Former Vikings Coach Interviews for Colts Top Job

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The Indianapolis Colts may or may not retain interim head coach Jeff Saturday who replaced Frank Reich in November. Indianapolis won Saturday’s first game two months ago over the Las Vegas Raiders — and promptly lost seven in a row after that.

Colts brass seems to enjoy Saturday as the skipper but is interviewing a litany of coaching candidates nevertheless. Indianapolis finished the season 4-12-1 and looked truly wretched in the season’s final three games.

Former Vikings Coach Interviews for Colts Top Job

And amid the fast-moving coach search, the Colts interviewed former Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy this week. Colts CEO Jim Irsay enthusiastically tweeted Thursday, “Just completed our interview with Eric Bieniemy ??.”

Former Vikings Coach
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Bieniemy has served as offensive coordinator for the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs since 2018 and is probably due for a crack at some team’s big job. But not giving Bieniemy the scepter seems like an annual NFL tradition — and no one really knows why. Heading into 2023, Bieniemy has 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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In NFL media circles — especially around this time of year — folks constantly debate Bieniemy’s merits. Pundits usually debate whether the Chiefs deadly offensive success is attributable to head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, or perhaps a little of Bieniemy’s magic. On the whole, though, evidenced by no head coaching jobs for Bieniemy, the conversation usually ends with “must be Reid and Mahomes.” Otherwise, Bieniemy would have a job.

So far, the Colts have interviewed (or plan to interview) Ejiro Evero (DEN), Aaron Glenn (DET), Ben Johnson (DET), Raheem Morris (LAR), Shane Steichen (PHI), and Bubba Ventrone (IND).

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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.

The Chiefs have a bye this weekend thanks to the AFC’s No. 1 seed and will host a Divisional Round game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 21st or 22nd. Mahomes was voted a unanimously All-Pro selection Friday and is the number-one-with-a-bullet frontrunner to win the league MVP award.

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).