Did some Washington Commanders players attempt a coup by requesting Eric Bieniemy's power relinquishes over their final five games?
Eric Bieniemy wasted no time in making his presence felt once he decided to join the Washington Commanders. The two-time Super Bowl winner raised standards and demanded maximum effort from every single member of his offensive playing staff, which didn't sit well with some who've become accustomed to more relaxed methods when previous coordinators called the shots.
This led to some going to Ron Rivera and complaining about Bieniemy's coaching methods during preparations for the 2023 campaign. His hard-nosed approach isn't for everyone, but one only has to look at how revered players such as Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes speak about him to see how much he's respected.
The Commanders' offense has improved under Bienemy, even if the offensive line and certain skill position players aren't meeting expectations. Sam Howell's growth as the starting quarterback has been a success aside from a few blips, but finding the right balance between run and pass remains a stumbling block.
Commanders players slammed over Eric Bieniemy stance
With the Commanders sitting at 4-8 and going nowhere fast, John Keim of ESPN revealed during his latest podcast that some players have gone to Rivera again to ask if he'd take back some power given to Bieniemy this offseason. A laughable notion considering how they continue to underwhelm.
Once these reports surfaced on social media, former Washington running back Brian Mitchell leaped to Bieniemy's defense via an Instagram post.
"Those players that don't want to work should be sent packing. What the hell has any player on this team won? That's why we are so damn average. No one wants to put in the real f-----g work to be champions. Talking doesn't get it done! So, send their complaining asses packing!"- Brian Mitchell via Instagram
It's hard to argue with anything Mitchell said. This team has had a losing mentality for too long - someone like Bienemy was exactly what the Commanders needed to shake things up.
Players that couldn't get into the program need to be removed from the equation. The Commanders are never going to get anywhere with the wrong work ethic and crying to Rivera every time things get a little too tough is an absolute disgrace.
When asked about Bieniemy's coaching approach, Rivera stated via SB Nation that there was no longer an issue. Although the head coach acknowledged consistency needs to improve down the stretch to ease the pressure somewhat.
"No, there are no concerns still inside the building. The big thing, more so than anything else is everybody’s learning and understanding and growing and you’re going to take knocks early on. Things just don’t automatically become easy. You don’t struggle a little bit if it’s not hard, the hard is what you learn from. I think that’s what’s happening. We are learning. I do go back to my first year in coaching, we struggled but after that, things got righted and it was really a positive situation. That to me is almost expected and anticipated. There will be some struggles and that’s really what’s happened. Again, I think EB’s done a tremendous job. We’ve done some really good things offensively, but we’re working to get to the consistency portion of it. And I know that’s one of the things that EB always talks about."- Ron Rivera via SB Nation
This is deeply concerning. And yet, it's become commonplace.
The sooner there's a complete cultural reset in Washington, the better. Unfortunately for Bieniemy, that might not include him unless the respected offensive mind convinces Josh Harris' ownership group he's the right man to lead this franchise once Rivera is relieved of his duties.
Whoever these unnamed players are, they should be ashamed of themselves. Soft doesn't begin to describe this mindset - another fine example of entitlement within the locker room when they've done nothing but perenially underachieve.
Bieniemy isn't perfect and can rub people up the wrong way with his demands. However, he's achieved far more than most of these current Commanders players ever will.
Whether that's enough to warrant legitimate consideration to become Washington's next permanent head coach is the big question.
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