NFL rule changes say head coaching interviews can start Wednesday.
According to NFL reporter Tom Pelissero, Wednesday could be a very important day for Eric Bieniemy (and any other potential head coaching candidate on the Kansas City Chiefs staff). That’s because any candidate for an open head coaching gig can be interviewed starting on Wed., December 23.
Given the COVID pandemic and the protocols in place for the NFL to conduct its business and carry out the calendar, both on and off the field, adjustments need to be made. One need for teams who are going to have an opening at head coach this offseason is the ability to interview candidates. For those who are gainfully employed by another team, it doesn’t make sense to force players to sit out for several days before joining a new team or restricting free agent visits only to allow head coaching candidates to waltz in and out of team facilities.
The NFL’s process for new coach hirings were unveiled late Tuesday night. Starting in December, coaches who aren’t connected to any other team (think Dallas hiring Mike McCarthy to coach the Cowboys after taking a year off) were allowed to be interviewed virtually without any limitations.
For teams interested in a coach who is currently employed by another team, instead of waiting on the regular season to conclude, those teams may now conduct initial interviews with their preferred candidate—for head coaching candidates only. Interviews can only last two hours, and the candidate’s team must give permission for the coach to interview.
For a candidate like Bieniemy, who has been the Chiefs offensive coordinator for three seasons, head coach Andy Reid is not going to have any problem allowing his right hand man to interview anywhere he wants, since he’s been a vocal champion for him in the marketplace for the last two years. In addition the league has adopted changes to the Rooney Rule which will require teams to now interview two minority head coaching candidates instead of one. Thus, expect to hear plenty of Bieniemy interest and perhaps news in the days to come.
Bieniemy should be a head coaching favorite after interviewing for several jobs over the last two offseasons. He’s been considered a favorite to land the Houston Texans gig, and is reportedly in a package deal with general manager John Dorsey if teams are interested. It will be interesting to see how the rumors shake out, but Bieniemy deserves a chance to lead his own team.