Andy Reid: Eagles Never Formally Requested to Interview Eric Bieniemy

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2021

From left, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy wear masks as they talk on the field before the Chiefs take on the Miami Dolphins during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)
Doug Murray/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Eagles hired former Indianapolis Colts head coach Nick Sirianni in January to be their next head coach, and they apparently didn't have interest in Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Philly never even formally requested to interview Bieniemy, one of the hottest names on the coaching market:

Brooke Pryor @bepryor

Andy Reid says there was never a formal interview request made by the Eagles to interview Eric Bieniemy. Says he never heard anything that the Eagles didn't want to pull from the Andy Reid tree again.

ESPN's Tim McManus reported in January that the Eagles had narrowed their coaching search to two top candidates, Sirianni and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Per that report, Philly interviewed Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh, Jerod Mayo, Joe Brady, Kellen Moore, Duce Staley, Todd Bowles, Dennis Allen, McDaniels and Sirianni. It also put out a request to interview Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. 

One reason the Eagles may have ultimately gone with Sirianni over a candidate like Bieniemy is the former's experience working with quarterbacks. He was an assistant quarterbacks coach with the Chiefs in 2010 and the quarterbacks coach with the San Diego Chargers in 2014-15. He's worked with excellent players like Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers in his career. 

The quarterback position is a major question mark in Philly after Carson Wentz's dreadful 2020 season. Wentz may be difficult to trade, given his immense contract, and getting the best out of the talented but inconsistent signal-caller may be Philly's fastest route to contending. 

In Jalen Hurts, the Eagles have an excellent backup plan. It means they also head into 2021 with a quarterback controversy. At some point, it seems one of the two players will have to be moved. If Sirianni can get Wentz back to playing like he did in 2017 before his season-ending injury—3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions through 13 games—the hiring will be a successful one. And it will be Hurts, far easier to trade, who will eventually be moved. 

What it won't change, however, is Philly's troubling lack of diversity in its head-coaching and coordinator positions under owner Jeffrey Lurie, as Chris Franklin of NJ.com noted:

"The 2021 season will mark the 23rd consecutive year the Eagles have not had a permanent Black head coach, offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator. In fact, the Eagles have never had a Black offensive coordinator, and the last Black head coach, Ray Rhodes, and defensive coordinator, Emmitt Thomas, were fired in 1998 after a 3-13 season."

Bieniemy's continued success with the Chiefs has put a number of head-coaching hires this offseason under the microscope. More than a few teams will be scrutinized if their hires don't work out in the wake of Bieniemy yet again being bypassed. The Eagles are among them.