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Eric Bieniemy focused on ‘playing to the echo of the whistle’ against Raiders

On Monday Night Football, Kansas City faces a divisional matchup against a longtime rival.

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

It’s Raider Week, a longstanding tradition among the Chiefs Kingdom faithful.

For Monday Night Football, the Kansas City Chiefs will welcome their AFC West rival Las Vegas Raiders back to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for a showdown that oddsmakers predict the Chiefs will easily handle. After a dominant performance against an aging Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City wants to keep up the momentum.

The Chiefs' incredible bounce back against Tampa Bay followed a shocking loss to the Indianapolis Colts — and helped reestablish themselves near the top of many NFL power rankings.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said this dramatic shift in week-to-week performances can be often be traced to a team’s mindset.

“Sometimes when you have a new group of guys,” he noted, “there’s a tendency to take certain things for granted — thinking that we can just show up and put on our pads and just go out there and play. But you know, everybody gets paid in this industry.”

Bieniemy’s goal had been placing the focus back on intent: reminding players to remember the task at hand — and to move with purpose.

“Every time we step in this building,” he observed, “we got to have a reason of why we’re stepping in. But on top of that, we got to have an intent on what we want to accomplish each and every day.”

Bieniemy knows that in Monday’s divisional matchup — despite their 1-3 record — the Raiders are not to be overlooked.

“The biggest test,” he remarked, “is just making sure our guys are staying focused on the details, eliminating the distractions and understanding what’s important.”

According to the coordinator, among those important details will be how Kansas City handles Las Vegas defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones — along with safety Johnathan Abram. Bieniemy recognizes that as a whole, the Raiders’ defense will bring an energy level that his offense will have to overcome.

“The thing that we need to do,” he said, “is to make sure that it’s not about the energy and the attitude that those guys are bringing. It’s about the energy and the juice that we’re bringing. And understanding that those guys [are] gonna play to the echo of the whistle. So it’s our job to make sure that we’re playing to the echo of the whistle as well.”

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