Another year, and another coaching interview circuit. Why does Chiefs Eric Bieniemy continue to be passed up?
This seems to be a relatively tense subject in Chiefs Kingdom, and somewhat so in the national sphere as well. Let me start by saying this is simply my opinion, as I have no insider knowledge regarding the handful of teams looking for head coaches.
Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator and de facto head of one of the best offenses in the league over the last several seasons, is now trending in the wrong direction for the second season in a row with regards to head coaching opportunities.
According to Sportsbetting.com’s odds, he is not the favorite for any of the vacant head coaching positions except for the Detroit Lions. He’s not even the second favorite for most, the only two with him in that position being the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans. Unfortunately, the Lions appear to be one of the least appealing openings.
This seems crazy based off the sentiment at the beginning of this season. So, what is really going on here?
In today’s day and age it’s easy to assume malevolent forces are at work. We can look around and, depending on your viewpoint, find a number of high profile characters on which to project malevolent intentions. It’s a habit at this point, unfortunately, regardless of the situation.
Is there an objective reason why this all might be happening though? I think there is and I think it’s pretty simple. Let’s look at Andy Reid‘s coaching tree as this seems to be the primary argument. Andy’s tree seems to have been successful right?
Some have and some have not. In the case of Sean McDermott, Ron Rivera, and John Harbaugh, all have been extremely successful. In terms of more recent examples, like Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy, the jury is still out or they have been fired.
Let’s take a look at the first group. Andy Reid is an excellent leader, and often takes substantial part in his team’s offense. He designs the overall scheme and calls the plays on game day. While he might be involved in the defense, his classic stance is a hands-off approach. It’s conceivably in part why he fired Bob Sutton. Near the end, reportedly, he was having to expend energy helping Bob Sutton with his defense.
The three successful coaches in question were all either defensive coaches or special teams coaches under Reid. McDermott spent time as the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2009-2010 before spending another six seasons in that role for the Carolina Panthers.
Ron Rivera was a defensive position coach for Reid before multiple stints as a defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears and the San Diego Chargers (at the time). John Harbaugh spent 10 seasons with the Eagles, nine of those as the special teams coordinator.
My point is, all of these candidates had direct control overall over a unit and reaped the perceived benefits of that unit’s success.