In his second consecutive year as one of the NFL's top head coaching candidates, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is once again interviewing for jobs around the league in 2021. According to a report on Wednesday, Bieniemy has interviewed for every vacant head coaching position in the league — except one.
According to multiple reports, the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions were the first teams to officially request interviews with Bieniemy, followed shortly by the New York Jets. On Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Bieniemy had completed interviews with the Falcons and Lions on Monday, the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jets on Wednesday. That leaves the Houston Texans as the only team with a head coaching vacancy that has not requested an interview with Bieniemy.
On Monday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid discussed Bieniemy's role in the Chiefs organization and sent a clear message to the rest of the NFL: Bieniemy is ready for a head coaching position.
“Well, listen, I think he’s top-notch. At the risk of being redundant, I have not seen many guys that are as great a leader as he is of men. And in this business, that’s huge. You’re never going to have to worry about Eric Bieniemy, never—on the field, off the field. He’s going to be honest with you and straightforward, and then he knows the offense. So, those are all important things, but to be a head coach, if you’re going to survive in this business, you better be honest with the people you deal with and you better have a plan for them. Guys want to know where they’re at and where they’re going, and most of us do. And when they don’t have that put in place, then they drift, and then that’s where teams fall apart. So, he knows how to do that part and do it well.”
Reid was asked about the relationship that a head coach has to have with ownership, and Reid took that opportunity to again vouch for Bieniemy's ability to thrive in that element of a head coach's role as well.
"Somebody they can get along with, it’s a people business. I just think that to be able to unite is important. I think he has that ability; I watch it every day. I know he has that ability. Our offense and our football team are as tight as anybody around. He talks to that offense every day. He stands in front of them and talks to them every day and I get to see it. I've seen a couple of coaches come and go. He does it as well as anybody. His presentation is strong so when he has to talk the X’s and O’s part, that’s very strong. He’s ready to make the move. That’s where we’re at today but, it’s got to be a fit for an owner. I’ve said this before, guys talk about blinks and it’s got to have that blink and have that picture in their mind that Eric Bieniemy can lead their organization and they’re comfortable with that. I know owners do not like problems, they do not like problems. They’re paying you money to do a job and not have the load of the worry thrown on their lap. I know he can do that for somebody."
Bieniemy is not the only member of the Chiefs organization getting a chance at a promotion this year, as Chiefs Assistant Director of Player Personnel Ryan Poles and Director of Football Administration Brandt Tillis have both received interview requests from the Carolina Panthers for their vacant general manager position.