Ex-Vikings Coach in Running for 2 OC Jobs

Former Vikings QB Benched in Washington
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First, he has to run the Kansas City Chiefs offense this Sunday in Super Bowl LVII. After that, Chiefs offensive coordinator and former Vikings coach Eric Bieniemy could have an NFL offense all too himself.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Wednesday, “Chiefs’ OC Eric Bieniemy remains a prime candidate for the offensive coordinator jobs with the Washington Commanders and Baltimore Ravens, per sources.”

Ex-Vikings Coach in Running for 2 OC Jobs

Bieniemy is the epicenter of an annual NFL debate — who’s got the special sauce in Kansas City? The easy answer is Patrick Mahomes, the team’s quarterback, but folks also believed Russell Wilson was the brainchild in Seattle until he, well, wasn’t with the Denver Broncos in 2022. Now, the NFL body politic has pivoted opinion to perhaps Pete Carroll as the wizard of Emerald City from 2012 to 2021, not Mr. Unlimited.

Coach in Running for 2
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Bieniemy is the official offensive coordinator in Kansas City, but he’s like Wes Phillips for the Vikings. Isn’t Kevin O’Connell the foremost offensive guru? Most believe so, with a side dish of Phillips. Andy Reid is the head boss of the Chiefs, and for some, Bieniemy is considered an “anybody could do that job” personality, which may or may not be true.

Well, if Bieniemy is lucky, he could soon be “the guy” in Washington or Baltimore, and NFL pundits need not worry about who’s behind the curtain. Either offense would be his own, and the shadow of Reid and Mahomes would vanish.

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Bieniemy has served as offensive coordinator for the high-flying Chiefs since 2018 and is probably due for a crack at some team’s head coaching job. But not giving Bieniemy the scepter seems like an annual NFL tradition — and no one really knows why. Heading into 2023, Bieniemy had interviewed 15 head coaching jobs with 14 teams with no formal hire to show for it.

He worked for the Vikings from 2006 to 2011, helped usher in the Wilf + Spielman era in Minnesota, and was credited with polishing future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson as a young player.

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Bieniemy, 53, played in the NFL for nine years with San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Philadelphia Eagles. He registered 1,589 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 142 career games. He participated in Super Bowl XXIX when the San Francisco 49ers downed the Chargers 49-26.

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said about Bieniemy this week, “He’s been a huge part of the success that we’ve had over the last four or five years. He’s a great offensive coordinator. [Andy Reid] and I have both been on record saying he’d make an awesome head coach in the NFL, and I still believe that.”

“I’ve seen his name mentioned in conjunction with a few offensive coordinator opportunities around the league, and I’m not surprised by that, given the success that we had, particularly this year,” Hunt concluded.

Bieniemy’s second interviews with the Commanders and Ravens will likely occur immediately after the Super Bowl between his Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia is favored by a point and a half.

Bieniemy would face an uphill climb navigating the Commanders offense to prominence as the club is expected to roll with unproven Sam Howell in 2023. The Ravens, on the other hand, will probably hand Lamar Jackson to the next offensive coordinator, which speaks for itself.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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