Nov 23, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Bieniemy confirms he will join new coaching staff at UCLA

Former Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is heading back to college and will join the staff of new head coach DeShaun Foster at UCLA, he confirmed to ESPN.

ESPN reported that Bienemy, who also was the offensive coordinator on Andy Reid’s staff with the Kansas City Chiefs, is finalizing a two-year deal to both serve the same post and become the associate head coach at UCLA.

The move represents a homecoming for Bieniemy, who grew up in the area and was a Bruins assistant from 2003-05.

“Southern California,” Bieniemy wrote in an email to ESPN on Saturday. “I attended high school there. I started my career in the league here (with the Chargers). It’s obviously great to be back with the Bruins, where I was previously employed.”

Bieniemy, 54, also addressed Foster, who became the 19th football coach in UCLA history on Feb. 12. Foster, 44, replaced Chip Kelly, who departed to become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State.

“This is a great opportunity for me to help support DeShaun as a head coach, to work with him and to work for him as well,” Bieniemy wrote. “My goal is to help him to be a successful head coach in our profession.”

Foster, a first-time head coach, takes over a program that finished 8-5 last season under Kelly, including 4-5 in the Pac-12. The Bruins move into the Big Ten Conference this fall.

Bieniemy served as the offensive coordinator with the Commanders for one season and he told ESPN he “chose not to stay” in Washington. New head coach Dan Quinn hired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury for the job.

Previously, Bieniemy spent 2013-17 as the Chiefs’ running backs coach before being elevated to the team’s offensive coordinator in 2018. Reid remained the Chiefs’ offensive play-caller.

Bieniemy had several interviews for head-coaching positions but was never offered a job. After the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles last year, he accepted the Washington position as an opportunity to build his own staff and call plays.

The Commanders went 4-13 in 2023, ending on an eight-game losing streak. Head coach Ron Rivera was fired at season’s end.

Bieniemy also served as offensive coordinator at Colorado, his alma mater, from 2011-12.

The Bruins are set to begin the 2024 season Aug. 31 at Hawaii, then host Big Ten opponent Indiana on Sept. 14.

–Field Level Media

Nov 23, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Quinn says Eric Bieniemy won’t return to Commanders’ staff

Eric Bieniemy is out of a job less than one year after leaving the Kansas City Chiefs for the Washington Commanders.

At his introductory press conference Monday, new Commanders head coach Dan Quinn said Bieniemy, Washington’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2023, will not be retained.

The Commanders hired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as their offensive coordinator. Quinn said Monday that he “had a good visit” with Bieniemy.

“I think he’s an excellent coach. We’re not going to work together here,” Quinn said. “I wanted him to know I respect the work that he’s done. I wish EB nothing but the best.”

Bieniemy, 54, spent a decade on the Chiefs’ staff, spending 2013-17 as their running backs coach and being elevated to offensive coordinator in 2018. Head coach Andy Reid remained the Chiefs’ offensive play-caller.

Bieniemy, who is Black, had several interviews for head-coaching positions but was never offered a job. After the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles last year, he accepted the Washington position as an opportunity to build his own staff and call plays.

The Commanders went 4-13 in 2023, ending on an eight-game losing streak. Head coach Ron Rivera was fired at season’s end.

Bieniemy — who interviewed for the head-coaching role that ultimately went to Quinn — was let go despite having a year left on his contract.

As for the Commanders, 2024 could mark the start of a new era. Josh Harris purchased the team from Dan Snyder last year. The new ownership group hired Adam Peters as general manager. Washington controls the second pick in the draft and is a likely candidate to select a franchise quarterback.

Peters said he and Quinn “have a shared vision that we’re going to build a team with the play style and the identity that you guys will love to watch.”

Quinn, who guided the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance during a six-year tenure as head coach, spent the past three seasons as the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator and was a popular candidate to interview for head jobs. His new position sees him move to an NFC East division rival.

“It was the one where it was like a flashing light to me,” Quinn said Monday. “This is the moment. This is the one.”

Quinn hired Dallas secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. to be his defensive coordinator, saying Monday that Whitt will call the defensive plays.

–Field Level Media

Feb 23, 2023; Ashburn, Virginia, USA; Eric Bieniemy (M) poses with Washington Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew (L) and Commanders head coach Ron Rivera (R) after being introduced as the new Commanders offensive coordinator and assistant head coach during an introductory press conference at Commanders Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Rivera on Eric Bieniemy comments: ‘I put my foot in my mouth’

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera apologized Wednesday morning for his comments on the approach of new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Rivera led off his opening statement to his press conference by noting that his comments a day earlier “took on a different life.” He also noted that he spoke directly to Bieniemy to clear the air.

“I basically told him I put my foot in my mouth,” Rivera said. “I think what I said wasn’t as clear as it needed to be. I think the understanding of it is just the fact that I think everybody’s making, in my opinion, a little bit more than needs to be made of this. Because again, the results are what you’re looking for on the field, and so far, the last couple days have been outstanding. I think Eric has done a great job of communicating his message now that guys have opened up, talked with him, he’s opened up to them. It’s been a great bit of growth the last couple of days that guys are starting to have the a-ha moments.”

The story took a different turn than Rivera intended on Tuesday when he said players were “a little concerned” about Bieniemy’s level of intensity in regard to his coaching style.

“As I’ve said many times since I’ve hired Eric, I love the overall message that he gave to the team his first day, and that was basically we’ve got to learn to be comfortable when we’re uncomfortable,” Rivera said. “And I think what’s happened is for those guys on that side of the ball, things are uncomfortable. There’s been a lot of change, and the entire way of doing things has changed on the offensive side. Change is hard, and I’ve always encouraged our players to have great dialogue and build relationships with our staff.”

Bieniemy, 53, spent five seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator and won two Super Bowls before coach Andy Reid allowed him to exit for a play-calling role with Rivera and the Commanders. Rivera and Reid are close friends.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2023; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Commanders assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (R) jokes with Commanders defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina (L) during warmup on day three of Commanders training camp at OrthoVirginia Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Rivera: Commanders players ‘a little concerned’ by Eric Bieniemy’s intensity

A new level of intensity from the new commander over the Washington offense has players “a little concerned,” according to Commanders head coach Ron Rivera.

Rather than discuss their questions with Bieniemy, a vocal and fiery leader hired away from the Kansas City Chiefs, players have taken their issues to Rivera early in training camp.

His advice?

“I said, ‘Hey, just go talk to him,’” Rivera recounted Tuesday. “‘Understand what he’s trying to get across to you.’”

Rivera said he doesn’t expect Bieniemy to tone down the level of intensity because he had success with his coaching style with championship results with the Chiefs.

“It’s not going to change because he believes in it,” Rivera said. “(Defensive coordinator) Jack (Del Rio) has his approach. Having been a head coach, I think Jack has a tendency to try to figure guys out a little bit more as opposed to, ‘Hey, this is it, this is the way it’s going to be.’ That type of stuff. Eric hasn’t had that experience yet.”

Bieniemy was a candidate for multiple head coaching positions in recent years but didn’t land of the NFL’s top 32 jobs.

Rivera said the other side of the equation with coach-player relationships is “young guys, they do struggle with certain things and a lot of it — is from where they’ve been.”

NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes described Bieniemy as “always on” and said he “sets the standard at the highest level” for players.

That doesn’t mean they were always in lockstep. Entering the halftime locker room of an eventual loss to the Indianapolis Colts last season, Mahomes and Bieniemy had an on-field shouting match that both dismissed as frustration.

Bieniemy spent five seasons with the Chiefs before coach Andy Reid allowed him to exit for a play-calling role with Rivera and the Commanders. Rivera and Reid are close friends.

“This is his now,” Reid said of why it made sense for Bieniemy to go to Washington. “He’s working for Ron Rivera, who’s a dear friend, and more of a defensive head coach than offensive head coach, so this allows EB to do his thing, and I’m happy for him.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 7, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy looks on during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders officially hire Eric Bieniemy as OC

The Washington Commanders officially hired Eric Bieniemy as their offensive coordinator and assistant head coach on Saturday.

Bieniemy, 53, spent the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, winning five AFC West titles, three AFC championships and two Super Bowls.

He worked on Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City for 10 years, serving as running backs coach from 2013-17 before his promotion to offensive coordinator in 2018.

Under Bieniemy, the Chiefs ranked first in both total offense and scoring offense in 2022. They were first in both categories in 2018 and never ranked lower than sixth in the league in either statistic in the past five years.

Reid handled most of the play-calling duties for Kansas City, and the offense has flourished since Patrick Mahomes took over at quarterback. The Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII last Sunday.

Bieniemy, who is Black, was passed over in the latest cycle of coaching hires. According to USA Today, he has interviewed for head-coaching vacancies 16 times with 15 NFL teams (including the New York Jets twice), with many feeling he had been unfairly passed over because of his race.

Bieniemy was an All-American running back for a Colorado team that won a national championship in 1990. He went on to play nine seasons in the NFL with the then-San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and Eagles.

The Commanders fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner following the 2022 season. Washington had a top-10 defense but ranked 20th in total offense and 24th in scoring offense last season, and head coach Ron Rivera has said that 2022 fifth-round draft pick Sam Howell is the team’s No. 1 quarterback entering the offseason.

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy against the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Commanders closing in on Eric Bieniemy as OC

Eric Bieniemy was back at Commanders headquarters on Friday, discussing staffing and salary as Washington moves closer to naming him offensive coordinator, Sports Illustrated reported.

The offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs since 2018, Bieniemy interviewed Thursday with Commanders coach Ron Rivera. If continued talks go well Friday, Bieniemy could be hired by day’s end, per the report.

The Commanders interviewed former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman for the job on Wednesday but had no other interviews set up, per NFL Network.

Bieniemy, 53, is fresh off another Super Bowl title with the Chiefs, the team’s second in four years.

Bieniemy joined head coach Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City in 2013 as running backs coach. He held that role until he was promoted to offensive coordinator.

The Commanders need to replace Scott Turner, dismissed by the team last month.

A former NFL running back, Bieniemy was selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He played a total of 142 games with the then-San Diego Chargers (1991-94), Cincinnati Bengals (1995-98) and Philadelphia Eagles (1999).

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy against the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders interviewing Eric Bieniemy for OC

The Washington Commanders are interviewing Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Thursday for the same role.

It comes one day after the team interviewed former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman for the job. The Commanders have no other interviews set up, per NFL Network.

Bieniemy, 53, is fresh off another Super Bowl title with the Chiefs, the team’s second in four years.

Bieniemy, in his fifth season as offensive coordinator, joined head coach Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City in 2013 as running backs coach. He held that role until he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018.

Reid has called the plays for each of his 10 seasons with the Chiefs with the exception of a stretch of games in 2017, when Matt Nagy handled those chores.

The Commanders need to replace Scott Turner, dismissed by the team last month.

The Commanders are rolling with Sam Howell as their starting quarterback heading into the offseason.

Bieniemy was selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He played a total of 142 games with the then-San Diego Chargers (1991-94), Cincinnati Bengals (1995-98) and Philadelphia Eagles (1999).

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy leaves the field against the Buffalo Bills prior to the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Colts interview Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy

Colts general manager Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Thursday.

Irsay confirmed the interview with the 53-year-old Bieniemy, who has been a key presence in the development of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes from first-round pick to MVP.

The interview circuit is old hat for Bieniemy, although he has never been a head coach at any level. In 2021, Bieniemy interviewed to become a head coach with five different teams.

The Chiefs lost to the Colts in the regular season. But the offensive juggernaut led the NFL this season in points per game — 29.2 — and Kansas City was first in total offense (413.6) and passing yards (297.8).

Ballard worked in the Chiefs’ scouting department from 2013-16.

Bieniemy, in his fifth season as offensive coordinator, joined head coach Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City in 2013 as running backs coach, and held that role until he was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018.

A running back at Colorado, Bieniemy was drafted in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He played a total of 142 games with the Chargers (1991-1994), Cincinnati Bengals (1995-1998) and Philadelphia Eagles (1999).

–Field Level Media

August 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Eric Bieniemy to return as Chiefs’ offensive coordinator

The Kansas City Chiefs anticipate Eric Bieniemy will return for a fifth season as their offensive coordinator in 2022, FanSided reported Thursday.

Bieniemy coached last season on a one-year contract and the two sides have not yet signed a new deal “but belief is it will get done,” per the report.

Frequently interviewed for head-coaching jobs around the NFL, Bieniemy, 52, was passed over once more in the 2022 hiring cycle.

The New Orleans Saints interviewed him but chose instead to promote their defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen, to replace Sean Payton.

Bieniemy has served as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator since 2018 after five years as their running backs coach. In his four seasons as OC — coinciding with Patrick Mahomes’ four seasons as the starting quarterback — the team has never finished outside the top six in the NFL in either total offense or scoring offense.

–Field Level Media

Jan 23, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy leaves the field after defeating the Buffalo Bills in an AFC Divisional playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy on expiring contract

Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s contract with the Kansas City Chiefs is expiring following the 2021 season, NFL Network reported Monday night.

Bieniemy still may re-up with the Chiefs with a new contract, but his status means he could choose to pursue offensive coordinator jobs elsewhere as a de facto coaching free agent.

Frequently interviewed for head-coaching jobs around the NFL, Bieniemy was passed over once more in the 2022 hiring cycle. The New Orleans Saints reportedly interviewed Bieniemy for eight hours on Sunday, but they chose instead to promote their own defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen, to replace Sean Payton.

Bieniemy has served as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator since 2018 after five years as their running backs coach. In his four seasons as OC — coinciding with Pat Mahomes’ four seasons as the starting quarterback — the Chiefs have never finished outside the top six in the NFL in either total offense or scoring offense.

Coach Andy Reid calls the Chiefs’ offensive plays rather than Bieniemy.

NFL teams with offensive coordinator vacancies as of Super Bowl week include the New England Patriots, the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers. The Patriots’ Josh McDaniels and the 49ers’ Mike McDaniel took head-coaching gigs elsewhere, while the Lions lost OC Anthony Lynn to the 49ers in an assistant coach role. The Los Angeles Rams also will reportedly lose their offensive coordinator, Kevin O’Connell, after Super Bowl LVI to take over the Minnesota Vikings.

–Field Level Media