Eric Bieniemy found a new home this offseason in the nation’s capital. The former Kansas City offensive coordinator recently accepted the same position with the Washington Commanders.
Many have been critical of the move, considering it a downgrade to move from a Super Bowl champion to NFC East cellar dweller. On Thursday, a prominent name came to his defense.
Bieniemy was the Chiefs’ OC for five seasons between 2018 and 2022. While in KC, he helped the organization make five playoff appearances, play in three Super Bowls, and win a pair of NFL titles. His offenses twice led the league in scoring, and never finished below sixth.
He helped guide quarterback Patrick Mahomes through the each of his five Pro Bowl seasons, including both of his MVP campaigns. Now, he’ll make his way to DC where he’ll look to guide another young passer early on in his career.
Sam Howell is likely to take over under center for the Commanders in 2023, and Bieniemy will look to build an offense around him.
It’s not difficult to see how many would see that as a downgrade, in addition to his taking over a Washington offense that’s finished in the bottom third of the league offensively each of the last five years. One of the more notable critics was former NFL running back LeSean McCoy.
McCoy blasted Eric Bieniemy when he took the Commanders role, warning Washington fans to not “let the Chiefs’ success or coaching titles fool them.”
“What’s his value?… I’ve been in the rooms where he’s coaching, and he has nothing to do with the pass game at all. When the plays are designed, that’s Andy Reid!”
Shady questions the OC’s qualifications, doubting whether or not he’ll see similar success without Coach Reid by his side. But that doubt is exactly what fueled the move.
Eric Bieniemy is quoted as saying, “It’s time for a new challenge.”
That challenge is getting out from under Andy Reid’s wing and being able to show the NFL his abilities as a play caller. Should he succeed, the evasive head coaching role he’s been hoping to land could be in his future.
His now former quarterback Patrick Mahomes came out in defense of the coordinator as he looks to continue his rise in the NFL.
He posted the following message on Twitter in response to the recent criticism.
There should be no questions on how great of a man/coach Eric Bienemy is. His leadership has a direct impact on the player/person I am today! 10+ years learning under one of the greatest coaches of all time… and I cannot wait for him to continue to prove doubters wrong!
He’s not the only former player to come out in support of Coach Bieniemy. We’ll soon see if the criticism was warranted.