After winning two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs as the right-hand man to Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, Eric Bieniemy is expected to become the Washington Commanders’ offensive coordinator in 2023.
Bieniemy’s contract expired after Super Bowl LVII and he received interest from multiple teams across the NFL. Recognized within the Chiefs’ organization as one of the most essential pieces to their success over the years, Kansas City is now preparing for its first major loss this offseason as reigning Super Bowl champions.
The 53-year-old offensive coordinator had several interviews during the NFL playoffs, and he emerged as a candidate to become the Indianapolis Colts head coach before the job went to Shane Steichen. He was also in the running to replace Greg Roman as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator.
Once the Colts’ vacancy was filled and the Ravens hired Georgia Bulldogs play-caller Todd Monken as their offensive coordinator, Washington emerged as the likely destination for Bieniemy. After interviewing once with head coach Ron Rivera. That seemed to be more than enough for Washington.
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Bieniemy has been officially offered the job of being their new offensive coordinator. The veteran coach and the Commanders are “hoping to finalize the deal by Saturday,” Schefter reports.
Why is Eric Bieniemy leaving the Kansas City Chiefs?
Many around the NFL thought Bieniemy thought Bieniemy might finally get his shot at a head-coaching job this offseason. However, other NFL coaching candidates were prioritized and the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator missed out once again with clubs hiring head coaches as the Chiefs went on another playoff run.
However, Bieniemy’s decision to leave Kansas City and the lack of head-coaching offers are tied together for another reason. Multiple reporters in recent years indicated that NFL teams with head-coaching vacancies had concerns about hiring Bieniemy because he wasn’t the primary Chiefs’ play-caller during their Super Bowl runs.
While the concern has seemingly been a major factor that prevented Bieniemy from becoming a head coach, it hasn’t stopped some of his peers from receiving head-coaching opportunities.
Matt Nagy, Zac Taylor, Dan Campbell, Mike McDaniel, Nick Sirianni, Nathaniel Hackett and Kevin O’Connell are all current and former NFL head coaches who were hired without serving as lead play-callers for their last teams before they were hired.
While Hackett had previous play-calling experience, the offense he coordinated with the Buffalo Bills (2013-’14) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2016-’18) largely underperformed.
Mahomes and Reid have offered glowing reviews of Bieniemy over the years, insisting he deserves to be a head coach. The Chiefs also credited him with the Super Bowl victory, specifically citing his film study hours before the game that found a weakness in the Philadelphia Eagles defense for Kansas City to exploit. Because of what he found, Kansas City scored two walk-in touchdowns.
However, some of the sentiment around the league clearly played a role in why Bieniemy isn’t an NFL head coach right now. As a result, he is taking a major gamble in his career by leaving the Chiefs to serve as the play-caller for a Commanders’ offense that will be led by quarterback Sam Howell next season.
Who will be the next Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator?
Once Bieniemy becomes the Washington Commanders’ offensive coordinator, Kansas City will likely move quickly to reshape its coaching staff. Reid will take multiple candidates under consideration, but Matt Nagy will likely be the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2023.
Nagy first worked under Reid with the Eagles coaching staff, beginning his NFL coaching career as an intern (2008-’09) before becoming a coaches’ assistant (2010) followed by an offensive quality control coach (2011-’12). When Reid took over as Kansas City’s head coach, Nagy followed him.
After serving as the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach (2013-’15), Nagy took over as offensive coordinator and held that role from 2016-’17. He was later hired as the Chicago Bears’ head coach. After winning Coach of the Year in his first season, the Bears’ offense regressed with each passing year and Nagy was fired after the 2021 season.
The 44-year-old then returned to Kansas City as a senior assistant and quarterbacks coach. He will likely assume Bieniemy’s role, helping create the offensive game plan each week and studying film to diagnose the opponent’s weaknesses to exploit.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.