he last interview Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy had for a head coaching job during the 2022 hiring cycle was with the New Orleans Saints.
The two parties spent “nearly eight hours” together on Sunday, February 6, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The next day, the Saints promoted defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to be their head coach instead of hiring Bieniemy.
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Even though Bieniemy has gone another year without being hired as a head coach, that doesn’t remove the possibility of Bieniemy leaving Kansas City to pursue other opportunities in 2022. Bieniemy’s contract will expire with the Chiefs this offseason, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero tweeted February 7.
“So after getting passed over for head coaching opportunities again, Bieniemy could either return to Kansas City or be a hot free-agent OC target elsewhere,” Pelissero wrote.
Bieniemy’s Potential Replacements Suggested
The idea of Bieniemy leaving Kansas City may concern some given how he has helped develop the Chiefs into one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL since his arrival in 2018. In those four seasons, the Chiefs have been in the top six in the league in yards per game, leading the league twice in that period. And they’ve been to three straight AFC championship games and won a Super Bowl.
Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson suggested two coaches who could be on head coach Andy Reid’s radar to replace Bieniemy, 52, should he not return to the Chiefs in 2022.
“Because Mike Kafka was hired as the New York Giants’ offensive coordinator, coach Andy Reid may need replacements for him and Bieniemy,” Wilson wrote on February 8. “Former Chiefs offensive coordinator and Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy is high on Reid’s list of potential replacements, per sources. In addition, Reid is intrigued by Kentucky offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Liam Coen.”
Nagy was the Chiefs quarterback coach from 2013 to 2015 and the team’s offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017, the final season in which Alex Smith was the quarterback in Kansas City. During that season, Nagy schemed up an offense that ranked sixth in points and fifth in yards but also first in giveaways, according to Pro Football Reference.
He was hired as Chicago’s head coach in 2018 and held the job for four seasons before being fired on January 10.
If he were to return to Kansas City, Nagy would be working in a different set of circumstances this time around, especially given that the Chiefs now have Patrick Mahomes, one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Bringing back a coach who’s familiar with Reid and the organization could be the Chiefs’ best option if they chose not to rehire Bieniemy.
Reid on Lack of Promotion for Bieniemy: ‘It Disappoints Me’
In January, Reid spoke about the fact that Bieniemy still hadn’t received a head coaching job in the NFL despite his resume.
“These guys are unselfish guys. EB has had that the last couple years, and it disappoints me that someone hasn’t hired him, obviously, because he’s so good,” Reid said on January 14. “I’m hoping that takes place this year.
“But, you know, the guys, they’re not going to let it be a distraction. They’re going to defer to the team and what that’s all about and then kind of let the chips fall where they may. I’m sure between Covid and our long season it hasn’t been real beneficial for EB in having the opportunity, but I think this year he’s going to end up with one.”