The Commanders’ drama continues into this week’s bye week.
From the outset, it should be stated explicitly if the Commanders were 7-6 instead of 4-9, there would be much less drama right now.
Just last week, Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan reported that he was being told that there are Commanders players not endorsing Eric Bieniemy in his coaching style.
Now, John Keim and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN have combined to write a story that unfolds how this season, which began with such high hopes, is now crumbling in its last month.
Apparently some players were not going to make their treatments because Bieniemy was running over the usually understood time for offensive personnel meetings. One player communicated that Bieniemy had suggested they could use a foam roller during the meeting.
Another player said it was getting better, “He’s gotten better at respecting our time.”
There was the preseason incident when receiver Terry McLaurin felt a cheap shot was delivered to one of his offensive teammates. “Bieniemy fired an expletive warning for him to return to the huddle. McLaurin wouldn’t back down, vowing to defend his teammate” (Keim report).
Ron Rivera raised eyebrows in training camp, conveying some players had come to him about Bieniemy. Some might say Rivera, in sharing this with the media, undermined/undercut Bieniemy. That is understandable.
Media personalities and fans talked of how insignificant players, unproductive players were simply whining.
But if that were the case, why would Rivera have even batted an eye? Isn’t it more reasonable to see that it actually was respected players who came to Rivera? Because Rivera respected them, might it have even alarmed Rivera that there was already unnecessary friction in the camp?
There is no doubt Andy Reid wanted Bieniemy to land another job last offseason. Reid was openly campaigning for someone to please take him, enabling Reid the opportunity to rehire Matt Nagy as his offensive coordinator.
Bieniemy should be credited for doing a nice job with Sam Howell. He appears to have significantly helped Howell’s “growth and development.”
Just last week, Bieniemy said, “I’m never going to change who I am, “I’ve always been like this…”
Some media personalities have responded that Bieniemy is the one man with Super Bowl wins in the organization, while the rest are part of a last-place organization. So, who cares what they think?
But for Bieniemy to insist he is “never going to change?”
Isn’t it convenient to think you don’t need to change in some areas? Aren’t each of us flawed? Don’t we all have limitations, biases, and, yes, blind spots?
This season was a big opportunity for Bieniemy.
Might he have pressed too hard?