Eric Bieniemy admits defeat as NFL head coaching window shuts

Eric Bieniemy's head coaching dream has died.

Eric Bieniemy
Eric Bieniemy / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Former Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy appears to have admitted defeat in his quest to become an NFL head coach.

Eric Bieniemy deserves credit for betting on himself last year. He could have easily stayed with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and gotten himself another ring. Instead, he branched out in the hope of clearing one final hurdle in his quest to become an NFL head coach.

The Washington Commanders gave him full offensive control. Bieniemy also received additional responsibilities to further ready himself for a potential promotion. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it didn't go according to plan.

Bieniemy's coaching methods were met with skepticism by some players. Too much pressure was placed on inexperienced quarterback Sam Howell thanks to a lack of offensive balance. There was a stubbornness and unwillingness to adapt to the modern-day pro that caused complications.

Eric Bieniemy goes down a new path after Commanders exit

When Ron Rivera was fired after another disappointing campaign, the writing was on the wall for Bieniemy. No head coaching offers arrived. Coordinator positions filled up without his skills being considered. It seemed as if the league gave up on him.

This resulted in Bieniemy shifting course. He's going back to college after agreeing to become associate head coach/offensive coordinator at UCLA, linking up with DeShaun Foster to spearhead what could be an exciting new era for the program.

In an email sent to the media, Bieniemy seemed to suggest being unwilling to compromise has forced him to turn his back on the NFL. But that won't stop the respected figure from plowing forward with the same enthusiasm and passion for his work.

"I have had countless conversations and interviews with many teams, and I have been applauded and lauded. I can't say why certain decisions were or were not made but it had nothing to [do] with a lack of anything on my end. My self-dignity, worth, integrity, personhood, manhood will never be questioned or compromised. It is not always about money, either. With everything in life, it is often all about timing. At this time in my life, the opportunity affords me the pleasure of continuing to be a maker and leader of men, to do what I love, follow my passion and my dreams while not compromising on who I am as a man."

Eric Bieniemy via ESPN

The Commanders have moved in a completely different direction. They were more than entitled as Josh Harris' ownership looks to lay more stable foundations for sustainable growth. The fact nobody else around the league wanted Bieniemy also spoke volumes.

Many thought he would go back to the Chiefs, especially after speaking to the team before their AFC championship battle with the Baltimore Ravens. It doesn't look like an offer was forthcoming. Bieniemy is continuing on his path, with the same ethos that got him this far to begin with.

If Bieniemy's head coaching window in the NFL was diminishing before, it's all but closed right now. One could forgive the play-caller for feeling a little aggrieved about how things turned out. However, remaining so steadfast in his ways - almost stuck in them - ended up being his undoing.

Perhaps Bieniemy's methods will work more effectively on college prospects looking to make it to the next level. They'll be more impressionable. They'll hold his credentials in the highest regard. Almost everyone should buy into his lofty demands.

Bieniemy might have admitted defeat in his bid to one day lead an NFL franchise. But that doesn't mean he's throwing in the towel entirely. It's called moving with the punches and making the best of the hand he's been dealt.