As the offseason draws closer for many of the NFL’s non-playoff contenders, the buzz surrounding a popular 2021 head coaching candidate, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, is once again picking up.
While many within the Chiefs facility, including head coach Andy Reid, have consistently thrown their support behind Bieniemy’s abilities to take the next step, another member of the NFL’s coaching fraternity has now gone to bat for the ex-pro running back and long-time coach.
During a Zoom press conference on Wednesday morning, head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs’ Week 14 opponent, suggested to reporters that he expects Bieniemy to be leading a new team in short time, otherwise “something is wrong” within the league.
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Flores: Dolphins Could Use ’14 Defenders’ to Stop Chiefs
The Dolphins second-year coach, who has his 8-4 squad on the verge of its first AFC playoff appearance since 2016, knows he and his staff have their hands full planning to slow down Kansas City’s dynamic offense this Sunday. He even joked that a few extra defenders might be necessary.
“Andy’s got every play in the history of the NFL,” said Flores, via NFL Update. “I wish we could have 14 defenders. That’d be nice.”
One thing that may work in the Dolphins’ favor is the Chiefs having to travel about 1,500 miles south, but with clear skies and a high temperature near 80 degrees expected in South Florida on Sunday, conditions will be ripe for an aerial assault from Patrick Mahomes and company.
With TE Travis Kelce (1,114) and WR Tyreek Hill (1,079) respectively ranked second and third in receiving yards to date, Flores knows he may need to fully commit to neutralizing at least one of Mahomes’ two-time All-Pro targets.
“Travis Kelce is a guy you might have to double-team,” Flores said, via The Palm Beach Post. “Travis is a guy who moves around the field. A very productive player.”
Is Travis Kelce the Best Non-QB in Football?
It’s no secret that Kelce is having a dominant regular season, even by his standards. With four games still left to play, the 31-year-old has recorded at least 8 catches and 100 receiving yards in four of Kansas City’s last five contests and is currently on track to set career-highs in receptions (103), yards (1,336) and touchdowns (10), all of which were posted in 2018.
Now the game’s most productive tight end, Kelce was on the receiving end of some seriously high praise from one ESPN analyst last week.
“[Travis] Kelce is the best player in football that’s not a quarterback,” Dan Orlovsky told the Dan Patrick Show on December 3.
“He brings so much offense to their offense before the ball ever gets snapped,” Orlovsky continued. “The amount of time they place him in specific positions to get the coverage is such an advantage because it doesn’t just affect the outcome of the play after the snap.”
The retired 12-year NFL quarterback even went as far as to say that Kelce’s on-field value surpasses that of Los Angeles Rams’ five-time All Pro DT Aaron Donald, who has already posted 11.0 sacks for the fourth consecutive season despite being double-teamed more than almost any player in the NFL.
“As great as Aaron [Donald] is, and he’s remarkable, but he doesn’t create defense as much before the snap as Kelce creates offense before the snap.”