Why isn’t Eric Bieniemy a head coach but?
Eric Bieniemy nonetheless isn’t a head coach. The NFL hiring cycle ended Tuesday afternoon with the Arizona Cardinals finalizing a take care of Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. It’s a captivating distinction, contemplating three days in the past Bieniemy was credited as being the architect behind an offense that dominated Gannon’s protection within the second half of the Tremendous Bowl, profitable a second ring within the course of.
This teaching cycle ends with 5 head coaches being introduced on, solely one in every of whom is black. The league continues to supply alternatives and leaps of religion to white coaches with out glowing resumes, with excuses why Bieniemy hasn’t gotten his shot but. It comes lower than a yr after Chiefs head coach Andy Reid requested league homeowners why his offensive coordinator hasn’t been given alternatives.
11 months in the past, Andy Reid stood up in a privileged session at NFL homeowners conferences and passionately and instantly requested league homeowners why Eric Bieniemy hadn’t gotten a head teaching job. Right here we’re, one other teaching cycle full, and EB nonetheless hasn’t gotten a suggestion.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) February 14, 2023
Each time questions are raised about Bieniemy not getting an opportunity there are nebulous, third-hand rumors about him not having a superb relationship with gamers within the lock room. A lot of that is primarily based off an argument with Patrick Mahomes, which Mahomes himself downplayed and dismissed.
In terms of Bieniemy it’s as if individuals have by no means heard of gamers and coaches having friction earlier than.
A part of that is due to Andy Reid, however that’s a horrible justification
One of many greatest potential causes Bieniemy hasn’t gotten an opportunity is as a result of he’s caught in Reid’s orbit. Too typically the Chiefs coach is given all the credit score for Kansas Metropolis’s success, with Bieniemy being handled as an afterthought.
Reid is aware of this in addition to anybody, hinting at occasions that it is likely to be greatest for Bieniemy to go away and pursue a job with a unique group so it will probably really grow to be “his present,” with out being caught in Reid’s shadow. Whereas this can be a appropriate assertion, it’s ridiculous how that is utilized to Bieniemy in isolation — or how particularly it retains being utilized to black coordinators.
This identical reasoning was given as to why Byron Leftwich did get extra alternatives following Tampa Bay’s Tremendous Bowl win, with Arians largely being considered because the architect. In the meantime offensive coordinators the likes of Shane Steichen, Josh McDaniels and Nathanial Hackett all obtained jobs, none of whom being inexorably linked to their head coaches in the identical method.
Bieniemy shattered any doubts of his potential this season
A routine critique of the Chiefs offense as a complete in recent times is this concept of “how powerful may it’s?” Primarily foisting credit score on Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill and questioning how a lot work needed to be executed on the offensive facet with an offensive expertise base like that.
This season shattered these doubts. Not solely did the Chiefs have their greatest offensive season underneath Mahomes, however they had been compelled to finish adapt their system with out Hill and play a really completely different sport. If you happen to watch Kansas Metropolis a yr in the past to now you’ll see simply how a lot work was executed re-writing the playbook and modifying schemes to include swing passes to working backs and make the most of Kelce extra to mitigate the lack of Hill’s YAC potential.
On prime of this Bieniemy proved he’s a grasp of in-game adjustment in the course of the Tremendous Bowl, as he devised the second half plan to assault the Eagles’ protection in a different way following halftime — which opened up the sport and led to the Chiefs’ profitable. Instantly following the sport Reid gave all of the reward to his offensive coordinator for flipping the script.
Bieniemy stays the very best offensive coordinator within the NFL, however retains getting handed over
This a part of the dialogue is hard, as a result of the offensive coaches employed throughout this cycle made sense for what groups had been on the lookout for. Shane Steichen’s sturdy method to the bottom sport marries nicely with the Colts’ roster, the Broncos wanted a celebrity head coach to generate buzz with solely Sean Payton becoming the invoice, whereas Carolina had been determined for head teaching expertise following Matt Rhule, necessitating Frank Reich.
Nonetheless, after we return a yr it’s right here we actually see the disparate nature between how Bieniemy was handled by NFL groups in comparison with different coaches. In 2022 we noticed Josh McDaniels, Mike McDaniel, Nathanial Hackett, Kevin O’Connell and Brian Daboll all land jobs from offensive coordinator positions, and arguably solely Daboll had a resume that stood as much as Bieniemy’s.
That’s to not say all these coaches are unhealthy. Hell, of that group actually solely Josh McDaniels and Hackett didn’t deserve getting an opportunity — however the routine scrutiny Bieniemy is put underneath merely doesn’t apply to different coaches. It’s as if overwhelming justification is made for why Bieniemy isn’t price hiring, as an alternative of the plain: No one is a greater offensive thoughts within the NFL.
What’s subsequent for Eric Bieniemy?
Bieniemy signed a one-year deal to remain in Kansas Metropolis for the 2022 season, which means successfully he’s free to take one other job — which many imagine he’ll do. Naturally the Chiefs would welcome him again brazenly, however at this level the system isn’t working, as a result of he’s not getting an opportunity to be a head coach.
The weird ingredient to that is that there’s clearly some type of bias working towards him. If this was a good course of you might see him going to a different workforce, having offensive success, and proving he didn’t simply win due to Mahomes and Reid. Nonetheless, if this was a fiar course of he’d have already got a job primarily based on what he’s confirmed.
There are some offensive jobs nonetheless open. One to look at can be in Carolina. The final field to verify can be growing a rookie quarterback, and the Panthers have already got a hell of an offensive braintrust in place minus a coordinator to run the present. If Bieniemy is ready to step in and have success turning across the workforce there wouldn’t be a single justification for him not getting a head teaching job in 2024.
After all, Bieniemy may nonetheless return to the Chiefs, win extra, and hope this cycle lastly ends — however at this level the league appears wholly unwilling to present this offensive genius a shot. It simply goes to indicate how dumb lots of people in NFL management positions are.