Eric Bieniemy was treated like a rock star or a head coach when he had his first press conference as the new offensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders last week.
He made a good impression as he set out his plans for his offense and the players who attended gave him positive reviews. His new quarterback, Sam Howell, said he is super excited to play for him.
Yes, this is the same Bieniemy who was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs as they went to three Super bowls in the last four years and won two of them, but he failed to get a head coaching job despite all that success.
He is the best example recently of how difficult it is for black coaches to get head coaching jobs. It’s even often difficult for them to keep them once they are hired.
Some of the excuses for Biemiemy being overlooked included that he hasn’t called plays in Kansas City and that he doesn’t interview well. And some off the field problems he had when he was younger sometimes get brought up.
Those are just excuses.
With the Commanders he will call plays and hopes that will help his resume. But the Commanders have been one of the worst run teams in recent years under Dan Snyder while the Chiefs have been one of the best with Clark Hunt as the owner. And Snyder is supposedly planning to sell the team. So there is the that the new job won’t help his quest for a head job although he said his only focus now is being the OC for the Commanders.
And there is no guarantee he will get a head coaching job even if he has success. There’s also the chance he will lose out on winning more Super Bowls with the Chiefs.
Still, Bienemy is getting a raise and a longer term contract than he had in Kansas City, and a chance to call the plays and run the offense.
Granted, there is no guarantee he will be a good head coach. But he deserves the chance to show whether he can be a successful head coach.