Eric Bieniemy is leaving the Kansas City Chiefs after 10 years for the Washington Commanders.
Despite being synonymous with Andy Reid’s run in Kansas City, Eric Bieniemy has decided to head back east to the nation’s capital.
Bieniemy interviewed the DC commanders for the offensive coordinator gig, figured it out, and is now going to the DMV to work for Ron Rivera. Rivera is a former assistant to Reid from his Philadelphia days, but there’s more to this lateral move for Bieniemy than one might think. Understanding why you leave the Kansas City Chiefs after winning the Super Bowl is complex.
It’s about coming out from behind the huge shadow Reid casts as an offensive-minded genius so that Bieniemy can finally have his opportunity to become an NFL head coach. Frankly, he never should have done that, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And to be honest, going to a decent team like Washington is a great place to prove everyone wrong.
Here’s what happened to Bieniemy who left the AFC West giant for dysfunction in the NFC East.
Why did Eric Bieniemy leave the Kansas City Chiefs for the Washington Commanders?
For the previous five seasons, Bieniemy served as Reid’s offensive coordinator. He had been Reid’s running backs coach five years ago. Though he was promoted from within, Bieniemy never had the brilliance that Reid’s other offensive disciples often had, mostly because he wasn’t a former quarterbacks coach and wasn’t known for playing calls. This has always been the Reid thing in Kansas City.
For most of his time as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, Bieniemy was seen as a viable head coaching candidate. He landed interviews for the job three offseasons in a row during the postseason portion of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 NFL seasons. Sadly, he didn’t have a team of his own to lead. He was not seen as a candidate to lead any of the vacant teams.
While until recently, Bieniemy had a bad reputation for not interviewing well. That may have cost him a gig in the past, but far less qualified candidates were given opportunities, many of whom were completely over their skis as NFL head coaches. Regardless, Bieniemy is a two-time Super Bowl champion offensive coordinator who is willing to bet on himself to get what he really wants.
Not only is Bieniemy stepping out of Reid’s shadow, he succeeds blatantly call games in Washington, as Rivera is a defensive minded head coach. If he were to succeed in Washington, Bieniemy would get way more credit than he ever got, or he would get it in Kansas City…thanks to Reid. He had been inside five consecutive one-year contracts as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. Let it sink…
Bieniemy will also add the title of assistant head coach to his resume in Washington, which should only help matters as he pursues a head coaching gig. That, coupled with the security of a multi-year deal AND the ability to call plays for the Commanders, was too much for Biniemy to turn down.
While that kind of relationship may have ultimately served both parties, Bieniemy never had a buyout into his chiefs coordinator contract. If he bombed at any time, the leaders could cut ties with him and not feel the financial consequences. These one-year deals have always hinted that Bieniemy would be in the mix to lead his own team in due course, or potentially make a lateral move.
To be totally honest, this isn’t a lateral move. It’s his time to shine. It’s his turn to run the show. If the Commanders get our attention and make the NFC playoffs, we’re probably looking at the next head coach of a bad NFL franchise in desperate need of some offensive spark. There is also another huge factor in this for Bieniemy beyond creative control and a buyout…
With ownership evolving, one would think that whoever buys the team from Daniel Snyder is going to want their own boy. You are potentially looking at a real coaching free agent in Bieniemy if Rivera’s staff is busted. Heck, he might even be a possible candidate for promotion from within… to head coach. Regardless, Bieniemy still left football heaven to carry this boulder-sized chip on his back.
NFC East biases aside, it’s safe to say that all third parties are rooting for Bieniemy to get his.