Who was Commanders AHC/OC Eric Bieniemy as a running back?

We all know Eric Bieniemy is the assistant coach/offensive coordinator, but who was Eric Bieniemy the player?

You might be interested to learn that Bobby Beathard after leaving the Washington Redskins general manager position, was in San Diego as the GM when he drafted a Colorado Buffaloes running back in the second round (39th overall), Eric Bieniemy.

Bieniemy, in his four seasons in Boulder as a Buffalo running back, enjoyed really big seasons in his sophomore and senior seasons. His 1987 freshman season saw Bieniemy gain 508 yards and five touchdowns in 104 rushing attempts for 4.9 yards per carry. He also caught ten passes for 186 yards (18.6) and one touchdown.

Bieniemy’s sophomore season was a breakout year as he rushed for 1,243 yards (5.7 YPC) and ten touchdowns.  In his junior year, injuries limited Bieniemy to only eight games while still averaging 6.4 yards per carry (88-561).

His senior year was spectacular, rushing for 1,628 yards on 288 carries (5.7 YPC). He led the nation in yards from scrimmage (1,787). Bieniemy was a consensus All-American, and he finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting (Ty Detmer, Raghib Ismail).

In the NFL, Bieniemy, after being drafted by the Chargers played for San Diego for four seasons (1991-94), the Bengals for four seasons (1995-98), finishing up with the Eagles in the 1999 season.

His highest NFL rushing total was only 381 yards (1995 with Cincinnati). Yet, Bieniemy did enjoy some good success catching the ball out of the backfield. In that same season, he collected 43 receptions for 424 yards 9.9 (yards per reception).

In the following three seasons, Bieniemy also caught 32, 31 and 27 receptions respectively. His career rushing numbers were 387 carries for 1,589 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns and 146 receptions for 1,223 yards.

So spending much time on special teams and catching the ball out of the backfield, Bieniemy was a competitive player who was good enough to last nine seasons in the NFL.

Incidentally, Bieniemy’s last NFL touchdown came against yes, the Washington Redskins in the 1999 game in Philadelphia. Washington led 28-27, but Bieniemy scored the go-ahead/winning touchdown with 3:38 remaining on his 11-yard touchdown run for a 35-28 Eagles victory.



Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire