Eric Bieniemy‘s name should have already started circulating as a potential head coach replacement but it hasn’t. Our worry is that it won’t.
At this point, the yearly cycle of hearing Bieniemy’s name linked with head coaching openings has become an annual tradition. This will be the fourth year that Bieniemy’s name will be bandied about by someone, with the stock of the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator reaching its fever pitch in each of the last two years.
Following the Super Bowl campaigns (or even during) in 2019 and 2020, Bieniemy was the hottest name in potential head coaching circles. He came from excellent stock alongside Andy Reid since 2013 and had built a solid amount of experience at the coordinator level. Reid was pushing him to get hired, and his players swore by him. He’s a strong leader with great charisma and the Chiefs sustained success speaks for itself.
At some point, however, the shine began to wear off for a guy who never had a chance. When one third of the NFL interviews a man and he still fails to get a single job, people began to question the man instead of the system—fair or not.
We should be reading about Eric Bieniemy‘s interview schedule at this point and we’re not, which is unfair
Now heading into yet another carousel of head coach openings, it’s time to hear Bieniemy’s name again. So far, however, we’re really not hearing the typical rumors linking him to various openings. There are still head coach openings that will be created, and we’re just now on the leading edge of the entire process, but that hasn’t stopped other coaches from being mentioned in conjunction with jobs.
Jim Harbaugh is being discussed as a potential import from the college ranks. Dan Quinn is a hot name to get a second chance. Jim Caldwell is interviewing in Jacksonville, as is Byron Leftwich and even former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
In the midst of all of this, we’re not even reading rumors that Bieniemy is in the running for any of this. Would the Chiefs give EB permission to interview with someone even in the midst of a postseason run? You’d better believe it.
Linebackers coach Matt House already has a new job waiting for him after the Chiefs current run through the postseason (as defensive coordinator for the LSU Tigers), but somehow Bieniemy can’t sniff a single interview despite another first-place finish and likely deep playoff run with the Chiefs. Something isn’t right with that picture (and it has nothing to do with House).
We can’t make heads or tails of why Bieniemy was never hired by someone in the first place. It makes even less to see how his star has faded before it ever had a chance to shine. Hopefully one team will surprise us when they start to open up their own coaching search—perhaps the Minnesota Vikings or Denver Broncos or Chicago Bears—but we’ve been here before. However, any hope begins with an interview, and we’d love to see EB get the opportunity he deserves.