Chiefs' Eric Bieniemy Says HC Job Will Happen 'When the Timing Is Right'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy addresses the media during a news conference for Sunday's NFL AFC championship football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. The Chiefs will face the Tennessee Titans for the opportunity to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been passed over as a head coaching candidate on several occasions, but the former NFL running back is taking a patient approach. 

During an appearance on NFL Network's NFL Total Access (h/t NFL.com's Grant Gordon) on Tuesday, Bieniemy told reporter Steve Wyche the following regarding his goal of eventually becoming an NFL head coach:

"I've always been a patient man. I get an opportunity to work with coach Andy Reid, [general manager] Brett Veach, Mark Donovan our president and then our owner Clark Hunt. I have nothing to worry about. In order to get a job, you gotta make sure you're doing your job. So, I'm blessed and fortunate to be in the situation that I'm in. And on top of that, the only thing I know, Steve, is the grind. And when the timing is right, it will be right. And it has to be a great fit. So, being patient, I have no problem with that. The only thing I know how to do is keep chopping wood. And everything will work out for the best when it's all said and done."

Bieniemy has been the Chiefs' offensive coordinator since 2018 after serving as their running backs coach from 2013-17. Last season, he helped pull the strings for an offense that led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title since the 1969 season.

With Bieniemy and Reid working together to run the offense, the Chiefs ranked first in both total offense and scoring in 2018 and sixth in total offense and fifth in scoring last season. If not for quarterback Patrick Mahomes missing two games due to injury in 2019, Kansas City may have been ranked even higher than that.

Bieniemy is in an ideal position since he works under an offensive-minded head coach in Reid and has Mahomes making magic under center to go along with a supporting cast that includes wide receivers Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman, tight end Travis Kelce and running backs Damien Williams and incoming rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

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The one drawback is that Bieniemy may not receive as much credit as he deserves for the Chiefs' success because of Reid's presence and the fact that he has so much talent to work with.

Bieniemy has had several different head coach interviews over the past two years, and he believes they will be positive experiences for him moving forward:

"I've learned a lot. I've learned a lot. I've gained an enormous amount of information from interviewing from a number of teams. Every interview is different. I believe that they're looking for something; they already have an idea of what they want. It's my job as the interview—the guy that's going in to interview for the job—it's my job to convince them and sell them on my vision and my philosophy and how I see our organization being run in the future."

Bieniemy was targeted by his alma mater, the University of Colorado, when the Buffaloes' head coaching job became available this offseason, but given Colorado's lack of success in recent years, Bieniemy likely made the right decision by staying put and waiting until and NFL team comes calling.

If the Chiefs continue to thrive offensively as expected, there will surely come a time when teams can no longer ignore him as a top head coaching candidate, and that time could come as soon as next offseason.

There are only three Black head coaches in the NFL currently, and Bieniemy seems like a slam dunk to be the fourth in the near future, but he doesn't appear to be in a huge rush given the ideal situation he finds himself in right now.