Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy preaches ball security amid slide to 1-2 record

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Fresh off an embarrassing loss to the Chargers in Week 3, Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy spoke briefly to reporters on Monday, giving honest answers to tough questions amid an early-season panic by the fanbase. Their 1-2 record has many questioning just how legitimate the talk of three straight Super Bowl appearances was in the offseason, and if Kansas City might be just another pretender in 2021.

Bieniemy was straightforward about what he saw in the back-to-back losses, but he seemed optimistic that the Chiefs will find solutions to the problems that have plagued them in recent weeks, specifically as it relates to turnovers. The first question asked in his presser was about quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ late-game interception, which sealed the team’s fate in the loss on Sunday.

“You always want to make sure we’re doing a great job of protecting the football,” Bieniemy said of the pick. “Especially in those critical moments of the game. So, one thing that we do know, we just want to be smart. On top of that, making decisive decisions that are not going to put us in the situation where it becomes detrimental. When it’s all said and done with, we can take care of the ball a lot better, and if we’re taking care of the ball better, obviously we’re giving ourselves a chance to win.”

Mahomes is the least of the Chiefs’ concerns, though. Bieniemy knows that good habits relating to ball security started in the lead-up to every Sunday during the practice week. Despite his adamancy that it is a point of emphasis in every practice, but that it is more important for the players to feel comfortable with the ball in their hands than to have them fear they will fumble on every play.

“We work on protecting the ball every single day,” He explained. “That’s one thing we take a tremendous amount of pride in. But when it’s all said and done with, we don’t want our players going out there playing afraid of turning over the ball. We just need to make sure we’re focused in those intense moments where we don’t lose sight of ball security. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got two hands on the ball in traffic, two hands on it on the way down.

“On top of that, in certain situations we want to make sure we’re securing the catch. We never want to just throw an errant throw to put ourselves in a predicament where that team has an opportunity to put hands on the ball. So, those things are important. The good thing is that we’re giving ourselves a chance to still be in play when the game is on the line, and if we eliminate just those mistakes, we will be sitting in a different position. But we are who we are right now because of the turnovers. We’re a 1-2 team, and so we have to correct everything, make sure we’re getting back on track and getting this thing going in the right direction moving forward.”

Overall, Bieniemy’s offense has taken a back seat to the Chiefs’ ineffective defense as the scapegoat in the early season. Even with the turnovers being a primary force in both of the losses, it is the total lack of ability to stop anyone defensively that has ultimately doomed Kansas City, though he was sure not to downplay his units culpability for their part in the collapses, he was optimistic about where the offense is headed despite the unfavorable outcomes.

“I don’t think anyone is caught up with us because, obviously, we’re putting numbers up,” Bieniemy said. “I thought our guys played hard, I think they went out there and did enough to put us in position to be playing to win the game at the end of it, and so I think our guys are maximizing the opportunities being presented. Now, one thing that we have to focus on is focusing on we’re negating all the little things [that are] keeping us from where we need to be. And we all know that there’s no hidden agenda that we’re talking about that, it’s just the turnovers. We don’t turn over the football we’re sitting in a different predicament.”

With another tough matchup against the Eagles on the horizon, Bieniemy is sure to be hard at work already preparing to get Kansas City back to .500 as quickly as possible. The game in Philadelphia will be a good opportunity to build back some of the confidence lost in Weeks 2 and 3.

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