What are the pros and cons of the Washington Commanders making Eric Bieniemy their next head coach in 2024?
It would help if you imagine me winking as you read the following sentence. No one knows for certain whether Ron Rivera will return as head coach of the Washington Commanders next season. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that his four straight seasons without a winning record and a winning percentage likely to be in the low 40s is not enough to save his job.
Then, the Commanders will be looking to hire their ninth new head coach since 2000. Whoever that is, he will attempt to become the first to have a winning record in the 21st century.
Our question today is, should that coach be Eric Bieniemy?
Were it to play out that way, it would be an odd situation. But as you are well aware, odd situations are nothing new to this franchise.
Typically, when a coach is fired, there is a general housecleaning. This may be different if the coach retires. In that case, there might be a succession plan in place that involves a coordinator like Bieniemy.
Washington had such a plan in place a decade ago when offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was in line to replace his dad. But I don’t want to remind you of such a painful memory. Oops - I think I just did. My bad.
I never thought Josh Harris would axe Rivera during the season and I still don’t, but let’s suppose that the Commanders suffer an embarrassing loss to the New York Jets on Christmas Eve and pressure from both fans and players becomes overwhelming. In that case, Bieniemy would almost certainly become the team’s interim.
Were that to happen, it would change the following analysis.
For the record, I wouldn’t wish that scenario on my worst enemy. I wouldn’t even wish it on Jim Harbaugh. The Commanders would sit at 4-11 with games against the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys left to play. With Rivera fired and Bieniemy elevated, they would not have a defensive or an offensive coordinator in place.
It would be impossible for Bieniemy to show much of anything.
So we’ll leave that aside for now and focus on what happens if Harris goes looking for a new head coach this off-season. Should that man be Bieniemy? Here’s a point/counterpoint on the pros and cons.