Chiefs Rumors

Eric Bieniemy On USC’s HC Radar?

USC fired head coach Clay Helton after two games, ending his six-plus-year tenure. The Trojans may look to a high-profile NFL coordinator to fill the vacancy.

NFL sources believe Eric Bieniemy will be a candidate for the job, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, adding that this particular position is one of the only college gigs for which the Chiefs offensive coordinator will consider leaving the NFL.

Bieniemy has been with the Chiefs since Andy Reid’s 2013 Kansas City arrival, but he coached at the college level prior to moving to Missouri. The fourth-year Chiefs OC also went to high school in the Los Angeles area.

[RELATED: Bieniemy Addresses Head Coaching Pursuit] 

An interesting subplot has factored into Bieniemy’s accomplished OC run. Thought to be a slam-dunk hire in both the 2020 and ’21 offseasons, the 52-year-old assistant has failed to land a head coaching job. Taking over as Kansas City’s OC from Matt Nagy, who followed Doug Pederson in being hired for an HC post, Bieniemy has been in this role throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ dominant run as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback.

While it would make sense for Bieniemy to stay in arguably the NFL’s top coordinator situation and continue to pursue a top job at the sport’s highest level, USC is certainly a high-end college gig. Bieniemy is not the Chiefs’ primary play-caller, which has affected his perception at the NFL level, but working with Reid and Mahomes essentially ensures he will have a vital role on a top-tier NFL offense. It would seemingly take a monster offer to convince the veteran coordinator to leave these friendly confines.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, citing sources close to Bieniemy, reports that Bieniemy would indeed be interested in the USC opening. Of course, if the school wants to find its next coach by Thanksgiving for recruiting reasons, Bieiemy would presumably not be a realistic target. And, as could be expected, Bieniemy has downplayed his connection to the job.

“[I]f USC reached out to me right now, my answer would be I am preparing for this team to play against the Baltimore Ravens,” Bieniemy said (via Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk). “And that’s how I roll, you guys know that. I am where my feet are, OK? My job is to make sure we’re ready to play a complete, sound, 60-minute football game where we can come out and win the game.”

Bieniemy is a Colorado alum but has experience coaching in Los Angeles, having been UCLA’s running backs coach in the 2000s. His top college role to date was as his alma mater’s offensive coordinator from 2011-12. A sign Bieniemy will be tough to pry from Kansas City: he withdrew his name from consideration for the Colorado HC job last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/14/21

Today’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Released: OL Mike Hortond

Dallas Cowboysmia

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/13/21

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Shurmur will give WFT another option as Ryan Fitzpatrick recovers from his hip injury. For now, this likely means that Taylor Heinicke will serve as their starter. Heinicke stepped in for Fitz against the Chargers on Sunday, completing 11-for-15 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Chiefs Activate Tyrann Mathieu; S Still Game-Time Call

The Chiefs will have the option of Tyrann Mathieu suiting up in Week 1. They activated the All-Pro safety from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, but it is not yet a lock he will play Sunday.

Mathieu tested positive for the coronavirus Sept. 1, and NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets the team wants to monitor its standout defender after this hiatus in order to ensure he’s good to go against the Browns. Mathieu officially will carry a questionable designation for Week 1, but Saturday’s activation certainly marks a good sign for his Sunday availability.

Andy Reid said this week Mathieu could play despite not practicing over the past week and change. Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo has essentially drawn up two game plans, per NFL.com’s James Palmer (Twitter link), based on Mathieu’s status. The Chiefs have capitalized on Mathieu’s versatility, with the Honey Badger’s 2019 signing playing a central role in elevating Kansas City’s defense from the bottom-tier unit it was in 2018.

Mathieu, 29, intercepted six passes last season and has 10 thefts in two years with the Chiefs. He is going into a contract year and poised to cash in again. With one bye available to teams under the league’s new playoff format, Sunday’s Browns-Chiefs matchup takes on greater importance. Mathieu being on the field will aid the Chiefs against the team that nearly upset them in last year’s divisional round. Mathieu intercepted a pass in that narrow victory.

Additionally, the Chiefs promoted defensive back Zayne Anderson from their practice squad and signed linebacker Elijah Sullivan to their 16-man taxi squad. Kansas City also released DB Shakur Brown from the P-squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/3/21

Here are Friday’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Chiefs Place LB Willie Gay On IR

A toe issue cropped up for Willie Gay recently, and it will require some time to heal. The Chiefs are placing the young linebacker on IR, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets.

This will knock Gay out of Kansas City’s first three games, dealing a blow to the two-time defending AFC champions’ defense. The 2020 second-round pick is set to play a key role for the Chiefs this year, but he will be on the shelf until at least October.

Andy Reid said Gay’s toe malady occurred during the Chiefs’ preseason finale. The Chiefs are in slightly better position to withstand this than they were last year. Anthony Hitchens is back for a fourth season in Missouri, while the team used a second-round pick on Mizzou linebacker Nick Bolton.

A Mississippi State alum, Gay played only 25% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps as a rookie and missed the team’s three playoff games. Gay was in line to start, however, to begin Year 2. The IR placement certainly confirms this toe injury will require extensive recovery time, perhaps altering the Chiefs’ plans for the young defender this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BillsDolphinsJets and Patriots moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Buffalo Bills

Signed:

Placed on IR: 

Signed to practice squad:

Miami Dolphins

Claimed:

Waived: 

Signed to practice squad:

New England Patriots

Claimed:

Waived: 

Signed to practice squad:

New York Jets

Claimed:

Re-signed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These ColtsJaguarsTexans and Titans moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Houston Texans

Signed to practice squad: 

Indianapolis Colts

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Jacksonville Jaguars

Claimed:

Signed to practice squad:

Tennessee Titans

Claimed:

Released:

Signed to practice squad: 

Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list:

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC West

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BroncosChargersChiefs and Raiders moves will be noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Denver Broncos

Signed: 

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad: 

Kansas City Chiefs

Signed:

Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list:

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Chiefs Reach 53-Man Limit

The two-time defending AFC champions pared their roster to 53 players Tuesday. Following some early cuts Monday, here are the rest of the moves the Chiefs made to get there:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/NFI list:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

Long will miss the Chiefs’ first six games. The recently unretired offensive lineman suffered a knee injury in June. While Long was part of the Chiefs’ extensive offseason offensive line puzzle, the team made several moves to create O-line depth after its Super Bowl LV blocking debacle. Kansas City traded for left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., signed guard Joe Thuney and center Austin Blythe, and drafted center Creed Humphrey and guard Trey Smith. Long and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out last year and came up in trade calls this week, are not expected to start but would stand to provide high-end depth on Kansas City’s retooled line.

 

The Chiefs took Powell in the fifth round. The Clemson alum would make sense as a practice squad candidate, but the Chiefs will run the risk of anther team claiming the rookie wideout and preventing such a scenario. Kansas City lost Sammy Watkins but returns the likes of Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson as supporting-cast receivers.