Romeo Crennel gave some encouragement and advice for Eric Bieniemy.
Romeo Crennel knows a few things about being in Eric Bieniemy’s shoes. The former Kansas City Chiefs head coach was, for a very long time, a potential minority hire for a franchise who had earned plenty of acclaim at the coordinator level. Time and again, he’d earn interviews and, many such times, he was also left standing as the one without the job offer.
These days, the head coaching spotlight is on Bieniemy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator for a unit that has turned heads around the league for the last couple seasons with Patrick Mahomes under center. Bieniemy took over as O.C. from Matt Nagy when he left for the Chicago Bears in 2018, and since that time, he’s earned several interviews with approximately one quarter of the NFL’s franchises. Somehow he still remains employed in K.C.
This feels like Bieniemy’s year, the offseason in which someone has to take the chance in hiring him. That said, it felt the same way last year when four of five NFL openings gave him in an interview (the Dallas Cowboys were the lone team who didn’t offer him a chance). Yet in each instance, a recycled NFL head coach (e.g. Ron Rivera) or a hot college coach (e.g. Matt Rhule) was given preference.
Crennel, who is back in a head coaching role—at least on an interim basis—for the Houston Texans, was recently asked about Bieniemy’s coaching chances. He told reporters of his own experience, that he himself had 8 failed head coaching interviews, and said he believed it’s only a matter of time.
"“When you talk about not having gotten a chance yet, the fact that you’re getting chances and getting interviews means that people are talking about you. Eventually, it’s going to happen for you. I think it’ll happen for him as well because, I mean, I had eight interviews before I got a head job, so just keep working, keep doing what you’re doing, winning Super Bowls and go on.”"
Of course, NFL franchises are not going to want to hire Bieniemy if he’s going to follow in Crennel’s shoes, given that Crennel’s win percentage as a head coach is .348. He does have the Texans faring better than they were before firing Bill O’Brien (they are 4-5 under Crennel), but Crennel’s last official head coaching job was in K.C. where his 2-14 single season led to the Andy Reid era and ownership of the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Bieniemy does, however, deserve his own shot and he deserves it sooner than later. Andy Reid speaks highly of his ability to lead, and his players love him. He’s also learned from one of the NFL’s most successful franchises of the last decade for the last 8 seasons as both positional coach and at the coordinator level. Given his Super Bowl experience (and maybe more of that to come), EB should finally receive the opportunity for which he’s been waiting.