The NFL regular season has just begun, and chatter has quickly risen in regards to the Kansas City Chiefs losing Eric Bieniemy. The Chiefs’ offensive coordinator is believed to be an emerging candidate for the University of Southern California’s head-coaching gig, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Bienemy, who is from Southern California, has said in the past to those close to him that USC is one of the only college jobs that might interest him, according to Schefter.
What This Means
Let’s get this out of the way — Bieniemy will remain with the Chiefs through the 2021 season. The USC head-coaching job is currently filled by interim head coach Donte Williams, who will remain in that position until the end of the season. It wouldn’t make much sense for the program to bring in a coach from outside the school mid-season. However, once the season ends for Kansas City and for USC, Bieniemy could work his way down to the collegiate ranks if the two parties agree he’s the right candidate for the job.
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USC fired head coach Clay Helton on Monday, according to the school’s athletic director, Mike Bohn, after the program opened the PAC-12 portion of its schedule this past weekend with a 42-28 loss to Stanford. Helton became the full-time head coach of USC in 2015, and amassed a 46-24 record during his tenure, per Sports Reference, which was highlighted by a 2016 Rose Bowl win.
Bieniemy’s NFL Resume
Bieniemy began his coaching tenure in the NFL as a running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings in 2006, per Pro Sports Reference. After five seasons in Minnesota, he opted to head to the collegiate ranks, where he became the offensive coordinator for Colorado for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Bieniemy then made his way back to the NFL, taking a job as the running backs coach for the Chiefs in 2013.
After five years in that role, Bieniemy was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2018, which was the same year Patrick Mahomes was named the starting quarterback for the Chiefs. Since then, Kansas City’s offense has ranked top seven in the league in yards and touchdowns and has been top two in the league since 2019 in interceptions thrown, per Pro Sports Reference.
“You guys know how I feel about Eric,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Bienemy and his ability to be a head coach back in 2020. “I think he’d be tremendous. There’s a team out there — I don’t know the team, but there’s a team out there — that could really use him. Being the leader of men that he is, you’re not going to find people better than that in that category. And he’s a sharp offensive mind on top of that. So I’m a big fan. Don’t want to lose him, but reality is, there’s a good chance that happens.”
Bieniemy started off the 2021 regular season with another strong coaching performance. Kansas City’s offense scored 33 points and posted 397 yards of offense against the Cleveland Browns, who had one of the top-ranked defenses in the NFL heading into the season. Mahomes completed 27 of 36 pass attempts for 337 yards and four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). Wide receiver Tyreek Hill caught 11 balls for 197 yards and a touchdown, and tight end Travis Kelce caught six passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns, per ESPN’s box score.