Aug 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) hugs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy during the second half of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy keeping focus on Ravens, not USC

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Thursday sidestepped questions about whether he has any interest in the head coach opening at Southern Cal.

“I am where my feet are,” Bieniemy told reporters, adding that his “job right now is to make sure that we’re preparing for this weekend’s opponent.”

The Chiefs (1-0) play the Baltimore Ravens (0-1) in Week 2.

“If USC reached out to me right now, my answer would be ‘I am preparing for this team to play against the Baltimore Ravens.’ That’s how I roll.”

The Trojans fired former coach Clay Helton earlier this week. Bieniemy was asked about the opening in the aftermath of an ESPN report pegging the longtime assistant as a candidate. Bieniemy went to high school in the Los Angeles area before playing collegiately at Colorado.

Bieniemy has interviewed for several NFL head coach openings but has yet to land one. Bieniemy has been an assistant with the Chiefs since 2013, first as running backs coach before taking over as OC in 2018.

He’s been an assistant coach at his alma mater two different times, first as the RBs coach (2001-02) and then as OC (2011-12). He also coached RBs at UCLA from 2003-05.

–Field Level Media

Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy lived in hotel all season to protect son

Jan 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) runs with the ball during the second quarter as Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) defends at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy lived in a hotel for more than six months to protect his vulnerable son from the potential risks of COVID-19, the coach told Sports Illustrated.

In an article published Thursday, Bieniemy told SI that he slept in a hotel six nights a week from July 23, 2020, until after the Super Bowl to shield his 26-year-old son, Eric III, who suffers from cerebral palsy and respiratory issues.

The revelation was part of a Sports Illustrated article on how the NFL functioned during the past 12 months amid the pandemic.

“It’s been this way for the past six months,” Bieniemy told SI prior to Super Bowl LV. “It’s been a challenge.”

Bieniemy returned home only on Fridays, and then with double masks and sleeping in the basement. Bieniemy and his wife, Mia, have two sons together.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (left) and coach Andy Reid react during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Reid disappointed Eric Bieniemy didn’t land head-coaching job

Deshaun Watson isn’t the only person who is disappointed not to see Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy land a head-coaching job.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that while the idea of having Bieniemy remain on his staff is great for his team, Reid was “really hoping (Bieniemy) would have an opportunity to take one of these jobs.

“You guys know what I think of him. I think he’s great. I think he would be great for any number of teams that opened up and help them win football games and also develop men into men. I just think he’s a great person.”

Watson, the Houston Texans’ star quarterback, reportedly had been lobbying for Bieniemy to take over in Houston, a job that ultimately went to another first-time head coach: David Culley, who previously served as an assistant to Reid.

Bieniemy, who played nine years in the NFL as a running back, is in his eighth season working for Reid and has been brought in for interviews for several head-coaching vacancies in the past few years. Six of those interviews occurred this year, according to ESPN.

The Chiefs will aim for a second consecutive Super Bowl title on Feb. 7 when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.

Bieniemy’s coaching career dates to 2001, mostly as a running backs coach, for Colorado (two years), UCLA (three years), the Minnesota Vikings (five years), then back to Colorado as offensive coordinator (two seasons).

Bieniemy was hired in 2013 as the Chiefs’ running backs coach, and after five seasons, he was promoted of offensive coordinator.

Count Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill among Bieniemy’s fans as well.

“I’m not a GM or anything, but I will say coach Bieniemy has helped me out a lot (as) a man, player, just everything I’ve become for the Chiefs’ organization. It’s very shocking that he didn’t get a job,” Hill said.

“I know deep down inside he’s going to look at himself in the mirror and say, ‘What do I have to do better next year or whenever the case may be?’ He’s that kind of dude. He wants to get better and he wants to become a head coach. His time will come,” Hill added.

The Chiefs coasted to the AFC West title at 14-2 this season. They led the NFL with 5,005 yards passing, and they finished fifth with an average of 29.6 points per game.

Not that Reid wasn’t glad to see Culley, his wide receivers coach with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2012 and in Kansas City from 2013-2016, get an opportunity.

“David will do a good job,” Reid said. “He’s a people person. He’ll bring energy to the building. One of the most loyal guys I’ve ever been around. He’s a great person. We were together 18 years. We had a few cheeseburgers together.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy completes five interviews

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed with five NFL teams about their head coaching vacancies.

He met Wednesday with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets following interviews earlier this week with the Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions, according to multiple news outlets.

The only team with a vacancy that has not interviewed Bieniemy is the Houston Texans.

Bieniemy, 51, is in his third season as coach Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator in Kansas City. He was the Chiefs’ running backs coach from 2013-17.

The defending Super Bowl champions earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a 14-2 record in 2020. Under quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the offense ranked first in the league in total offense (415.8 yards per game) and sixth in scoring (29.6 points per game).

–Field Level Media