Eric Bieniemy met with members of the media in Washington for his introductory press conference as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator with the commanders.
A big question that Bieniemy was asked several times during the presser: Why leave a Super Bowl-winning organization to come to coach in Washington? It’s a question many Chiefs fans have also been asking about their offensive coordinator over the past five seasons. Was his decision to leave related to his path to becoming head coach in the future? While Bieniemy clearly still has aspirations of being a head coach in the NFL, he seemed to suggest that he was just too comfortable in Kansas City. As a result, he looked for a new challenge.
“In 10 years, we’ve had great success,” Bieniemy said. “For the past five years I have been the offensive coordinator and we have had great success. It’s been 10 years. I have been blessed and lucky to have this opportunity and to share that space with amazing people. One thing you learn in this profession is that convenience is the enemy of progress. When all is said and done, I don’t like to feel comfortable. I am all about accepting challenges and moving forward. So, this presents a challenge for me. It’s also a challenge to come and work with such a good coach (Ron Rivera). But what’s more, I’m willing to embrace this journey.
When asked when he realized his next challenge might be outside of the organization he’s been with for the past 10 seasons, Bieniemy explained that he had an idea that leaving Kansas City would always be his next step. Both as head coach and in the role he now holds, he had little left to accomplish with the boss organization. His offense had won the AFC West for five consecutive seasons. They had hosted five consecutive AFC Championship Games, winning three of them. He was a two-time Super Bowl champion. There is little you can add to that resume while staying in the same place.
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“Well, first of all, you have to be able to process information, live in the moment, but also plan for your future,” Bieniemy said. “Did I have an idea that I was going to leave the Kansas City Chiefs? Yes, I had an idea that I was going to leave. You always imagine it differently, but like I said, I’ve been there for 10 years. I accomplished a lot of things there. It was a great organisation. It was a great moment. There was a lot of family that was created there. But now it’s about widening my circles and expanding and getting to know my new family and making an impact and helping this team and this organization achieve goals and things that we want to strive for.
“Did I have a plan? Yes i did it. But that wasn’t going to have any impact on what we were trying to strive for over the course of the last season. It hasn’t become a distraction. But when all was said and done, it was time to move on. It was time for me to go and accept this new challenge and embrace it.
When asked about when he knew he was coming to Washington, DC, Bieniemy said it happened quickly after the team got their win in Super Bowl LVII. It was not an easy decision for him and filled with much thought, but as he repeated it during his presser, he knew it was time to move on from Kansas City.
“It was shortly after the Super Bowl,” Bieniemy said. “We had everything organized and I was ready. Now obviously during that process and the last couple of weeks have been physically and emotionally exhausting. In a good way. Because we’ve gone from winning a Super Bowl to going back to the city, to acclimatization, to exit meetings, to parade. But when I returned to Kansas City I knew what was in store. I knew it was time to move on. You talk about the different waves of emotions that I experienced. Only have the opportunity to say hello to the players. Spend that time during the parade just feeling the emotions of the fans. So, I knew what I wanted to do and that’s why I’m here.
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The story originally appeared in Chiefs Wire