Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Why isn’t Eric Bieniemy head coach yet? Andy Reid and NFL players call delay ‘shocking’, ‘ridiculous’

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Seven NFL head coach positions were open after the 2020 season. Eric Bieniemy interviewed six of them. None hired the offensive chiefs coordinator.

It’s a continuation of an ongoing NFL story about hiring or lacking black head coaches. Bieniemy burst into head coaching consideration a season ago before being offered a job, and it was a repeat this time around with even more interviews. Former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith called the situation “ridiculous,” while Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill said “very shocking.”

“The only thing I can do is be my most authentic self, that’s who I am, okay? I can only be me,” Bieniemy told reporters Tuesday before Super Bowl 55. “Some teams have to want me. On top of that, there has to be some kind of collaboration, to make sure the chemistry is right. So for some reason this chemistry hasn’t been a fit, it hasn’t. there hasn’t been this opportunity to log in. But that’s okay. “

Bieniemy has been with the Chiefs since 2013, first as a running backs coach and now as an offensive coordinator since 2018. He has guided the Kansas City offense to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

In the three years that Bieniemy took over as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, the Kansas City offense has scored more touchdowns (178) than any other team in the NFL. This includes Patrick Mahomes ‘MVP season in 2018 and Mahomes’ Super Bowl MVP honors in February 2020.

“(Bieniemy’s) record speaks for itself,” Mahomes said in a radio interview with 610 FM in Kansas City. “The type of man he is, the way he can control and be a locker room leader and the way he trains us and organizes projects. If he doesn’t (get a job as a head coach), people are crazy. “

MORE: Eric Bieniemy named Sporting News Coordinator of the Year

Seen apart from other options, Bieniemy has two possible hits on his resume: He’s never been a head coach, and he’s never officially called games in the NFL. Kansas City’s playing duties fall on head coach Andy Reid, although he has repeatedly given Bieniemy a lot of credit for the Chiefs’ explosive attack. Reid and Bieniemy also pointed out that this was not a solo show for the Kansas City appeal, but rather a collaborative operation.

Prior to Super Bowl 55, Reid didn’t talk too much about the fact that Bieniemy wasn’t hired, but said he would look into the matter.

“I have had the opportunity to speak to many owners or general managers who have worked for the interviewer, chairmen, etc.” Reid told reporters on Tuesday. “So I’ll be curious to hear their comments on how he did or why he wasn’t chosen.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell insisted on the lack of hiring of minority league coaches in this year’s cycle, said “it was not what we expected.”

“It’s not what we expect for the future,” Goodell told reporters Thursday. “We have to look at what went well and what went wrong.… These are not the results that we wanted. We want it to be a natural process.”

When the Chiefs take on the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, they’ll face one of the the most diverse coaching teams in the history of the NFL. That includes offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, the former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback.

Leftwich, unlike Bieniemy, hasn’t even been interviewed for head coaching positions this offseason despite leading a 5,000-yard pass attack in 2019 with Jameis Winston and then switching to working with Tom Brady in 2020. Bruce Arians, the Tampa Bay head coach, said he was “very, very pissed off” on the lack of consideration for Leftwich.

“We don’t have answers because these things don’t depend on us”, Leftwich recently told NFL.com. “It’s not us who make the decisions, so it has nothing to do with us. We get asked about it, but it’s hard for us because we can’t speak for someone. else. You can only speak for your part that you have in her, your ability to coach, your ability to lead men. To be honest with you, I don’t even think about it, because the pleasure that I I’m here, and the group of people I have here, allow me to focus on what I need to do to put these guys in a position to be successful. “

Bieniemy, through all the talk about his place in the future of NFL chief coaching, has mostly kept his eyes straight ahead. Mahomes said there had been “no difference” in Bieniemy’s behavior in recent weeks despite job rejections.

There is one more Super Bowl to play and one title to repeat. And with no team hired Bieniemy, he’ll likely be back in Kansas City next season, potentially with thoughts of three bogs in mind. There hasn’t been a more potent offense in football during Bieniemy’s time as the offensive coordinator, and he works to make sure that stays true.

“I learned a long time ago to learn to persevere in the face of adversity,” Bieniemy said Tuesday. “But the beautiful thing is that I don’t have to persevere so much – because that will take care of itself – it’s to make sure that everything that happens with Eric Bieniemy doesn’t become a distraction in the pursuit of our dreams and goals. “


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