Could an AFC team be making plans for Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to become their next head coach?
As the Washington Commanders get ready to implement significant changes after another disappointing season, it won't take long for the ripple effects to emerge. Nothing is off the table currently aside from removing key staff. One of the most uncertain upcoming predicaments centers on Eric Bieniemy.
Bieniemy's been waiting a long time for a head coaching opportunity. It's been a rough first year in Washington as the respected offensive mind looked to change the losing mindset. That didn't work, but it doesn't seem like his chances of securing a top job somewhere have diminished.
Commanders could lose Eric Bieniemy in 2024
According to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Chargers are among those intrigued by the prospect of making Bieniemy their next head coach after firing Brandon Staley. He isn't the only one mentioned by the insider. Some prestigious names are also reportedly on the shortlist during what promises to be a fascinating upcoming cycle around the league.
"I’m told the expectation at this time for the Chargers is that they’ll run their head coach and general manager searches simultaneously, per source. Some early names surfacing around the HC vacancy at this preliminary stage include Dan Quinn, Eric Bienemy, Jim Harbaugh and possibly Bill Belichick—who all have extensive postseason and/or Super Bowl experience. I’m also aware of at least one other team that’s discussed potential interest in Belichick. Will follow up on that when the time is right."- Josina Anderson via X/Twitter
Bieniemy might get an interview with the Commanders, although the last few months indicate a complete reset is needed. The coach previously played for the Chargers, so the connection is already there. Working in the California sunshine with a franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert is a tempting proposition for almost anybody.
The Commanders will have a shortlist of their own once the inevitable occurs with Ron Rivera on Black Monday. Josh Harris' ownership group has laid the foundations to make this an enticing job. It's a blank canvas in a big market. Washington is rich in draft assets and boasts the league's most available salary-cap space as it stands.
Some players weren't happy with Bieniemy's methods. His inability to find the right balance schematically put too much pressure on quarterback Sam Howell. There was no commitment to the running game. There doesn't appear a willingness to move with the rims and adopt his approach for the modern-day NFL star.
That said, Bieniemy is respected. He's got two Super Bowl rings. He's been around a winning organization during his prolific spell with the Kansas City Chiefs. He's held in the highest regard by talent such as Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes, and Travis Kelce among others. Many less qualified have become head coaches while he's been frustratingly overlooked.
Could this be the year? There's just no telling for sure. Although there promise to be plenty of openings available to at least generate some interest.
Bieniemy nurturing Herbert's undoubted skill set in Los Angeles would arguably be his dream scenario. Getting the chance to handle responsibilities in keeping with head coaches this season with the Commanders should help his cause. Much will also depend on how he interviews given it's been a reported criticism in the past.
Things didn't work out as everyone hoped with Bieniemy. He's not alone in that regard, which is why Harris and his team of investors are about to embark on a wide-scale rebuilding project.
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