With the Carolina Panthers parting ways with long-time head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday, names of his eventual replacement are already beginning to surface.
One of the most common names among future NFL head coaching candidates is Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
You might recall Bieniemy’s name from the 2018 offseason when he was passed up by other candidates for the head job with all four teams he interviewed with – the Cincinnati Bengals (Zac Taylor), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bruce Arians), Miami Dolphins (Brian Flores) and New York Jets (Adam Gase).
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On Wednesday, reporters inquired about Reid’s approach should another NFL owner were to reach out about hiring the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator as their new head coach this offseason.
“I’d say hire him, like right now,” said Reid. “That’s what I’d tell you. I don’t want to lose him, but if you’re asking me if he’s ready to be a head coach? Yeah, he’s ready. He was ready last year. Nobody is in more control than what he is within this game. He is a leader of men. He knows football, but he knows the offense like the back of his hand. He is in the quarterback room every day. I think if you talked to Patrick, I think Patrick would tell you how much of an influence he has had on him.”
When the media later asked QB Patrick Mahomes about the offensive coordinator’s influence on him, he emphasized the importance of Bieniemy’s detailed approach.
“I think the details and the way he is able to control the room to get the best out of every single player is a big thing,” Mahomes said. “He holds you to a high standard and he holds you to the standard that you need to be perfect with every single rep you get in practice. I think those details and that standard he holds everybody to elevates everyone’s game.”
More on Bieniemy’s background
Currently in his second year overseeing the Chiefs’ explosive offensive unit, Bieniemy has been with Kansas City dating back to 2013 when he served as the team’s running backs coach.
In June, after only one of the eight NFL teams with head coaching vacancies hired a minority candidate, Bieniemy told Yahoo Sports that he didn’t “want to be hired to be a feel-good story,” but because he was the most qualified person for the job.
The 50-year-old certainly has the credentials and endorsements to take the next step, including nearly a decade of NFL playing experience.
In 1991, Bieniemy was a second-round draft pick (No. 39 overall) by the San Diego Chargers. He went on to spend four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and one season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Throughout his nine-year career, the multipurpose running back accumulated 4,709 total yards (1,589 rushing) and 12 touchdowns.
On the coaching front, Bieniemy has spent seven years at the collegiate level and five years at the NFL level – all with the Minnesota Vikings – prior to joining the Chiefs in 2013.
With only four weeks remaining in the regular season, expect to see Bieniemy’s name floating around NFL circles as more head coaching vacancies open up.
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