A number of NFL teams are in the midst of conducting interviews for their next head coaching hire. Among the most popular candidates thus far is Kansas City Chiefs second-year offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
After being passed over on four head coaching gigs last offseason, Bieniemy has already completed interviews with the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and Cleveland Browns during the Chiefs first-round playoff bye this week. The long-time Kansas City coach is highly respected inside the football community where a few members have voiced their support on social media in recent days.
On Thursday, Fox Sports college football studio analyst and former NFL running back Reggie Bush took to Twitter to show respect for Bieniemy.
The former No. 2 overall draft pick was not the only former Super Bowl champion to weigh on on Bieniemy’s qualifications and potential as a head coach – one even making a prediction for his next team should the NFL veteran choose to leave Kansas City.
Interestingly enough, some other former players have voiced mixed feelings towards Bieniemy’s future in a head role.
Andy Reid Backs His ‘OC’
While Bieniemy’s biggest knock may be that he does not currently call the plays for the Chiefs offense, head coach Andy Reid has endorsed his top offensive assistant relentlessly.
In early December, Reid told reporters he believed his offensive coordinator was ready to take the next step last season.
“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.”
Later in the month, Reid again referenced Bieniemy’s leadership qualities while acknowledging that his departure is more likely a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if.’
“You guys know how I feel about Eric,” said the 21-year head coach. “I think he’d be tremendous. There’s a team out there – I don’t know the team, but there’s a team out there – that could really use him. Being the leader of men that he is, you’re not going to find people better than that in that category. And he’s a sharp offensive mind on top of that. So I’m a big fan. Don’t want to lose him, but reality is, there’s a good chance that happens.”
Teams with vacancies continue to circulate through potential candidates while the postseason plays out, some in hopes of waiting out currently active candidates – such as Bieniemy or New England’s Josh McDaniels – to eventually sign on and revive their franchise. Unfortunately for those teams, the holdup on Kansas City’s offensive coordinator could drag into early February should the Chiefs play their way into Super Bowl LIV.
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