Eric Bieniemy

Eagles Requested Eric Bieniemy Interview

Earlier this year, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that the Eagles did not submit an officially interview request for offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. But, according to the league’s recently-released report, the Eagles did, in fact, submit a formal request (Twitter link via Rob Maaddi of 97.5 The Fanatic). 

[RELATED: Chiefs, Bieniemy Agree To Extension]

Bieniemy, 51, was said to be among the hottest candidates of the cycle. But, he was passed over for head coaching opportunities yet again, even as his high-octane Chiefs offense returned to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are happy to still have him on board, though Reid would have liked to see him get his big break. Recently, the Chiefs furnished the talented OC with a brand new extension — and, a raise, probably — to keep him in place for 2021.

All seven teams with openings, including the Eagles, asked to talk with Bieniemy. Before the Birds ultimately hired Nick Sirianni, they met with a number of candidates, including Jerod Mayo, Dennis Allen, and the famously indecisive Josh McDaniels.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs, Eric Bieniemy Expected To Agree To Extension

It was surprising to see Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who took head coaching interviews with six of the seven teams with an HC vacancy this offseason, fail to receive a single offer. Of course, the Chiefs will surely be happy to have one of Andy Reid‘s top lieutenants back in Kansas City in 2021, but there are some formalities to sort out first.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Bieniemy’s contract will expire after today’s Super Bowl, which means that he will technically be a free agent. However, the two sides are expected to work out a new deal without much issue, thereby continuing the Bieniemy-Patrick Mahomes partnership for at least another year.

The new contract could include a raise, given Bienemy’s success during his tenure as the Chiefs’ OC and his status as a hot head coaching candidate. The only reason that an extension was not already in place is because KC simply believed Bieniemy would land a head coaching job elsewhere, and once it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, the playoffs were in full swing and there just wasn’t time to have those discussions.

Both Bieniemy and the Chiefs continue to expect that he will get a shot as a head coach, perhaps as soon as 2022. Until then, the 51-year-old will remain an integral part of the most prolific offense in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Didn’t Request Eric Bieniemy Interview

Before they ultimately hired Nick Sirianni, we heard the Eagles had requested an interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their head coaching vacancy. That apparently wasn’t the case.

Speaking at one of his Super Bowl week media availabilities, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that Philly never submitted an interview request for Bieniemy, per Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com (Twitter link). There has been some buzz that the Eagles didn’t want to pull from the Reid coaching tree again (like they did with Doug Pederson), but Reid said he hasn’t heard anything to suggest that.

This would mean the Eagles were on an island on this one. All six other teams that had head coaching openings submitted a request to interview Bieniemy, who has been a hot name the past couple of cycles but hasn’t been able to secure a top job. It’s especially surprising considering the Eagles seemed determined to cast a wide net in their search, interviewing a slew of candidates who weren’t known to be on the radar elsewhere.

Guys like Josh McDaniels, Jerod Mayo, and Dennis Allen, who didn’t draw much known interest from other teams, all interviewed with the Eagles for the gig. Reid has long lobbied for Bieniemy to get a head coaching job, so he was probably annoyed that his former team never actually put in the effort to submit an interview request.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Seeking Second Interviews With Leslie Frazier, Eric Bieniemy

Jan. 24: Houston is indeed expected to request second interviews with Frazier and Bieniemy, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Both men believe they have a real chance of landing the job and have begun putting together potential staffs.

Jan. 23: The Texans’ coaching search has brought the most twists and turns of this cycle, but the team may be on the homestretch in its hiring process. They are at the second-interview stage.

Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is “very likely” to meet with the Texans again next week, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. The parties met shortly after Buffalo’s divisional-round win over Baltimore, and Cal McNair came away from that summit impressed with the veteran coordinator and former Vikings HC’s leadership acumen, per JLC.

Frazier has not been a head coach since the Vikings fired him following the 2013 season. He has spent the past four seasons as Buffalo’s DC, overseeing one of the league’s best defenses in that span. The Texans cannot hire Frazier until the Bills’ season ends. They would be permitted to hire some of the other coaches they have interviewed at any point.

His Sunday opponent, Eric Bieniemy, may remain in the picture as well. He also cannot be hired until after his team’s season ends. Due to the patient (occasionally turbulent) nature of Houston’s search process, many around the league expect a second Bieniemy meeting as well, La Canfora adds. To recap, the Texans have gone from planning to interview Bieniemy (pre-Nick Caserio) to leaving him off their candidate list to changing course and speaking with him this week to potentially making him a finalist.

A Frazier hire would be interesting given the Texans’ Deshaun Watson situation. While Watson has also advocated for Bieniemy, he has shown support for OC Tim Kelly to stay as well. Bieniemy arriving would likely mean Kelly heads elsewhere, but Frazier being a defensive coach would keep a reality where Kelly continues to call Texans plays in play. The Texans blocked other teams from speaking with Kelly this week.

Here is how Houston’s HC search looks as of Saturday afternoon, via PFR’s tracker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Eagles’ Coaching Search, Josh McDaniels ‘Prime’ Candidate?

With the Chargers hiring Brandon Staley and the Lions expected to agree to terms with Dan Campbell, the Eagles are one of two teams (along with the Texans) with a head coaching vacancy. They’re ramping up their search, and it sounds like Josh McDaniels is picking up some steam. 

We heard over the weekend that the longtime Patriots offensive coordinator would interview, and now multiple sources tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that McDaniels is a “prime candidate” for the job (Twitter link). That doesn’t mean he’s nearing an offer or anything, as Fowler also reports that former Jets coach Todd Bowles will interview today and has some “internal support” in the building. Bowles is currently the DC of the Bucs, and has done a great job with that young defense.

Fowler also writes that Eric Bieniemy does not have an interview planned despite Philly requesting one on Saturday, so maybe the Chiefs OC has no interest in the job. McDaniels, of course, was the Broncos’ head coach from 2009-10, and has been back as the Patriots’ coordinator since 2012.

He infamously almost accepted the Colts head coaching gig a few years ago before backing out at the last minute, but maybe now he’s finally ready to take the plunge. No matter who gets the job, it sounds like they could be walking into an awkward arrangement where the quarterback situation isn’t quite up to them.

Eagles brass has apparently told candidates that they want to bring Carson Wentz back, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports (Twitter video link). Not just that, Rapsheet even adds that the “priority with the new coach is to make sure Carson Wentz is as good as he was before.”

If that’s true, it sounds like the Wentz position is somewhat non-negotiable. What that means for Jalen Hurts is anyone’s guess, and the potential for a strained relationship with the front office could be what has kept some top candidates away from Philly.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Interviewing Eric Bieniemy

The Texans will conduct a virtual interview with Eric Bieniemy on Monday, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Ordinarily, assistants in the midst of the playoffs are not allowed to interview. However, Bieniemy has been given the green light by KC and the league office.

Deshaun Watson has been pushing the Texans to consider Bieniemy for the head coaching vacancy. However, the Texans didn’t reach out to the Chiefs offensive coordinator until just last week. At this point, it’s not clear if Bieniemy is a real candidate for the job, or if owner Cal McNair is just looking to mollify his star quarterback.

Watson wanted to be involved in the GM search, but he was kept out of the loop throughout the process. He learned about Nick Caserio‘s hiring at the same time as everyone else, and he wasn’t happy about it. On the plus side, Watson doesn’t have any problems with Caserio — his beef is with McNair & Co. and their lack of communication.

Here’s the rundown of the Texans’ HC search, via PFR’s tracker:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Deshaun Watson, Texans

Things could be coming to a head with Deshaun Watson and the Texans. After a couple of weeks of drama, there is now “a growing sense from people in and around the Texans’ organization” that Watson “has played his last snap for the team,” Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

It felt impossible to believe when trade chatter about Watson first started, but it now seems like there’s a real chance Watson is dealt before the 2021 season. In case there was any doubt about the dysfunction within the building, Schefter said in a separate tweet that a source told him “it’s gone from the least desirable head coaching job (opening) to the most undesirable head coaching job in the NFL. That’s a fact. That’s how that job is now looked at by everybody.”

It’s a pretty grim state of affairs in Houston right now. It looks like Houston’s management, led by owner Cal McNair and recently hired GM Nick Caserio, could opt for a full-blown rebuild, trading Watson for a bounty of draft picks to restock the cupboard that was left bare by former coach/GM Bill O’Brien.

All of that being said, it’s still far from guaranteed that the team has given up on mending the relationship. One source of tension between the two sides was the team leaving Watson out of the search process for coach and GM after previously promising him input. There had been reports that Watson favored Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, but the team only opted to put in an interview request for Bieniemy recently, leading many to decry it as too little too late and merely an attempt to pacify Watson.

But Caserio has apparently done “thorough homework” on Bieniemy, sources told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds that it’s “not an empty interview request by any stretch.” Fowler also calls Bieniemy “firmly in the mix” for the job, so it sounds like he’s got a legit shot. By the sound of Schefter’s tweet, if the Texans and Watson are headed for divorce, it might be hard for them to convince any top candidate to leave their respective coordinator post.

If Watson really does become available, there will be no shortage of suitors. It’d likely take a king’s ransom to pry him loose, so teams like the Jets and Dolphins with an abundance of draft capital would immediately become favorites. We’ll surely hear a lot more about this situation in the coming days and weeks, and we’ll keep you posted every step of the way.

Coaching Notes: Bieniemy, Texans, Falcons

With the Eagles requesting an interview with Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator is now 7-for-7 in meeting requests during this hiring period. However, the third-year OC has again run into issues on the interview circuit. Despite being Andy Reid‘s right-hand man during the most successful period in Chiefs history, Bieniemy may go a third cycle without landing a coaching job. It is trending in that direction, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets. Bieniemy did not interview well on the whole last year and has encountered similar issues during this cycle, according to Tony Pauline and Benjamin Allbright of ProFootballNetwork.com.

Although the Texans changed course and submitted a request to speak with Bieniemy, as they deal with a disgruntled Deshaun WatsonCBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora notes that interview is doubtful to commence. With the Chiefs’ bye week over, any team wishing to meet with Bieniemy going forward must wait until Kansas City’s season ends. If the No. 1-seeded Chiefs make it back to the Super Bowl, the remaining jobs may be filled by then. Three teams have filled their positions; the Lions are soon expected to hire Saints assistant Dan Campbell; the Chargers may be zeroing in on Bills third-year OC Brian Daboll. This would leave only the Houston and Philadelphia jobs available. Though Bieniemy not being his team’s primary play-caller makes him an atypical HC candidate from the offensive side of the ball, it would certainly be strange if he exited another offseason without landing a coaching gig.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • Staying with the Texans, they will interview another Bills coordinator this weekend. They will speak with Buffalo DC Leslie Frazier on Sunday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Frazier, who has been Buffalo’s defensive play-caller, has re-emerged on the HC radar after four seasons as Buffalo’s DC under Sean McDermott. Support is building for Frazier with the Texans, La Canfora notes. Since the Vikings ended Frazier’s three-plus-year run as their head coach after the 2013 season, he has been a coordinator for two teams (the Bucs and Bills) and coached the Ravens secondary in between.
  • In hiring Arthur Smith, the Falcons almost certainly have their offensive play-caller in place. But they have identified a Smith right-hand man in Bears passing-game coordinator Dave Ragone. The Chicago assistant has emerged as an early favorite to become Atlanta’s OC, with ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweeting a Smith-Ragone partnership running the Falcons’ offense has a “good chance” of happening. Ragone has been with the Bears since 2016.
  • Now that Chuck Pagano has retired, the Bears are on the lookout for a new defensive coordinator. Defensive line coach Jay Rodgers and safeties coach Sean Desai stand to be the top internal candidates to succeed Pagano, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Rodgers served as D-line coach under John Fox in Denver and followed him to Chicago in 2015. Rodgers’ contract expires next week, and Rapoport notes he is expected to be a DC candidate for other teams as well in the coming days.
  • Marion Hobby will make a move to another AFC team’s defensive staff. The Bengals are hiring the veteran assistant as their D-line coach, Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets. Hobby, who spent six seasons as Clemson’s co-defensive coordinator under Dabo Swinney, coached the Dolphins and Jaguars’ D-lines in the four seasons since. Hobby was with Jacksonville when the team’s “Sacksonville” D-line drove a run to the AFC title game.

Eagles Request Eric Bieniemy Interview

Shortly after firing a member of Andy Reid‘s coaching tree, the Eagles would like to interview another. They submitted a request to speak with Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

Bieniemy has been a frequent interviewee since the 2019 hiring period but has not received a head coaching opportunity yet. The Eagles hired Doug Pederson off Reid’s staff in 2016, and the Bears poached Matt Nagy two years later. Bieniemy has been in place as Kansas City’s OC since Nagy’s departure.

The Eagles’ search is now in full swing. Bieniemy makes it nine candidates to receive interview requests. This news follows the report the Eagles will meet with Patriots OC Josh McDaniels. While the Eagles-McDaniels summit will occur Sunday, the team will not be able to speak with Bieniemy until the Chiefs’ season concludes.

As for Bieniemy, he has now received interview requests from all seven teams who were without a head coach this offseason. However, the Falcons, Jaguars and Jets have gone in different directions. The Lions are also expected to hire Dan Campbell, leaving just three jobs — the Eagles, Chargers and Texans — available. The Texans now have Bieniemy on their radar, though Houston has gone through a turbulent search process.

Here is how Philly’s search process stands as of Saturday afternoon, via PFR’s search tracker:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2021 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Exiting the regular season, six teams are searching for new head coaches. That number is up from last season but not quite as high as 2019, though there may well be more vacancies that emerge during the playoffs.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-27-21 (7:05pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles