A Closer Look: Eric Bieniemy
Current job: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator
NFL job log: Bieniemy spent eight NFL seasons as an NFL running back with San Diego, Cincinnati and Philadelphia from 1991-1999. He cut his teeth in coaching at his college alma mater Colorado (2001-02) and then at UCLA (2003-05) before entering the NFL as a running backs coach in Minnesota (2006-09). He added the assistant head coaching title to his job description in Minnesota in 2010.
He went back to the college ranks to be the offensive coordinator at Colorado in 2011 and 2012, before coming back to the NFL in 2013 to be the running backs coach at Kansas City. He was elevated to offensive coordinator in 2018 and still holds that title with the No. 1 seed Chiefs.
Specialty: Bieniemy is considered one of the bright young offensive minds in the game, working alongside Andy Reid in Kansas City. The Chiefs ranked first in total offense in 2018 and 2020. They were sixth in 2019. In 2018, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes became only the second player in NFL history (Peyton Manning) to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. He won the MVP that year.
Career highlights: The Chiefs beat San Francisco, 31-20, to win Super Bowl LIV last season.
Tim Twentyman's take: I've always liked the idea of having a head coach that played in the league. I think there's more understanding that goes on about what players go through and what they need, and I think there's a respect reciprocated from the players that just comes naturally.
Bieniemy has coaching experience in both the college and pros, and he's been mentored by one of the best in the business in Reid the last eight seasons. Bieniemy doesn't call the plays in Kansas City, Reid does that, but Bieniemy is instrumental in setting up the game plan and running meetings, and you see how creative Kansas City's offense is week-to-week under that guidance. Any offensive player in this league would love the idea of bringing Bieniemy aboard.
Mike O'Hara's take: Bieniemy's range of experience as a player and coach is an asset. He played running back for three NFL teams and he has coaching experience in college and the NFL with the Vikings and Chiefs. Although Reid call plays, Bieniemy plays a key role as offensive coordinator in running meetings and setting up game plans. It is an important position, one that has prepared Bieniemy for the next step.