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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…
The 5 o’clock club is published several times per week during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
I’m not looking at this as a one-off article; I intend to write a series of fill-in-the-blank articles over the coming weeks: Who is ____________ and why should he be the next head coach of the Washington Redskins.
Today I’m looking at the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric BIeniemy.
Click here to see other articles in the Who is ____________ and why should he be the next head coach group of articles
Per Pro Football Reference, this is his coaching history:
I see fifteen years as a running backs coach — five in the college ranks and ten in the NFL — and another 4 years as offensive coordinator — two in college, and the last two seasons in Kansas City.
Bieniemy was, of course, a running back himself for 9 seasons in the NFL.
Source: Pro Football Reference
At 50 years old, he’s been around the game all of his adult life. His time in Kansas City with Andy Reid has exposed him to one of the most creative and successful offensive minded head coaches the NFL has ever seen. Reid is 215-142-1 as a head coach putting him in 6th place behind Curley Lambeau for the most career wins for an NFL head coach.
Chances are, if Andy Reid trusts Eric Bieniemy, then the OC has something going for him.
In some ways, Bieniemy is the corollary to Greg Roman, whom I highlighted last week. Roman has a history designing effective offenses designed around the running game. Bieniemy, with Pat Mahomes at quarterback, Travis Kelce at TE and some blistering speed at wide receiver, has, with Andy Reid as his mentor, overseen a high-octane passing offense in Kansas City — a bit ironic considering his history as a running back and running backs coach.
Source: Pro Football Reference
“If you know anything about me and what I did at Colorado as the offensive coordinator, people would be shocked and surprised,” Bieniemy said. “People look at me sideways because I’m a running back, and they think I always want to run the ball. No. I understand the importance of the passing game, and I understand the importance of making sure we’re pushing the ball down the field.”
Bieniemy helped construct the league’s top-ranked offense, which averaged 425.6 yards per game. Mahomes, meanwhile, put together one of the greatest seasons in league history with 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns.
Granted, Bienemy has enjoyed a plethora of talent with the Chiefs, but his career has seen plenty of ups and downs. It’s likely that he is a well-rounded coach with many abilities.
Looking for career intersects, it is obvious that he would have a close relationship with Adrian Peterson, and a level of familiarity with Alex Smith — two veteran leaders who could help to give Bieniemy instant credibility in the locker room.
Being a long-tenured coordinator isn’t a prerequisite to becoming a head coach. Pederson and Nagy combined to be Reid’s offensive coordinator for five years. They only had eight years of being assistant coaches before taking over the position.
Bieniemy holds an edge over both. He has 10 years of experience as a position coach, with three years as an offensive coordinator.
He’s a detail-oriented coach who may be coming from a slightly different background than most offensive coordinators who come up through the ranks around quarterbacks. But nothing is going to escape Bieniemy’s reach.
”When he brings it, he’s bringing it, and it’s every day,” Reid said, per Teicher. “He doesn’t let one thing slide. … This is him. It’s attention to detail and ‘I’m going to make sure my closet is clean and your closet better be clean, too. If not, I’m going to help you clean it.’”
Bieniemy added, “I take a lot of personal pride in making sure everything is dotted, T’s are crossed and everything is absolute.”
Eric Bieniemy is likely to be a hot name in the search for a head coach that several teams will conduct this off-season. He has the appeal of coming from “the Andy Reid coaching tree”, but then, the Redskins have never really done that well acquiring talent from Andy.