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Why Eric Bieniemy should (and shouldn’t) be an NCAA head coach

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s potential move to his alma mater.

NFL: Super Bowl LIV-San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since it was reported that Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy would likely be considered for the head coaching position at the University of Colorado, it seems like the entire football world is divided on whether or not Bieniemy should take the job.

A lot of people — such as Michael Lombardi of The Athletic — feel like the Colorado job is a good opportunity for Bieniemy to get head coaching experience and work toward being an NFL head coach.

Others — like NFL Network Good Morning Football co-host Nate Burleson — feel that Bieniemy shouldn’t have to take a college job in order to achieve his real goal of being an NFL head coach. In his view, Bieniemy has plenty of credentials — and should already be a head coach.

Becoming a head coach at a Power Five school seems like an obvious move toward being an head coach in the pro ranks. Bieniemy has been criticized for not really being in charge of the Chiefs offense; many believe he doesn’t call his own plays. But should he go to Colorado — where he would be unquestionably in charge of the offense — those criticisms would become moot.

On top of escaping Andy Reid’s shadow, Bieniemy would also be likely to get a big pay raise as the head coach of a big-time program like Colorado. There might even be some sentimental reasons why Bieniemy would want to go to Colorado; it wouldn’t be a big surprise if it turns out he has always dreamed of leading his alma mater to a PAC-12 Championship.

But like Burleson mentioned, what looks like a great opportunity could just be a step down. It could take years for Colorado to have the kind of success that attracts an NFL GM’s attention. If his college team doesn’t have success right away, it might be three to five years before Bieniemy gets another NFL interview.

As an assistant coach to Andy Reid, however, Bieniemy is in a prime position to get a head coaching job. Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy are the most recent Chiefs offensive coordinators to get NFL head coaching jobs — and after having seven interviews in two seasons, Bieniemy seems to be next in line.

The Chiefs are also fresh off of a Super Bowl. Should they win the big game in back-to-back years, that would surely strengthen Bieniemy’s resume more than any college job. While it may not be likely, there is also a chance Reid could retire in a few years — which would leave Bieniemy as the obvious choice to replace him as Chiefs head coach.

Bieniemy has a tough decision to make. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious answer.

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