6 pros and cons to Eric Bieniemy becoming the next Commanders head coach

There are benefits and negatives to consider...

Eric Bieniemy
Eric Bieniemy / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Continuity for Sam Howell


Sam Howell has struggled with some aspects of the NFL game this season. That was always to be expected. However, overall, he has performed well above expectations.

Despite a couple of bad turnovers lately, his decision-making has improved. He looks more decisive in the pocket. Howell is rolling out more. His rhythm throws are improving. All of that is attributable to the work both Eric Bieniemy and quarterbacks coach Tavita Pritchard have done with the second-year player.

Howell is improving. Maybe the worst thing you could do right now is change systems on him.

Remember, Bieniemy has only been working with Howell and the rest of this offense for nine months. Though he had most of an off-season, there was still bound to be a learning curve.

It is reasonable to assume that were Bieniemy to take over as head coach, he would have a much better handle on what Howell and the rest of the offense can and cannot do.


However potentially beneficial providing continuity for Howell may be, there is going to be a very strong impulse to simply wipe the slate clean and start over in 2024. That is often the case with new ownership.

Josh Harris and company signaled that possibility at the trade deadline when they moved Chase Young and Montez Sweat. There’s a very real possibility that the new regime wants to erase every vestige of previous ownership. Bieniemy hasn’t been here long, but he is still part of that history.

Continuity can be a tricky thing to decipher. It’s possible that Howell’s improvement has had more to do with Pritchard's involvement than with that of Bieniemy.

Bieniemy has had a ton of experience coaching offenses at the highest level, but the only position he has ever coached is the one he played - running back. He has never been a quarterbacks coach.

That has not traditionally been a prerequisite for the top spot. But as the league becomes increasingly more quarterback-dependent, that is changing.

Many of the best young head coaches in the league have coached quarterbacks at some point in their careers. That includes Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur, Kevin O’Connell, and Doug Pederson. Even the ones who haven’t - like Sean McVay and Mike McDaniel - had prior experience coaching multiple offensive positions.