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Why Eric Bieniemy would be a perfect addition for Texans

The Kansas City Chiefs secured their second consecutive Super Bowl title and third championship in five seasons this past Sunday. Under the guidance of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs have officially entered dynasty territory and will be discussed as one of the best NFL teams ever assembled.

Much focus goes towards the greatness of Mahomes and the inevitability that he brings where Kansas City will almost certainly have a chance to win the game regardless of what happens. It’s deserved praise for a player that will certainly compete with Tom Brady for the title of greatest quarterback of all time by the time this is over.

However, one storyline is grossly underscored in the Chiefs dynasty — defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Spagnuolo was hired by Reid in 2019 and has turned the Chiefs defense from poor to serviceable and now elite under his stewardship. Kansas City had one of the youngest, yet best defenses in the NFL in 2023 and is showing no signs of slowing down entering 2024. A huge part of that is the assured presence of Spagnuolo. He signed a contract extension on Tuesday with the Chiefs and represents one of the biggest advantages in football for Reid.

The head coach never has to worry about losing his coordinator that specializes in the other side of the football. Reid can focus on working on the offense with Mahomes and whoever is serving as offensive coordinator, while Spagnuolo brings a wealth of experience and pedigree towards handling the defense.

It’s an advantage many franchises in the NFL would love to have and it begs the question of how the Houston Texans could find their own version of it.

That answer could potentially be available for head coach DeMeco Ryans if they were to look towards Kansas City.

Eric Bieniemy has had an interesting time in the NFL. He served as offensive coordinator for the Chiefs from 2018-22 before taking the Washington Commanders offensive coordinator job in 2023. Each of the last five coaching cycles have seen Bieniemy go through the head coach interview process after piloting highly successful offenses. Even after a down year in Washington, Bieniemy was still considered for the Commanders lead job.

Despite that, Bieniemy has been unable to land the top job. In fact, new Washington head coach Dan Quinn even declined to retain him on his new staff for their incoming rookie quarterback. The reasons for this are unclear, and likely very complex from team to team, but it appears the odds of a head coach career in the NFL for Bieniemy are unlikely at this stage.

In this way, Bieniemy suddenly appears as an offensive equivalent to Spagnuolo. Someone with ample success in the NFL, years of experience on their side of the football, and yet with little chance at ever being promoted beyond the coordinator role.

Recently, the Texans lost their senior offensive assistant in Shane Day to the Los Angeles Chargers. The opening begs the question of if Bieniemy could be brought in as a replacement, and potentially as a future Spagnuolo to Ryans’ Reid.

Bieniemy would bring diverse offensive concepts from a highly respected coaching tree under Reid. He showed off in Washington an offense that wants to lean on the quarterback, as evidenced by their volume of passing attempts despite shaky quarterback play throughout the season. His experience as a running backs coach from 2013-17 would also lend itself to helping the run game.

Marrying these concepts with the skeleton of offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik’s scheme that is based on principles taken from Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco could yield a new and innovative offense for quarterback C.J. Stroud to pilot.

Speaking of Stroud, Bieniemy has plenty of experience working with budding elite quarterbacks. He oversaw the launch of Mahomes’ career and helped guide the offense as it transitioned identities after the departure of elite receiver Tyreek Hill. He knows how to work with that caliber of talent and how to work with rosters that have varying strengths.

Finally, Bieniemy could stop the brain drain.

Slowik is assumed around the league to be a top candidate for head coaching jobs in the 2025 cycle. Quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson, his likely successor, could very well follow that path as well the following year based on the league’s propensity to hunt young, innovative offensive minds.

Bieniemy could help them shape the offense and, when inevitably both are lost to head coaching opportunities, takeover offensive play-calling with the full trust of both Ryans and Stroud by that point. He represents a commodity that is unlikely to be poached by opposing teams.

Altogether, from both his career path and experience, Bieniemy offers an enticing option for the Texans both in replacing Shane Day and working to find true continuity as the offensive coordinator spot for DeMeco Ryans in a league that is constantly turning over that position.

His talent is one Houston should consider if they could pry him away from returning to Kansas City to assist with a potential three-peat. How they plan to address that spot on the staff will have to wait.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire