Should the Denver Broncos be the team to finally give Eric Bieniemy a HC job? –

August 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) hugs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy during the second half of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have chosen a relatively inexperienced group of head coach candidates in their search for the franchise’s next star. One exception to this rule, however, is Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who has been one of the hottest coaching candidates in recent years but remains unable to land a job.

Why wasn’t he able to land a job and will the Broncos be the team that will finally change Bieniemy’s fortunes?

Fund

Broncos Country should be very familiar with Bieniemy, given his notoriety as a member of the Colorado Buffaloes football program.

Bieniemy was widely recruited out of high school in California, as he recorded over 2,000 rushing yards, scored 30 rushing touchdowns, and earned second-team All-American honors his senior year. Bieniemy opted to join the Buffaloes, where he quickly became a star, earning All-American honors and finishing third in Heisman voting as Colorado clinched its only national championship.

During his playing career with the Buffaloes and in the league, Bieniemy had several problems off the field. First, he was arrested during a bar fight in Boulder in 1988, by Sports Illustrated. Then, according to Los Angeles Time, in 1990, Bieniemy received so many traffic violations that his license was eventually suspended, and he would be arrested with this suspended license in 1991, and ultimately failed to appear for his court date. Also in 1990, Bieniemy did not contest the intervention of a firefighter, according to the Orlando Sentinel. According to that same Sentinel article, in 1993 Bieniemy was arrested in Boulder after he sexually harassed a parking attendant with some of his friends, and was banned from the college campus.

Bieniemy would go on to spend almost a decade in the NFL as a running back, before finally retiring in 1999 and entering the coaching field in 2001. His first job was as a running backs coach. Buffaloes ball, and during his first year on the job. , he would be arrested for a DUI. He would remain with the Buffaloes until 2003, when he would leave to take the same role at UCLA, before eventually moving to the NFL to become the running backs coach for the Vikings.

After four years coaching Minnesota running backs, he was promoted to the team’s assistant head coach in 2010, but in 2011 he returned to Boulder to become the University of Colorado’s offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, his run as the school’s offensive coordinator fell through, and in 2013 he was rehired to the NFL by the Chiefs to be their running backs coach.

As then-coordinator Matt Nagy departed for the Bears job, after five years of coaching the team’s fullbacks, Bieniemy became Kansas City’s offensive coordinator and carried the franchise’s offense to heights never seen before. The addition of Patrick Mahomes, the emergence of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill and the guidance of brilliant offensive mind Andy Reid were undeniable factors in the team’s success, but the four seasons the Chiefs offense has been coordinated by Bienemy were the best four-year offensive by any Chiefs team or any Reid-led operation, ever.

Those four years of offensive coordination success led to Bieniemy receiving countless head coaching interviews — and even an offer from the Colorado Buffaloes in 2020, which Bieniemy declined — but Bieniemy has yet to land a coaching job. NFL head coach. Is the off-season finally changing?

Good points

Of the candidates the Broncos interview, the only one with a better resume and track record is Dan Quinn. With 14 years of NFL coaching experience and six years of coordination experience, only Quinn can argue that he’s more experienced.

This proven success over a long period, at several different stops and in different roles is very promising. Another positive is the comments that Patrick Mahomes and other Chiefs players have publicly made about their love for Bieniemy and their own personal frustration with the NFL’s lack of desire to hire him as a head coach. It shows how much his players care about him and want to play for him, and it would be a good change in the Broncos locker room after the Vic Fangio era.

“His track record speaks for itself,” Mahomes said, according to Professional Football Discussion. “The type of man he is, the way he can control and be a leader of the dressing room and the way he coaches and plans he brings to us. If he doesn’t [get a job]the people are crazy.”

Finally, the Andy Reid coaching tree has had remarkable success in his head coaching endeavors, in stark contrast to the Belichick tree. John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott, Ron Rivera, Doug Pederson and Frank Reich have all been hugely successful since leaving Reid, and even the chess – like Matt Nagy – have had far more success in their blunders than Denver does. has known for more than half a decade.

negatives

Eric Bieniemy’s off-field record is horrendous, especially when compared to other head coaching candidates.

It would be one thing if Bieniemy had a moment or two of irresponsibility, but the fact that he regularly had these repeated errors in judgment must raise questions as to whether or not he is a pattern of behavior. for him. He hasn’t had any legal issues since his DUI arrest in 2001, but most chief training candidates don’t have as many legal red flags at any time in their past, so Bieniemy doesn’t gets that much credit for these cases being in the rearview mirror. .

It’s also been reported that Bieniemy is a poor interviewer, and his inability to sell NFL teams on his vision — and potentially explain his past legal issues — was a big factor.

Finally, it’s worth noting that while Bieniemy was hugely successful in Kansas City as an offensive coordinator, Reid is heavily involved in designing and planning offensive plays, and was the playmaker for the majority of games. Bieniemy matches. mandate. In fact, Reid repeatedly took over Bieniemy’s offensive play opportunities.

Final Thoughts

The NFL, like many American institutions, has long struggled with racist hiring practices due to problematic biases, perceptions and stereotypes. This is undeniable because there is now only one black head coach in a league where almost 60% of the player base is black, according to a 2019 study from the University of Central Florida.

Not too long ago, many mistakenly thought a black person couldn’t coach in the NFL, and the fact that their representation remains so disproportionate (3% of NFL head coaches are black, while 14% of the American population is black) is proof that remnants of these outdated philosophies still exist among the wealthy white population who make up the overwhelming majority of the NFL’s top decision-makers.

Once we agree that racism is an undeniable fact in the hiring process for NFL teams, we can agree that it must have been a factor in the hiring process for those teams as he considered Eric Bieniemy and every other coach of color who’s interviewed during a head coaching job, by the way.

However, the fact that Bieniemy did not receive the jobs he interviewed for, which ultimately went to a non-white coaching candidate, suggests there is more at stake in his failure to receive a job than those racist hiring practices.

His past off-court issues are a major concern, and if he’s unable to interview and assuage the concerns of the interview franchise, that could be a very big part of why he’s still in Kansas. City.

At the end of the day though, Bieniemy is one of the most experienced, qualified and successful candidates the Broncos interview, and his resume — coupled with coaching tree success Andy Reid — might be enough. to do the Denver front. the office swoons and convinces them to look past the many undeniably concerning red flags.

Bieniemy deserves a shot at being a head coach at some point, but it’s an undeniably big bet as an owner will have to look past plenty of red flags. With Denver’s ownership situation unconsolidated and Paton working to appease a boss he doesn’t yet have, it seems unlikely the Broncos will make such a risky hire.