Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has a new job, although he is still a step short of where he eventually wants to be.
Bieniemy, who has been on the Chiefs coaching staff for the past 10 seasons, has signed a multi-year deal to become the Washington Commanders offensive coordinator/assistant head coach. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported this Friday afternoon.
KC’s offensive coordinator position may not be open for long. NFL Networks Ian Rapoport reported that on Friday that Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy is “quickly emerging as the top choice” to replace Bieniemy as OC. NFL Networks Mike Garafolo also reported Nagy “had interest from other teams in recent weeks, but knew he would probably be considered” for Bieniemy’s job if he left KC.
This continues Bieniemy’s year-long quest to become an NFL head coach, as he should be able 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 ranked first, third, second, third and first in the NFL by advanced numbers at Football Outsiders; that offense was the basis for two World Championships, three Super Bowl trips, and five consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances in that time.
When Bieniemy was asked to interview for the Indianapolis Colts job in mid-January, he made it clear that his ambition was to become an NFL head coach.
“Do I believe I am 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 point now. It’s about making sure we get things done, and I’m doing my part by being accountable to those guys who count on me to be available, to be at my best when my best is needed.
According to a recent USA Today report, Bieniemy has applied for 15 head coaching positions with 14 teams during the last four hiring cycles. During that time, he spoke twice with the New York Jets.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has long been a public advocate for Bieniemy to get a head coaching job. In an interview this week, he echoed that position when asked if he pushed for Bieniemy to get one of the then remaining 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 coach not to.”
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt spoke a few days before the Super Bowl last week about his disappointment that Bieniemy was not given a head coaching opportunity anywhere else.
“At this point he may have gone through too many hiring cycles and it’s almost become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Hunt said, “that he’s not getting the chance.”
Last season, Nagy returned to the Chiefs staff after four years as Chicago Bears coach. Nagy also served as the Chiefs QB coach from 2013-2015 before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator alongside Brad Childress in 2016. The following year, Nagy was named Chiefs offensive coordinator; Bieniemy took over for him when he left the following season to become a Bears coach.