On Sunday evening, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy had just concluded his head coaching interview with the New Orleans Saints — and that the meeting had lasted almost eight hours.
Eric Bieniemy spent nearly eight hours with the Saints in-person today. Interview just wrapped up. And now New Orleans will get to work on narrowing the head-coaching search.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 7, 2022
According to New Orleans Times-Picayune sports columnist Jeff Duncan, Bieniemy is the sixth (and final) person to interview for the job opening created with Sean Payton’s resignation on January 25.
As the Saints prepare for their sixth & final head coaching interview with Eric Bieniemy this weekend, I still believe Dennis Allen is the frontrunner for the job. But I’ve heard a lot of good things about Aaron Glenn’s interview and candidacy.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) February 5, 2022
For what it’s worth, Duncan believes Dennis Allen — who served as the Saints’ defensive coordinator in 2021 and was the head coach of the then-Oakland Raiders from 2012 through 2014 — is the leading candidate for the position. The Saints interviewed Allen on Friday.
The Saints have also met with other candidates, including former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson (who has since been named head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars) Saints special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.
The Saints were also reported to be interested in former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll (since hired as the head coach of the New York Giants), Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and their own offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. None of them, however, were ultimately interviewed for the position. Carmichael actually declined an opportunity for a head coaching interview.
This is the fourth offseason in which Bieniemy has been considered as a leading candidate for open NFL head coaching positions. While he has been tied to multiple teams in this cycle, this is only his second interview. Of the nine teams that have had vacancies this offseason, only the Saints and Houston Texans have yet to name a new head coach.