The Chiefs have been to five consecutive AFC championships, making it to the Super Bowl three times and winning twice. In each of those five years, Eric Bieniemy served as the team’s offensive coordinator.
So why can’t he get a chance to be a head coach?
Various theories have been floated over the past five hiring cycles, from past off-field problems to lousy interviews to the misconception that Bieniemy deserves less credit for offense because offense guru Andy Reid runs the show.
That didn’t stop Bieniemy’s two Kansas City predecessors from getting head coaching jobs. Doug Pederson was Reid’s first offensive coordinator with the Chiefs. Pederson became the head coach of the Eagles in 2016. Matt Nagy replaced Pederson. After two seasons, Nagy became the head coach of the Bears.
So why can’t Bieniemy find a job?
Here’s a theory, inspired by an excellent look at the NFL’s relationship to social justice issues from the latest episode of HBO’s Game Theory with Bomani Jones. Although the NFL donates many millions to groups that advocate for racial equality, the NFL keeps a very low profile when it comes to such issues.
The goal is to appease those who want the NFL to do something without pissing off those who would consider the NFL “woke” or whatever. Therefore, with so many people in the media arguing that Bieniemy has a chance to be a coach and suggesting that the failure to do so traces back to the NFL’s dismal hiring record when it comes to diversity, some owners may fear that hiring of Bieniemy would lead a very vocal 30 percent of the fan base to suggest that the team has surrendered to the “wake crowd,” instead of hiring the best person for the job.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t make sense. Bieniemy earned the chance to be a head coach. He wouldn’t have to demonstrate his attacking ability with another team to seal the deal.
I have a feeling that even if Bieniemy leaves and does well with a team whose manager has a defensive background, there will be another reason not to hire Bieniemy. Or for no reason at all.
He simply won’t find a job, year after year and cycle after cycle until he finally retires.
Eric Bieniemy’s Inability to Get Head Coaching Job Remains Confusing Originally Appeared on Pro Football Talk