A candidate to consider: Should Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy be Jets’ next head coach?

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Tyler Calvaruso
·4 min read
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With Adam Gase out the door, the Jets’ search for a new head coach is officially underway.

After spending Monday and Tuesday submitting interview requests for coordinators around the NFL, New York conducted its first interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Wednesday afternoon.

Bieniemy has overseen one of football’s most explosive offenses in Kansas City since 2018. He has also played a role in Patrick Mahomes’ rise to stardom and has managed the Chiefs’ deep stable of weapons. Let’s take a look at what Bieniemy could bring to the table if hired as the Jets’ next head coach.

Overview

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Bieniemy's ascension to NFL head coaching candidate began when he joined Andy Reid's staff as the Chiefs' running backs coach in 2013. Bieniemy spent five seasons mentoring Kansas City's tailbacks before Reid promoted him to offensive coordinator after Matt Nagy accepted the Bears head-coaching gig. The Chiefs' offense has taken off with Bieniemy and Reid working together, ranking among the elite offenses in football since 2018. In 2020, Kansas City's offense ranked No. 1 in passing yards (303.4) and sixth in points per game (29.6). Prior to joining the Chiefs, Bieniemy worked as the Vikings' assistant head coach and running backs coach in 2010. From 2006-09, Bieniemy worked exclusively with Minnesota's running backs. He also has experience coaching in the college ranks with Colorado, his alma mater, and UCLA.

Why Bieniemy makes sense for the Jets

Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

It’s a wonder that Eric Bieniemy has yet to ascend to the head coaching ranks in the NFL. Andy Reid calls the plays in Kansas City, but Bieniemy is widely-known as one of the best offensive coordinators in football. He has played an instrumental role in Mahomes’ development and manages the Chiefs’ slew of big-name weapons effectively. Considering how dangerous Kansas City’s offense has been this season, it shouldn’t be long before Bieniemy is running a team, though that’s been true in previous years. Reid’s tree has produced some very good head coaches. Bieniemy is likely next to jump onto the list — he has already interviewed for every head-coaching vacancy except Houston's. If the stars align, he could get his shot with the Jets, who will need a strong offensive mind to either mold a rookie quarterback or rehabilitate Sam Darnold.

Why Bieniemy doesn't make sense for the Jets

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Bieniemy not calling plays in Kansas City usually gets brushed to the side, but it could have an impact on his ability to succeed. Yes, Bieniemy has done a good job managing the Chiefs' offense, but how much of the unit's success can be attributed to his work? Andy Reid is one of the best head coaches in NFL history, Patrick Mahomes has the talent to go down as the greatest quarterback to play the sport and Tyreek Hill is a borderline elite wide receiver. Wherever Bieniemy lands as a head coach, he will have to make more out of less. Is that something that he can accomplish? Bieniemy is one of the more established head-coaching candidates available this offseason, but his lack of play-calling with the Chiefs is a legitimate cause for concern -- one that could lead the Jets to ultimately look elsewhere.

The verdict

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that the Jets can benefit greatly from having a bright offensive mind to work with whoever their quarterback is in 2021. Bieniemy fits that profile to a tee. It's really not that big of a deal that Bieniemy does not call every single play the Chiefs offense runs. New York is looking for a CEO-type head coach -- Bieiemy has experience managing superstar talents -- who is involved in all three facets of the game. It is safe to assume Bieniemy has learned plenty about that coaching style working on Reid's staff. Bieniemy is not a flawless candidate, but he is one of the best fits for the Jets on the market. As long as he did well in his interview, the 51-year-old should be near the top of Joe Douglas' list.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Kansas City
-176-3.5O 56.5
Tampa Bay
+145+3.5U 56.5