On paper, Eric Bieniemy taking the Washington Commanders offensive coordinator position makes sense. He’ll call plays for the first time in his NFL coaching career and it will eradicate excuse No. 1.7 million on why he hasn’t been hired as a head coach. Of all the excuses used to not hire Bieniemy – he doesn’t interview well, Andy Reid is the true offensive genius, Bieniemy had Patrick Mahomes, Bieniemy uses 1% milk on his cereal instead of whole, he watches too much “Real Housewives” – the biggest was that he didn’t call plays, Reid did.
So that excuse is now gone though it was never a serious one. The list of offensive coordinators that served under talented offensive-minded head coaches, and still got head coaching positions, is long. We could go through the examples but I’m tired.
We could go down the list of Black assistant coaches who have been screwed but I’m tired. We could go down all the numbers but I’m still tired. You know all the data. We all do.
What I want to do is focus on the bottom line. It is sad, and pathetic, that Bieniemy has to take this job. It is humiliating for him and embarrassing for the NFL.
Bieniemy has coached in Super Bowls and he was Mahomes’ coordinator. In almost all situations, the offensive coordinator gets a nice share of credit for these things. But in the NFL coaching world, credit isn’t always given when you’re Black.
Doug Pederson was Reid’s offensive coordinator and later left to become head coach in Philadelphia. Matt Nagy held the same position under Reid and left to become the head coach in Chicago. For whatever reason, the same standards haven’t applied to Bieniemy. Can’t figure out why. Trying to put my finger on it. Give me a minute. It’ll come to me.
If you’re intellectually honest and consistent, who called plays under Reid, and who didn’t, is really irrelevant. Reid is the same coaching giant he was with Pederson or Nagy that he was with Bieniemy. Reid’s other two coordinators were allowed to escape his shadow. Bieniemy became trapped by it. Can’t figure out why. Trying to put my finger on it. Give me a minute. It’ll come to me.
Bieniemy will have play-calling duties in Washington but make no mistake this is still essentially a parallel move. This is like Spock leaving the Enterprise to become science officer on the Lexington. He’s already the science officer. Why would he do that? It would be totally illogical.
There’s another part of this that must be discussed. He’s going from NFL franchise royalty to the league’s jalopy. The Washington organization is a wreck, owned by a terrible, tiny little man. Kansas City is run like a great company and Dan Snyder runs to depositions.
The theory is that Bieniemy can go to Washington, work with a Sam Howell at quarterback, and if he can make that situation work, he can then get a head coaching job.
But think about it, really think about it. Why does he have to do that? No owner or GM could see his body of work and not see talent? No team feels it can take a chance on the coach that Mahomes called one of the best he’s ever worked with?
“He’ll make sure you dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s,” Mahomes said. “…Make sure you have an Eric Bieniemy in your life because he’ll make sure you’re ready to go.”
Said Reid: “Eric Bieniemy has been tremendous for us and I think he’s tremendous for the National Football League. I’m hoping he has an opportunity to go somewhere and do his thing, where he can run the show and be Eric Bieniemy.”
He will be Eric Bieniemy but he will not be running the show. That’s Ron Rivera. Bieniemy should be, somewhere, but he’s not.
And that’s just sad.
This content was originally published here.