Eric Bieniemy's calming influence can help the Washington Commanders and quarterback Sam Howell bounce back in Week 4 at the Philadelphia Eagles.
Everyone associated with the Washington Commanders was reeling in the immediate aftermath of their Week 3 beatdown against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field. They were never in the game and any delusions some had about mounting a deep postseason run were placed firmly on the backburner until further notice.
There is no time for any team to rest on their laurels for good or bad where there NFL is concerned. This is a week-to-week league and nobody will give the result a second thought if the Commanders somehow manage to beat the Philadelphia Eagles for the second-straight campaign at Lincoln Financial Field.
Easier said than done, obviously. The Eagles are defending NFC conference champions and currently sit at 3-0, so the challenge facing Washington is a significant one on Sunday in one of the league's most intimidating atmospheres.
Commanders OC Eric Bieniemy is keeping the bigger picture in mind
While last weekend was a crash back down to reality, it's only one game. The Commanders are still 2-1 in the standings and have some winnable upcoming games on their schedule, so writing them off after one subpar performance would be foolish.
This sort of big-picture mindset is something that was mentioned emphatically by Eric Bieniemy during his media availability on Thursday. The respected play-caller preached patience and highlighted the collective need to get better based on comments via Nicki Jhabvala from the Washington Post on X/Twitter.
"We have to play great as a unit. We can't pick and choose our moments. And I'll say this, it starts right here with me. I'm not about numbers. I'm all about our players and I'm all about finding ways to win. So when it comes to the individual performances, yeah, some guys stood out. But we didn't stand out as a team. My job is to clean up the s--t and we continue moving forward. You're going to have highs and lows. Championship teams find ways to work through those tough times."- Eric Bieniemy via X/Twitter
Bieniemy is renowned for a tough-love approach during the offseason - something that was a culture shock in no uncertain terms for Washington's offensive players who were used to a more relaxed method of development. However, he's also more than capable of adding perspective and putting an encouraging arm around those who need it in times of struggle.
This is one of many reasons why the Commanders went after Bieniemy once his Super Bowl quest with the Kansas City Chiefs reached a successful conclusion. His experience being around winning franchises throughout a glittering coaching career should also hold a lot of weight within a locker room that hasn't exactly tasted much in the way of accomplishments.
If the Commanders lose this weekend versus a formidable Eagles outfit, it's not the end of the world either. It's less than ideal, obviously. but they'd still be sitting at .500 within a conference that isn't exactly blessed with world-beaters compared to the AFC.
Bieniemy needs to find more balance offensively and the Commanders must find a way to stop starting games slowly. Once these riddles get solved, they'll be a match for anyone providing the offensive line and quarterback Sam Howell doesn't regress further.
One thing's for sure, we'll find out more about what this team's made of when they take the field in Week 4.