Former Vikings Coach a ‘Leading Candidate’ for Commanders Job

He celebrated a Super Bowl championship Wednesday at a Kansas City parade and might accept a gig in the nation’s capital later this week.

That’s the contemporary life of Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator for the last five seasons. Bieniemy is a top candidate for the Commanders open offensive coordinator position, according to NFL analyst Aaron Wilson.

Former Vikings Coach a ‘Leading Candidate’ for Commanders Job

Wilson tweeted Wednesday, “The Commanders are interviewing Eric Bieniemy starting tonight as he travels to Washington this evening to begin meeting with team officials today-Thursday, per team sources. Bieniemy is the leading candidate for the job.”

Former Vikings Coach a
Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy against the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Bieniemy, 53, has won two Super Bowls in four years with the Andy Reid + Patrick Mahomes combination in Kansas City and would theoretically have more control over offensive operations if hired by Washington.

He was also a finalist for the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator job, but that was filled Tuesday by Todd Monken, the University of Georgia’s Offensive coordinator from 2020 to 2022.

Coach in Running for 2
Jan 23, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy leaves the field after defeating the Buffalo Bills in an AFC Divisional playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

Bieniemy is a target of an annual NFL debate — who’s got the magic wand for the Chiefs? The easy answer is Mahomes, the team’s quarterback, but folks also believed Russell Wilson was “the guy” 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.

Perhaps it’s just all three in Kansas City — Reid, Mahomes, Bieniemy — that make the engine purr.

Bieniemy 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.

Jan 29, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy talks with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) against the Cincinnati Bengals prior to the AFC Championship game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

The former NFLer played professionally for nine years with the 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.

Former Commanders quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted strong thoughts Wednesday on the possibility of Bieniemy joining his old team, “Eric Bieniemy should ONLY LEAVE Kansas City for a Head Coaching Opportunity. Miss me with that ‘gotta prove himself’ narrative. 15 of the 21 Head Coaches hired in the last 3 years were first time Head Coaches. Bieniemy has proven himself more than EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.”

Bieniemy would face an uphill climb navigating the Commanders offense to respectability as the club is expected to start the unproven Sam Howell in 2023.

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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