A report surfaced Wednesday suggesting Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and popular NFL head coaching candidate Eric Bieniemy might not fill one of the open vacancies.
Noted draft scout and former Bleacher Report writer Matt Miller reported a source suggested teams might pass on Bieniemy due to “concern ” about Andy Reid’s coaching tree:
Been texting with an NFL source this morning who thinks there’s a very strong chance Eric Bieniemy isn’t hired for a HC opportunity this cycle.
Cites concern about Reid’s coaching tree and timing w/Chiefs expected to make another SB run
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 13, 2021
This notion was savagely dissected by ESPN NFL columnist Bill Barnwell, who pointed out two of Reid’s former pupils have won Super Bowls:
John Harbaugh (SB winner)
Doug Pederson (SB winner)
Ron Rivera (made it to SB)
Sean McDermott (on his way to SB?) https://t.co/bQKOyXrm5r
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) January 13, 2021
Harbaugh and McDermott remain incredibly successful, though Miller noted the argument there lies in the notion both guys are defensive-minded coaches. The purported argument of the source was to highlight the struggles of offensive-minded coaches branching off Reid.
Technically, that point has some merit. Doug Pederson struggled to recapture the explosive offensive success experienced by the Philadelphia Eagles during their 2017 run to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy has been exposed to endless criticisms for his play-calling failures.
The issue is, Bieniemy has overseen a Chiefs offense that has been arguably the best in the NFL for three years running. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the anchor, but Kansas City has also established a pretty balanced ground game through the years. How do you argue against consistent success, even if Reid is still seen more as the offensive mastermind of the franchise?
Plus, nitpicking certain coaches seems like a bad way of encapsulating Reid’s full tree. Plus, it has yet to be determined which teams express a more specific interest in Bieniemy. For example, what if the Houston Texans pick Bieniemy to steer the ship in the right direction? Much as is the case in Kansas City, Bieniemy would be taking over a franchise with a star quarterback (Deshaun Watson), a strong foundation for any coach to work with.