The Detroit Lions are weighing their options at head coach after a week of interviews, and it looks as if the team is potentially locked in as it relates to their candidate list.
Detroit’s next boss could come from a list of six who have already been interviewed, and one of the top contenders for the gig could be Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Bieniemy was one of the first names to be interviewed for the job, and though he has interest in plenty of places, could quietly be a better fit with the Lions.
On an ESPN list ranking the fits for the coordinator based on where he’s interviewed so far, the Lions came in second position only to the Atlanta Falcons. According to Michael Rothstein, there are several reasons the Lions could be a better fit than the majority of teams Bieniemy has spoken with.
“The Lions are looking for someone who has the ability to display leadership — even at a coordinator level — and promote a culture of unity with the incoming general manager. Bieniemy demonstrated that during the 2019 season, when he spoke with linebacker Reggie Ragland — a player not on his side of the ball — about his lack of playing time. Ragland said Bieniemy kept his spirits up, which Ragland appreciated. Eventually, Ragland started playing again and ended up with Detroit in 2020. Bieniemy’s potential offense would fit well with some of the Lions’ options, particularly tight end T.J. Hockenson. There’s a lot to like from Bieniemy, provided he is able to give good responses to some questions about his past, particularly about his banishment from Colorado’s campus for a year for harassing a parking lot attendant and his DUI in 2001. The Lions will want to avoid any surprises, especially after what happened with Matt Patricia when a 22-year-old sexual assault indictment came to light after he was hired.”
Leadership has been a big buzzword in the search, and Bieniemy brings plenty of that to the mix given how folks have vouched for him in the process. If he ends up winning the Lions over thanks to that, it will merely be another reason the team could have to hire him.
Bieniemy’s offensive abilities also could make him appealing to the Lions.
Lions Coaching Search Field Established
Detroit has started their interview process for their coaching job, and Bieniemy is merely one of the many contenders in the mix. The team has interviewed Bieniemy, Robert Saleh and incumbent Darrell Bevell for the job. Interviews could come with names such as Dan Campbell and Arthur Smith next week as well, adding an additional layer to the mix. It seems as if the Lions feel as if they have narrowed the focus for their boss to who those who they’ve talked to already. Barring a surprise, it doesn’t feel as if another name is coming into the mix.
Why Eric Bieniemy Could Fit Lions Best
While Bieniemy might not be the top candidate in the minds of many in Detroit, he is red hot across the league and makes sense for the Lions because he is an elite offensive mind. Detroit could use an offensive coach to lead them moving forward, and Bieniemy could be the ideal guy for the job thanks to his pedigree. The Lions need to have him on the top of the list and he should be the team’s leader in the clubhouse for the job thanks to what he can do with quarterbacks and an offense as well as being a solid leader. The Lions should be willing to wait however long it takes to get Bieniemy into the fold to lead the next generation of Lions football.
In the event the Lions want to keep Matthew Stafford, Bieniemy could be a great mind to help him over to the next level. Should the Lions start over at quarterback, he could help in that discussion as well. He fits both the rebuild and win now approach, which is what the Lions could be looking to mesh in the next few years.
Bieniemy has done a nice job with Kansas City’s offense through the years, and one of his criticisms would likely be the fact that Andy Reid has been an offensive genius during his time in the league.
Even in spite of that, the positives could outweigh the negatives in terms of his own candidacy.