The Titans have a vacancy at offensive coordinator after firing Todd Downing, and two candidates for the post have emerged. As Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports, Tennessee has requested permission to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and senior assistant/QBs coach Matt Nagy (Twitter link).
Bieniemy, of course, has been a fixture on the head coaching interview circuit in recent years. He has been unable to land an HC gig as of yet, and while he recently interviewed for the Colts’ head coaching position, it does not appear that the four other clubs who are in need of a new bench boss have him on their shortlist.
Since being promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator in 2018 — the year that Patrick Mahomes became the Chiefs’ starting quarterback — Bieniemy’s offense has never finished worse than sixth in either yards per game or points per game. Kansas City finished first in both categories in 2022 en route to the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
Many reasons have been floated for the 53-year-old’s inability to land an HC job, including his race — Bieniemy is Black — and unimpressive interviews. From an on-field perspective, it could be that other teams believe head coach Andy Reid and Mahomes have been more critical to KC’s offensive output over the past five years than Bieniemy, especially given Reid’s significant influence in the offense’s design and execution (though former QBs coach/passing game coordinator Mike Kafka earned a promotion in 2022, when he joined Brian Daboll‘s first staff as the Giants’ offensive coordinator).
Perhaps having success outside of the Reid/Mahomes shadow would give Bieniemy a better chance to secure a head coaching post, although a lack of success in a new setting would obviously damages his HC prospects. The Titans, who have an uncertain quarterback situation, who are presently light on skill-position talent outside of running back Derrick Henry, and who are in the midst of a GM search following Jon Robinson‘s surprising ouster, may not give Bieniemy the best chance to pad his resume. Indeed, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports (via Twitter) that Bieniemy remains focused on HC opportunities.
Nagy, meanwhile, was able to parlay his efforts as the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator under Reid into a head coaching job with the Bears in 2018. After a successful first season in Chicago, Nagy’s outfits struggled over his next three years on the sidelines, and he was fired at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. Nagy has been mentioned as a name to watch in the Jets’ present OC search, and there have also been reports that he could one day succeed Reid as Kansas City’s head coach.
Per Anderson, Nagy has yet to confirm Tennessee’s request.