Eric Bieniemy

Chiefs To Retain OC Eric Bieniemy

Eric Bieniemy‘s status with the Chiefs briefly entered murky territory, with the longtime Kansas City offensive coordinator’s contract expiring. The sides will continue to work together, according to’s Jeffri Chadiha, who tweets Bieniemy will be back for a fifth season as Chiefs OC.

Bieniemy agreed to a one-year extension with the Chiefs, Tom Pelissero of tweets. A Chiefs assistant throughout Andy Reid‘s nine-year tenure, Bieniemy has been the team’s OC throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ QB1 run.

A fixture on head-coaching carousels in recent years, Bieniemy has been unable to land a top job. This year, interest was not as widespread; only the Broncos and Saints interviewed the veteran Reid lieutenant. Bieniemy, 52, was not a finalist for the Denver job, and New Orleans went with an in-house promotion (Dennis Allen). As a result, the Chiefs will once again ensure continuity.

For the first time in Bieniemy’s Kansas City OC stint, some doubt surfaced about his role. A report indicated the 2021 season was somewhat trying for Bieniemy mentally and the prospect of sitting out 2022 or returning to the college ranks emerged. Bieniemy’s inability to secure a head-coaching job has been a lightning-rod topic for a bit now. Given the Chiefs’ performance on offense over the past four seasons, Bieniemy should not have been expected to be readying for a fifth year as K.C.’s OC. Reid promoted Bieniemy from running backs coach to OC in 2018, after Matt Nagy became the Bears’ head coach. Nagy followed Doug Pederson in being a Reid OC to land a coaching job.

The Reid-Mahomes-Bieniemy partnership has delivered one of the NFL’s all-time great aerial attacks, with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill having a significant say in the Chiefs’ success as well. Kansas City’s offense hit a bit of a road block this year around the midseason point, but the team still ended the season in the top five in total offense and points scored.

The Chiefs have boasted a top-six offense in each year of Bieniemy’s OC stay, though Reid being the team’s primary play-caller has undoubtedly affected Bieniemy’s chances of being hired as a head coach elsewhere. Kansas City is also coming off a shocking ending to its season, which featured Cincinnati erase an 18-point deficit in the AFC championship game.

Latest On Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy

We learned earlier this week that Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, who is set to become a coaching free agent, is not a lock to return to Kansas City. This morning, Adam Schefter of reported that Bieniemy and KC head coach Andy Reid will soon sit down to discuss Bieniemy’s future with the club.

Bieniemy, 52, spent the 2013-17 seasons as the Chiefs’ RB coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018. That, of course, was the year that Patrick Mahomes became the team’s full-time starter at quarterback, and as a result of Kansas City’s tremendous offensive success over the past four seasons, Bieniemy has become a popular figure on the head coaching interview circuit.

Still, he has yet to land a head coaching post, and although he has publicly said all of the right things about that reality, it could be starting to weigh on him. Schefter suggests that the 2021 season, which ended with a devastating loss in the AFC Championship Game and which was capped by more HC interviews that did not lead to HC jobs, was mentally and physically draining for Bieniemy. The ESPN scribe adds that Bieniemy has considered returning to the college ranks — he served as Colorado’s OC for two years before joining the Chiefs and was connected to the USC head coaching post earlier this year — listening to other offers, or even taking the 2022 season off entirely.

The Chiefs almost certainly want him back, however. He does not call the team’s offensive plays, but Kansas City has never been out of the top-six in terms of points per game or yards per game under his stewardship, and former QB coach Mike Kafka, who would have represented a potential replacement, was recently hired as the Giants’ new offensive coordinator.

AFC Coaching Notes: Bieniemy, Raiders, Broncos, Jaguars, Bills, Ravens

Another coaching cycle has come and gone without Eric Bieniemy getting a head coaching job, but that doesn’t mean the Chiefs offensive coordinator will automatically return to Kansas City. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter), Bieniemy‘s contract is expiring.

While the accomplished offensive coordinator could (and probably will) ink a new contract with the Chiefs, Pelissero warns that he would be a “hot free-agent OC target elsewhere.” You could make an argument that Bieniemy could improve his chances for a HC gig if he succeeds out of Andy Reid’s and Patrick Mahomes‘ shadows. Of course, if Bieniemy struggles without his elite offense, that would surely compromise any lingering chances he has of securing that elusive promotion.

Following a five-year stint as the Chiefs RBs coach, he earned a promotion to OC in 2018. Considering the Chiefs’ success, Bieniemy was a popular name in the coaching circuit in both 2019 and 2020. However, the 52-year-old didn’t generate as much interest during this year’s coaching cycle, as he was connected to only a pair of jobs (Saints, Broncos).

More coaching notes out of the AFC…

  • Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon will join the Raiders in the same role, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The 52-year-old has been a ST coordinator in the NFL since he was hired by the Rams in 2009, and he worked alongside Josh McDaniels during his final season with the organization. McMahon has since served as the ST coordinator for the Chiefs, Colts, and Broncos.
  • The Broncos natural replacement for McMahon, special teams assistant Chris Gould, was let go by the organization, reports Klis (on Twitter). The older brother of kicker Robbie Gould, Chris Gould had spent seven years with the Broncos organization. The 36-year-old had a brief career in the AFL before transitioning to coaching.
  • More Broncos coaching notes: Broncos DL coach Bill Kollar is moving to a consultant-type role (via Klis on Twitter), while WR coach Zach Azzanni and offensive assistant Justin Rascati are sticking around (via Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post on Twitter). Azzanni actually had a second interview with the Falcons today, but Nathaniel Hackett “stepped up” to retain his WR coach (via Klis on Twitter).
  • The Jaguars are hiring Mike McCoy as their QB coach, reports Pelissero (via Twitter). The former Chargers head coach was the Broncos OC in 2017 and Cardinals OC in 2018, but he’s been out of the NFL since that time.
  • The Bills announced that they have hired Aaron Kromer as their new offensive line coach. This is Kromer’s second stint as the Bills OL coach, having served in the role in 2015 and 2016. The veteran coach was with the Rams between 2017 and 2020, but he wasn’t retained for 2021. Previously, Kromer was the Saints’ interim head coach in 2012 and the Bears offensive coordinator from 2013 to 2014.
  • Zach Orr is joining the Ravens as their new linebackers coach, tweets Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Orr played for Baltimore for three years, including a 2016 campaign where he earned a second-team All-Pro nod. He also got his first coaching gig with the Ravens. After serving as a defensive analyst from 2017 to 2020, Orr joined the Jaguars to be their outside linebackers coach in 2021.

Saints To Name Dennis Allen As New Head Coach

The final head coaching vacancy has been filled. The Saints have informed defensive coordinator Dennis Allen that he’ll be the team’s new head coach, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

Allen was thought to be the favorite for the gig considering his familiarity with the franchise and the continuity he’d provide in a post-Sean Payton era. As SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan reports (on Twitter), Allen isn’t expected to make many (if any) changes to the coaching staff, while Albert Breer of TheMMQB notes (on Twitter) that the new HC also has a strong relationship with the scouting department.

The 49-year-old’s coaching career started in Atlanta, but he took on a bigger role once he moved to New Orleans, eventually becoming their secondary coach (which saw him earn his lone Super Bowl ring). He later became the Broncos defensive coordinator before getting hired as the Raiders head coach in 2012.

His tenure with Oakland didn’t last very long. Early on in his third season in charge, he was fired, and he finished his tenure as head coach with an 8-28 record. Allen ended up returning to the Saints, and after a brief stint as a senior defensive assistant, he became their defensive coordinator in 2015.

In his seven seasons in the role, Allen rehabilitated his image. He was on the HC radar last offseason, and he was a candidate for the Bears head coaching gig this cycle. Once Payton left New Orleans, he seemed like a natural replacement for the Saints. While he received some strong competition from the likes of Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores (per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter), Allen was ultimately chosen as the 11th full-time head coach in franchise history.

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints created nine full-time vacancies available this year.

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 2-7-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Coaching Rumors: Saints, Texans, McDaniel, Giants, Broncos

The Saints began their cycle of head coaching interviews this week, conducting meetings with the following candidates: former Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson (1/30; hired by Jaguars), former Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores (2/1), Lions’ defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn (2/2), their current special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi (2/3), their current defensive coordinator Dennis Allen (2/4), and Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (2/6).

New Orleans also requested permission to interview Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. There were some early reports that permission had been granted, but that hasn’t been confirmed and nothing has been scheduled, as of yet. ESPN’s Saints’ reporter Mike Triplett also mentioned that current offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael was offered an opportunity to interview for the position, but Carmichael declined. Despite being a part of Sean Payton‘s staff since Payton’s tenure in New Orleans began back in 2006, it appears Carmichael has no interest in running the show in the Big Easy. Whether he has retirement or another destination in mind or he is just comfortable in his role, Carmichael will not be the Saints’ next head coach.

Here are a few more notes from the ongoing coaching searches and staff changes throughout the NFL, starting with the other head coaching vacancy:

  • Houston recently narrowed their list of head coaching candidates down to three: Brian Flores, former quarterback Josh McCown, and Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Well, according to USA Today’s Josina Anderson, the Texans are now down to two candidates, with Gannon being informed Saturday that he will not be receiving the head coaching position, leaving Flores and McCown as the two remaining names.
  • New Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel reportedly has interest in holding on to some of the defensive assistants currently under contract in Miami, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. This includes current defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, who followed Flores to Miami from New England. The lack of staff turnover would be a positive for a defensive unit that played well during the team’s seven-game win-streak in the back half of the season.
  • The Giants were able to add a piece to Brian Daboll‘s new staff while missing out on another today. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweeted out that Andy Bischoff will become the Giants’ new tight ends coach. Bischoff followed David Culley from Baltimore to Houston and will make the lateral move over from the Texans with their head coaching position still in the air. Unfortunately, the Giants did not get their running backs coach, as Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweeted out that Deland McCullough has turned down Daboll’s offer, choosing instead to remain the running backs coach at Notre Dame, believing it gives him the best opportunity to eventually become a head coach.
  • New Broncos’ head coach Nathaniel Hackett is also looking to fill out his staff. The Broncos are planning to interview Jon Embree who most recently held the position of tight ends coach/assistant head coach in San Francisco. Embree parted ways with the Niners after being asked to take a 60 percent pay cut after San Francisco’s NFC Championship loss. The man who has coached George Kittle since he was drafted in 2017 would be a nice addition to Hackett’s system.

Saints Request Interview With Eric Bieniemy

SATURDAY, 8:10am: Bieniemy’s interview with the Saints will be on Sunday, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

THURSDAY, 6:02pm: As the Saints continue to expand their HC search, a familiar name has come up. The team wants to speak with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Jeremy Fowler of tweets.

This is old hat by now for Bieniemy, who has been on the interview circuit for a while. The four-year Kansas City OC’s inability to land a top coaching job has become a lightning rod of sorts in recent coaching carousels. A Saints interview could take place Saturday, per Fowler. Bieniemy, 52, is a New Orleans native, though he attended high school in California.

Not as much interest has come Bieniemy’s way during this cycle. Prior to this Saints request, only the Broncos were connected to the AFC West staffer. Bieniemy was not a finalist for the Denver job. Despite being the Chiefs’ OC throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ tenure as a starter, the former NFL running back has seen several non-play-calling OCs — including Nathaniel Hackett and Kevin O’Connell in this cycle — bypass him en route to HC opportunities.

The Saints have interviewed DC Dennis Allen and former staffer Aaron Glenn. Familiarity may be critical in New Orleans’ first HC search in 16 years, but outside candidates Bieniemy, Byron Leftwich, Doug Pederson and Brian Flores are also on the radar. Both Pederson and Flores have also interviewed, the latter doing so just before his class-action lawsuit against the NFL surfaced.

Broncos Request Permission To Interview Eric Bieniemy, Dan Quinn, Others

Let’s add five more names to the Broncos HC search. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver requested permission to interview Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (Twitter link) and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (Twitter link) for their head coaching vacancy. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Broncos also requested permission to interview Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo (Twitter link) and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett (Twitter link). Finally, Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos requested permission to interview Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Hackett will interview Saturday, according to Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, one of the 10 candidates linked to this job already, will begin the interview run by meeting with the team Thursday.

[RELATED: Broncos Request Three Interviews For HC Vacancy]

After being out of the game for much of last season, with the Falcons firing him after a bad start, Quinn has moved himself back onto the head-coaching radar. The Cowboys’ defense has improved significantly in his first season overseeing the unit. He figures to generate interest from other teams once more vacancies emerge. Quinn previously refused an interview with the Jaguars until after the season.

Bieniemy has been with the Chiefs since Andy Reid’s 2013 Kansas City arrival. 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.

Mayo had a standout career with the Patriots, with the former 10th-overall pick earning two Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl ring during his eight seasons in New England. Mayo rejoined the organization as their linebackers coach in 2019. While New England is currently operating without a true defensive coordinator, Mayo (along with Steve Belichick) is assumed to be atop the defensive coaching depth chart.

Hackett served as the Jaguars offensive coordinator between 2016 and 2018, including a 2017 campaign where the Jaguars offense ranked toward the top of the NFL in a number of categories. The veteran coach was canned midway through the 2018 season, and he’s spent the past three years serving as Green Bay’s OC. The Packers offense had a standout season in 2020, and while the team finished 2021 with the best record in the league, both the passing game and the running game have taken a step back this year.

Moore inked a three-year extension with the Cowboys towards the close of the 2020 season, but he’s remained a hot name in coaching circles. The rival Eagles requested an interview with him in January of 2021 before ultimately going with Nick Sirianni.

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 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.

Eric Bieniemy: HC Opportunity Is ‘Going To Happen’ At ‘Right Time’

There was a lot of talk about Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy this offseason, and how he was left without a head coaching opportunity once again. Bieniemy has become a subject of hot debate in recent offseasons, but one man who isn’t sweating over the wait is Bieniemy himself.

The Andy Reid disciple got interview requests from all seven teams with openings this past cycle, but didn’t get one of the jobs yet again. But the Kansas City assistant isn’t getting caught up in the chatter, telling Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports in a recent interview that he’s just fine with how everything has played out.

I am blessed and fortunate to be working with a Hall of Fame head coach. On top of that, the quarterback ain’t bad, either” he declared. That might be an understatement. “And we’ve had a great deal of success since we’ve been here. So I’m not complaining at all. Would I like to be a head coach? Yes I would. But you know what, it’s going to happen, at the right place, with the right people, at the right time.”

It’s a mature, and wise, sentiment from the man in charge of one of the most prolific units in recent league history. He’s still only 51, fairly spry by NFL head coaching standards, and doesn’t need to rush into a bad situation.

“At the end of the day like I always tell folks, I don’t allow anything to dictate my outcome or my future,” Bieniemy said. “So the only thing we can do, alright, is to continue going back to work and to continue chopping wood.”

The couple of frustrating years notwithstanding, Bieniemy seems confident he’ll become the next member of the Reid head coaching tree before too long. He’ll almost certainly be a top candidate on the coaching carousel come next January.