Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has a new job, though he’s still one step below where he ultimately wants to be.
Bieniemy, who has been with the Chiefs coaching staff for the past 10 seasons, signed a multi-year deal to be the offensive coordinator/assistant head coach for the Washington Commanders, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Friday afternoon.
The KC offensive coordinator position may not be open for long. NFL Network Ian Rapoport reported on Friday that Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy “quickly emerges as the top pick” to replace Bieniemy as OC. NFL Network Mike Garafolo also reported it Nagy “had interest from other teams in recent weeks but knew he was probably in line” for Bieniemy’s job if he left KC.
This continues Bieniemy’s long quest to become an NFL head coach, as he should get to run his own offense with Washington under defensive-minded head coach Ron Rivera.
Bieniemy spent his first five seasons with the Chiefs as a running backs coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018. Under his leadership, KC’s offense has ranked first, third, second, third and first in the NFL according to advanced issues of Football Outsiders; That offense set the stage for two world championships, three Super Bowl trips, and five consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances during that span.
Bieniemy, when asked in mid-January about an interview for the Indianapolis Colts job, made it clear that becoming an NFL head coach was his ambition.
“Do I think I’m qualified? Yes, I do,” Bieniemy said on Jan. 18, the week of the Chiefs’ first playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. “But that’s not the problem right now. The issue is making sure we take care of business and I’m doing my part to be accountable to those guys who are counting on me to be available, to be my best when my best is needed.
According to a recent USA Today report, Bieniemy has interviewed for 15 head coaching positions with 14 teams over the past four hiring cycles. During that time, he spoke to the New York Jets twice.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has long been a public advocate for Bieniemy to get a head coaching job. In an interview this week, he reiterated that position when asked if he was pushing for Bieniemy to get one of the remaining available NFL head coach or coordinator positions.
“There’s no reason he shouldn’t get one of these jobs,” Reid said. “He’s too good a football manager not to.”
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt spoke just days before the Super Bowl last week about his disappointment that Bieniemy didn’t get a chance to coach elsewhere.
“At this point, maybe she’s been through too many hiring cycles and almost become a little self-fulfilling prophecy,” Hunt said, “that she’s not taking the opportunity.”
Last season, Nagy returned to the Chiefs staff after spending four years as head coach of the Chicago Bears. Nagy also served as the Chiefs QB coach from 2013-15 before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator with Brad Childress in 2016. The following year, Nagy was named the Chiefs offensive coordinator; Bieniemy took over for him when he left to become the head coach of the Bears the following season.