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When the Washington Commanders hired Dan Quinn to be their next coach, speculation grew around the future of offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. After spending the previous decade in Kansas City – first as the Chiefs’ running backs coach, and then as their OC – Bieniemy took a lateral move in DC, with the hopes of showing teams that his success wasn’t overwhelmingly because he got to work alongside Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.
Quinn didn’t waste much time putting all the questions to rest, however, announcing in his opening press conference that he and Bieniemy “won’t work together here, but I wanted him to know I really respect the work he’s done. I wish him nothing but the best.” Soon after, the team hired former Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury to the position.
In only one year with the Commanders, Bieniemy’s offense was a mixed bag. League-wide, they ranked 1st in passing attempts, but 18th in yards, 16th in touchdowns, and 30th in interceptions. In Bieniemy’s defense, his quarterback was Sam Howell, who flashed moments of promise but ended the year as one of the least effective QBs in the NFL.
Even with Quinn choosing to go with his own staff, there were reports that Bieniemy’s time in DC didn’t go particularly well behind the scenes. In one ESPN article, it was reported that “multiple sources said players chafed under Bieniemy’s leadership,” and that “one team source said late in the year, the issues were compounded by Bieniemy’s desire to throw the ball.” The leadership comment is one that’s followed Bieniemy around, as multiple players from his time with the Chiefs have made comments about how his attitude can rub certain guys the wrong way.
What’s next for the former Buffs great isn’t quite clear yet. ESPN Insider Jeremy Fowler reported that the Raiders had considered him for their offensive coordinator role, but Las Vegas ultimately decided to hire former Bears OC Luke Getsy instead. Some have speculated that a return to Kansas City may be in play, not unlike how current Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Matt Nagy returned after getting fired by the Chicago Bears.
Bieniemy, who was inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame back in 2010, is the Buffs’ all-time leader in all-purpose yards, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.