When news broke on Tuesday of some internal unrest with players for the Washington Commanders regarding former Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator, Eric Bieniemy, the national media took notice. So why are a few players upset with EB’s style?
When the Kansas City Chiefs and Offensive Coordinator, Eric Bieniemy parted ways after the teams Super Bowl LVII victory, he quickly found a job with the Washington Commanders as their new Offensive Coordinator.
In Kansas City, EB helped run Andy Reid’s offense and had his hand in a pair of Super Bowl titles. However, this past year with the addition of Matt Nagy, as the QB Coach and Defacto OC, things changed a bit in the offensive hierarchy. Yet, EB deserves credit for his part.
However, when news spread about some offensive players going to Head Coach, Ron Rivera to voice their concerns about the nature in which Bieniemy addresses his players, it was hardly surprising to hear.
EB’s style is old school. It’s brazened, harsh, and very direct. In today’s sports landscape, you cross certain lines, and in others, you do not. To date, EB has not crossed any lines. The problem, however, lies in the Washington coaching family. They’ve never had a coach like EB ranting on the sidelines and demanding this much attention from any coach. Nor have they had a coach demanding they give me in practice.
The Commanders are attempting to compete in a very tough NFC East division. Though they’ve had modest success recently, they don’t collectively understand what it takes to build a championship team let alone an offense capable of winning games consistently.
Bieniemy came from a Chiefs organization with a singular goal each season to win the Super Bowl. Period end of purpose. The Commanders are a long way to achieving offensive success because they’ve never had someone light the fire beneath them like Bieniemy is now doing.
Rivera had to rephrase his remarks from yesterday Wednesday morning, and once could garner that he was attempting, via the media, to state that Bieniemy needs to quell some of the tactics. If Rivera wants to keep his job, it might be time to stop playing politics with the man he hired to run the offense.
Still, on the flip side of this, the latest rumblings regarding Bieniemy also paint a very clear picture as to why after 18 interviews, he never got the nod as an NFL Head Coach. Most NFL Owners don’t feel he can coach a 53-man roster. They need to be convinced he can run an offense without Andy Reid. Until he can do that, he won’t be an NFL Head coach anytime soon.
Further, if the events of the last 24 hours mean anything, it could be a very long season in Washington. With new ownership already in the door, the Commanders on the field can’t get off on the wrong foot.
At this point, it’s safe to say, that ownership will view the 2023 season like an extended honeymoon. They paid a whole lot of money to ride Daniel Snyder out of town, and they have the passion and the deep pockets to fix some of the ills that have plagued this franchise under the Snyderverse – including bringing in a high-profile Head Coach.
I know some Chiefs players have come to the defense of Bieniemy, most notably Tyreek Hill because many know the coach inside and out. The Commander’s players are learning the outside of the man and not what makes him tick inside.
Until they understand that tough love is the only way to achieve greatness, then it’s going to be a long tailspin, with a short leash on not only Bieniemy but Rivera as well. The players complaining about the style of coaching they’re receiving daily, better figure out quickly, they need to change and adapt there’s a new sheriff in town.