The Kansas City Chiefs and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy both expected he would be an NFL head coach by now. But, following another hiring cycle that saw him passed over, both sides are turning their focus to Super Bowl LV and a plan to win another title next season.
Entering the 2020 season on the final year of his contract, Bieniemy anticipated landing his own coaching job this winter. When seven became available, with several teams targeting an offensive-minded hire, he seemed destined for a job. Instead, with the Chiefs heading into their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, Bieniemy is now thinking about his future with the same organization.
Eric Bieniemy likely to return to Kansas City Chiefs next season
Both Bieniemy and the Chiefs are confident they’ll agree to a new contract this offseason, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. While it’s not a position either party expected to be in, they seem poised to make the best of it and will hope to make a Super Bowl run in 2022.
The 51-year-old coach took over as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator in 2018, previously serving as the team’s running backs coach (2013-’17). His ascent to the OC role came at the same time Patrick Mahomes took over as the starting quarterback, leading to a pairing that has formed the NFL’s best offenses during that three-year stretch.
While head coach Andy Reid is the primary play-caller, Bieniemy plays a vital role in creating the offensive game plan and he does send in plays at various points during games.
Many thought, in his third run through the hiring process, things would work out this year. He impressed the Atlanta Falcons, but they went with Arthur Smith. Deshaun Watson strongly encouraged the Houston Texans to interview Bieniemy, but the team ignored the submission until it was too late. While he was seemingly a finalist before the Texans hired David Culley, teams choosing assistants eliminated from the playoffs over those in the Super Bowl may have cost him.
Reid expressed disappointment at the outcome and many Chiefs players, especially Patrick Mahomes, were baffled by teams passing on Bieniemy. Ultimately, while it’s not the outcome everyone hoped for, Kansas City will benefit from it next season.
Perhaps another Super Bowl ring, another season with a dominant offense and more glowing praise from Reid and Mahomes will change things. While many in the league office want Bieniemy hired, it seems some NFL owners feel differently.