped his cause. Personally, until Eric Bieniemy gets out from Andy Reid and Mahomes shadows, I don’t think he deserves OR has was it takes to be a head coach. Let’s see Eric Bieniemy SUCCEED as a playcalling OC and earn his right to be a head coach. That will certainly shut critics (like myself) and NFL General Managers up forever. Eric Bieniemy can’t have his cake – KC success with HOF head coach calling plays and HOF QB executing an EAT IT as well. Eric Bieniemy has been lost in the shadows and it’s up to him to shine some more light on himself by LEAVING KC. Getting an OC job should be a slam dunk, if he is as good as y’all are sayin right?

  40. And Pete Carmichael who’s 10X the OC that Bieniemy is didn’t even get an interview, where’s all the outrage for Pete?

  41. If Eric Bieniemy not calling plays is a strike against him in terms of getting a head coaching job, why is he getting most of the blame for the SB loss instead of Andy Reid? If the Chiefs had won, who would be receiving most of the credit for the victory Bieniemy or Reid? I think we all know the answer to that one.

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