KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the regular season coming to an end and several teams parting ways with head coaches, a name that continues to be thrown around as a top option to fill those vacancies is Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
According to reports, Bieniemy has already begun the interview process with the Detroit Lions (5-11), Los Angeles Chargers (7-9), Atlanta Falcons (4-12), New York Jets (2-14) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15). There have also been rumors that the Houston Texans (4-12) are interested as well.
Bieniemy joined the Chiefs’ staff in 2013 as a running backs coach. During that period he coached Jamaal Charles, the all-time leading rusher in franchise history.
When Bieniemy took over as offensive coordinator after Matt Nagy’s departure to Chicago in 2017, he oversaw one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history.
Detroit Lions: The Lions fired head coach Matt Patricia in November after an underwhelming 13-29 record since 2018. If Matthew Stafford decides to stay, Bieniemy would inherit a strong-armed quarterback with a familiar skillset to what he is used to in Kansas City. If Stafford leaves, the Lions could trade him for a number of draft picks in addition to the number seven overall pick they have now.
Los Angeles Chargers: Following a week 17 victory over a Chiefs team that was resting a majority of starters, the Chargers parted ways with head coach Anthony Lynn after four years. Although he posted a winning record, 33-31, they have missed the playoffs the last two years despite having one of the leagues deepest rosters. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert emerged as a star and came 38 yards short of tying Andrew Luck’s rookie season passing record.
Atlanta Falcons: The team fired Dan Quinn in October following an abysmal 0-5 start. Despite a Super Bowl appearance in 2016, the Falcons have not reached expectations with the offensive fire power they have. They added Todd Gurley II at running back last off-season and have one of the league’s top wide receiving tandems in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Rumors are floating around about the team possibly moving on from quarterback Matt Ryan, which would open the doors for a new quarterback to take the reigns under Bieniemy.
New York Jets: In his two years as head coach, Adam Gase posted a 9-23 record with the Jets. He was let go by the team after a 2-14 record in 2020. The Jets have been no strangers to dysfunction over the years, but have locked in the number two overall pick in the upcoming draft. Questions have come up about whether they plan to keep quarterback Sam Darnold for the future, or use the draft to find a new starter.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Head coach Doug Marone’s time in Jacksonville came to an end after their 1-15 2020 campaign. The roster has been picked apart ever since their AFC Championship appearance in 2018. The Jaguars have the number one overall pick in this year’s draft and are expected to select top prospect Trevor Lawrence from Clemson at quarterback.
Houston Texans: Although no formal request to interview Bieniemy has been made at this point, the rumors have been circling the hire since they let go of head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien halfway through last season. Fans have speculated the combination of Bieniemy and 2020 passing leader Deshaun Watson would help bring the team back to prominence after an underachieving 4-12 record.
This isn’t the first time Bieniemy’s name has been in the head coach carousel. Last year, he interviewed with the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants.
He also received an offer from his alma mater, the University of Colorado, for their head coach position, but he rejected the offer.