USA TODAY International Edition
Bieniemy on head coaching job: Chemistry must be a fit
Chiefs offensive coordinator talks about being passed over for head coach positions.
Eric Bieniemy has been the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for three seasons. During that brief span, he’s twice helped head coach Andy Reid oversee the NFL’s top- ranked unit and twice been part of a Super Bowl participant.
Barring an unforeseen turn of events, Bieniemy will retain his current post going into the 2021 season after another head coach hiring cycle came and went. Bieniemy interviewed for all seven league openings last month without another team choosing him for its top job.
“I learned a long time ago to learn how to persevere through adversity,” Bieniemy said Tuesday during the leadup to Super Bowl 55.
“But the beauty of it is, it’s not so much that I have to persevere – because that’s gonna take care of itself – it’s making sure that whatever is taking place with Eric Bieniemy isn’t becoming a distraction in us pursuing our dreams and our goals.”
Bieniemy and Reid indicated they haven’t had the opportunity to cull feedback on why no job was forthcoming to Bieniemy, who said he’ll think about it after facing the Buccaneers on Sunday.
“I’ll handle Eric Bieniemy’s business on Monday,” he said, “sometime Monday evening or even Tuesday ... to start worrying about what I need to be concerned with with me moving forward as far as ( how) the interviewing process went.”
Asked by USA TODAY Sports whether finding the right head coaching job is at least as important as getting any opportunity to move up the ladder, Bieniemy replied: “It’s always about getting the right job. And you gotta understand – sometimes the job and the person have to connect.
“The only thing I can do is be my most authentic self, that’s who I am, OK? I can only be me. Some team has to want me. On top of that, there has to be some kind of collaboration, making sure the chemistry is a fit. So for whatever reason, that chemistry has not been a fit, there has not been that opportunity to connect. But that’s OK.”
He underscored how much he loves working for owner Clark Hunt, general manager Brett Veach and Reid.
“I’m excited about the opportunity that has been presented to me,” Bieniemy said.
He added, despite blistering criticism the NFL has taken for its lack of Black head coaches – there are three after the Texans’ newly hired David Culley joined Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Miami’s Brian Flores – that candidates don’t want to be recognized primarily for their skin color but want to be hired on merit.
“I did not ask to be the poster boy of this particular situation that I have experienced,” said Bieniemy, who was also passed over during the 2020 hiring cycle.
“At the end of the day, the only thing that you want to do is be recognized for all the things that you have accomplished. And, for whatever reason, that has not happened. And that’s OK.”
Reid still believes it will all work out for Bieniemy, saying, “Whoever gets him, whenever they get him, will be very, very lucky.”