“If E.B. is not a head coach here soon, something’s wrong.”
That was Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores on Wednesday when asked about the Kansas City Chiefs offense, specifically Eric Bieniemy, one of the masterminds behind the high-octane unit which posted another 448 total yards on Sunday in a 33-27 win over Flores’ club.
A new report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday morning confirmed previous reports that the Houston Texans are hot on Bieniemy’s trail, but also introduced a new possible frontrunner in the race for the AFC South coaching gig — Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Jed Hughes, hired to assist Houston in its search for a new HC, recently presented Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer with a strong recommendation as someone who deserves serious consideration for the Texan’s HC job, per sources. Many believe KC OC Eric Bieniemy a strong candidate.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 13, 2020
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The story of the 51-year-old ex-NFL running back turned Chiefs offensive coordinator has been the subject of increasing speculation in recent years after being passed up for a head coaching job during the past two hiring cycles. With 12-1 Kansas City rolling toward the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a potential first-round playoff bye week, Bieniemy may once again have a brief window to interview for interested clubs including the Texans, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Biemiemy, John Dorsey Could be ‘Package Deal’
As is the case with many franchises in the early stages of a rebuilding process, the hiring of a new head coach and general manager often go hand-in-hand.
A vacant GM position could be a requirement for any serious Bieniemy suitors this offseason, according to a December 2 report from FanSided’s national NFL columnist Matt Lombardo that Bieniemy and ex-Cleveland Browns GM John Dorsey could be a package deal.
The 60-year-old veteran executive has some close connections to Kansas City’s offensive coordinator, including four seasons spent working together during Dorsey’s stint as the team’s GM from 2013-17. During those years, Dorsey oversaw some major personnel decisions, including the signing of RT Mitchell Schwartz and the trade-up to draft Patrick Mahomes in April 2017 — two months before his dismissal from the Chiefs’ front office.
Lombardo’s report also confirmed that the Texans are considered to be among the top three landing spots for Bieniemy in 2021:
Three situations that sources around the league believe could be ideal fits for a Dorsey-Bieniemy partnership are the Houston Texans (the chance to work with quarterback Deshaun Watson), the Jacksonville Jaguars (stable, patient ownership, and the possibility of molding a team around Justin Fields), and the Atlanta Falcons (one of the NFL’s most respected owners, a dynamic offense, and quarterback who still has some upside).
Interestingly enough, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora has since given credence to the Dorsey-Bieniemy combination, while Texans star QB Deshaun Watson and S Justin Reid have also expressed interest in pairing up with Andy Reid’s top offensive assistant.
Jason La Canfora said the following things about the #Texans on NFL Today:
Former Browns GM John Dorsey is in play for the GM job
Dorsey is a favorite of Korn-Ferry
Deshaun Watson "has already gone to ownership and said he'd support (Eric) Bieniemy to be his next head coach"
— Cody Stoots (@Cody_Stoots) December 6, 2020
Chiefs Could Add Draft Picks for Bieniemy Loss
While Bieniemy’s looming departure would be a net loss for the defending Super Bowl champions, the timing could actually benefit the Chiefs this time around thanks to a recently approved league rule.
Aiming to establish a system that “rewards clubs for developing minority employees who move to the position of Primary Football Executive or Head Coach with other clubs,” the new resolution gives any team losing an eligible employee a third-round compensatory draft pick in each of the following two drafts for a hired head coach or general manager, or a third-round compensatory pick in the ensuing three drafts for two employees hired to both positions.
Should they lose Bieniemy, the Chiefs would stand to add a potential top-100 pick in 2021 and 2022, which would bring next April’s total to nine draft choices as of writing.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, CO. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join our Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!