Commanders reportedly planning to hire Chiefs assistant Eric Bieniemy as new OC
Eric Biniemi completes a deal to move from the Kansas City Chiefs to the position of offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders. Jan Rapoport of NFL Network.
Biniemi has spent the last five seasons as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, where he helped Patrick Mahomes become a two-time MVP and a five-time pro bowler. He also led Kansas City to three Super Bowl appearances and two wins, most recently a 38–35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite his success, Bienemi was never hired as head coach, even after two of his predecessor chiefs, Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy, both rose to high positions after their tenures under Andy Reed. Bienemi has interviewed half of the league’s clubs since 2019, including a 2023 interview with the Indianapolis Colts. But every time he was bypassed.
This comes even after his offense outclassed offense led by newly hired Colts head coach Shane Steichen and confounded defense led by current Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon – both in Super Bowl LVII. Although Bienemi’s role in Reid’s offense is widely rumored, both as a consultant and as a strategist, Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henn told The Athletic it was Bienemi who designed two touchdowns in the red zone in the second half helped Kansas City come back and beat the Eagles.
“[Bieniemy] taped it and said, “Hey, like, if they do this, this guy is wide open. this is a man [coverage]”Henne said. “They’re just trying to protect themselves from the jet and trying to jump over the edge and get an extra player. [on the other side of the field]. But we rigged the plane twice and they didn’t figure it out.”
Mahomes also added that Bienemi ensured that running back Jerick McKinnon fell inbounds instead of scoring late in the game to secure Harrison Butker’s game-winning field goal.
“I want to pay tribute to Eric Beniemi,” Mahomes said. saidbecause although sometimes we get tired of them talking about these moments, it seems like they always happen in the biggest games. And he makes sure we go over the details about them every week.”
Now Bienyemi is likely to take full control of the Commanders’ offense under defensively experienced head coach Ron Rivera. Washington isn’t rich in offensive talent, but wide receivers Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel, and outfield running backs Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson are all intriguing playmakers.
However, the position of the quarterback will be the most important question to answer. Sam Howell, who was drafted by the team in the 2022 fifth round, could get a spot in the starting roster, but the Commanders could also acquire the more proven veteran as a free agent or through a trade this offseason.
Bienemi’s fingerprints are likely to be everywhere Washington does in 2023, which may sooner or later change the perception of his viability as an NFL head coach.