Eric Bieniemy going from Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator to Washington Commanders offensive coordinator was seen as a lateral move by some, but there are some differences between the two gigs.
Speaking with reporters Thursday during OTAs, Bieniemy praised Commanders head coach Ron Rivera for letting him have input on the team's operations. In addition to being the Commanders' offensive coordinator, Bieniemy is also assistant head coach, a title he didn't have in Kansas City.
"He's an outstanding coach. I just appreciate him allowing me to have some input... a little flexibility as to help in adjusting schedules. ... with some of the things I brought over from Kansas City and how we structured things. ... It's just given me a little bit more responsibilities as far as being the assistant head coach."
Bieniemy previously said he is "excited" to call plays for the Commanders as well, something he didn't do regularly with the Chiefs.
Eric Bieniemy can own more of his success with Commanders
The Commanders hired Bieniemy in February, ending the coach's 10-year tenure with the Chiefs that included five years as running backs coach and five years as offensive coordinator.
Given the Chiefs' success on offense, Bieniemy has been seen for years as a potential NFL head coach, but never went further than finalist in the last few offseasons. In addition to not being the Chiefs' play-caller, one possible reason that was presented was the fact that his Kansas City success came alongside noted offensive assets head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, though both have praised Bieniemy and endorsed him for a head coaching job.
The Commanders job represents a chance for Bieniemy to own more of his success, assuming there's any to be had. For now, Bieniemy's focusing on the job he has, namely turning quarterback Sam Howell into a quality passer. Bieniemy had praise for Howell as well Thursday:
"He autocorrects himself as well because he knows exactly what he did and what he should have done, which is a good thing."
With the duo of Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke starting 16 of 17 games last season, the Commanders went 8-8-1 while ranking 24th in the NFL in scoring with 18.9 points per game. That should leave plenty of room for improvement for Bieniemy and Howell.