The Kansas City Chiefs have an offensive coordinator.
The Chiefs have named Eric Bieniemy as the replacement for Matt Nagy, who departed to become head coach of the Chicago Bears.
Bieniemy, 48, served the Chiefs as running backs coach for the last five seasons.
“I’ve known Eric a long time, both as a player and a coach,” Andy Reid said, in a statement released by the Chiefs. “He’s done a phenomenal job with our running backs and has been involved in every aspect of our offense over the last five years. He’s a great teacher and has earned this opportunity. I know he will do a good job.”
Bieniemy, a nine-year NFL pro, was the offensive coordinator at Colorado for two seasons before joining Reid’s staff in 2013 as the Chiefs’ running backs coach. Bieniemy held the running backs coach position with the Minnesota Vikings prior to Colorado from 2006 to 2010, coaching Adrian Peterson from 2007 on to four straight 1,000-plus-yards seasons.
Bieniemy recently helped Kareem Hunt earn the NFL’s rushing title as a rookie this season.
“[Hunt has] EB in his back pocket, Eric Bieniemy,” Reid said of Bieniemy back in September after Hunt got off to a fast start. “Does a phenomenal job with him. He’s been there as a player, understands the challenges of that position. So he’s young in this by not only in age and in experience, but he’s young in the season. The challenges are going to be answering the bell every week – physically and mentally. So to have somebody like Eric is an important part of this.”
And before Hunt, former Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson spoke about how Bieniemy coached up Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West on the Rich Eisen Show last January.
“I’m telling you, man, this guy is a star in the making,” LT said. “I think Eric Bieniemy is the next coach to see a coordinator job or a possible head coach job down the line. I’m saying that because he’s the reason why those young guys are performing the way they’re performing. I went to the Chiefs training camp and the one thing that I saw was Eric Bieniemy on the field before practice started with those young guys, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West. He was out there working with them, getting them ready just in case something like this happens.”
Bieniemy will bring the energy next season, and his weekly press conferences on Thursdays should become appointment viewing.