Less than a year ago, Eric Bieniemy faced a serious decision. Was he ready to enter a second decade with the team with the Kansas City Chiefs knowing a head coaching gig would likely continue to elude him or step out and take a risk on a lateral move hoping to parlay that into the opportunity he's been craving for so long.
One year later, Bieniemy must be wondering if he made the right call.
Bieniemy, of course, had decided to leave the Chiefs after 10 seasons on the sidelines with Andy Reid and company for a spot on Ron Rivera's staff in the nation's capital. Rivera had extended an opportunity to join the Washington Commanders as his new offensive coordinator and it looked like a potential fit. For Rivera, it was a jolt of external energy and perspective for a head coach needing something to happen. For Bieniemy, it was some new ground upon which he could differentiate himself away from Reid's shadow and influence.
It sounds like Bieniemy is one-and-done with the Commanders.
Unfortunately, the last year has been a mostly dismal one in the District of Columbia. The Commanders won only four games all year after the team sold at the deadline (both Montez Sweat and Chase Young were sent packing). Bieniemy ended up with mixed results on offense with Sam Howell at the helm and the brightest moment for fans was the sale of the team away from Dan Snyder.
Following the season, the Commanders cleared out the building and handed the keys to Adam Peters, the new general manager in charge after years with the San Francisco 49ers. His first head coaching hire was Dan Quinn, who is now filling out his staff, and while the position of offensive coordinator remains officially open, the latest news is that Kliff Kingsbury is ready to fill the role.
At this point, we're pretty sure that Bieniemy isn't going to want to take a demotion for the sake of sticking around.
That leaves us with questions as to where Bieniemy goes next. He's still accomplished enough to warrant a head coaching role, but this year's openings have all been filled (yet again). Now O.C. roles are being claimed and the game of musical chairs begins once again. At the very best, it looks as if Bieniemy will have to take another lateral move. Or perhaps he goes the collegiate route to try something different.
There is the possibility that K.C. could give him a place to land for a year in the wake of so many changes, but how many cooks are needed in this kitchen? It's hard to say. But nothing has played out as anyone could have hoped for Bieniemy to this point. It's frustrating to watch a qualified man chase these sorts of opps on an annual basis.