The Kansas City Chiefs have some of the best coaches in the league working schemes and helping players reach their full potential heading into Super Bowl LVIII – the team’s fourth appearance in the last five seasons.
But one former coordinator was reportedly brought in to spark the team’s offense ahead of their AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens.
NFL Network’s James Palmer reports Eric Bieniemy, who served as the Washington Commanders’ offensive coordinator in 2023, drove to Baltimore to sit in on an offensive meeting.
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This isn’t something you see every day in the league.
“The night before the AFC title game in Baltimore, my understanding is he drove up, went to the team hotel, met with the offensive side of the ball,” Palmer said in his report prior to Super Bowl LVIII.
“Now, there was a play I was told they were going over, and Eric Bieniemy went up – it was an old play. Kinda went through the install of the offense for old time’s sake with the entire group, and Patrick Mahomes told us that there were some chill bumps with guys in that room with Eric Bieniemy back in front of them.”
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Bieniemy didn’t just have a short stint in Kansas City. Reid clearly trusts the man that came to the Chiefs in 2013 as the running backs coach and worked his way up the ladder to offensive coordinator in 2018.
Mahomes was in his second year as a Chief, but it was his first season as the team’s starter. He’d go on to throw for over 5,000 yards and lead the league with 50 passing touchdowns on his way to his first league MVP award.
Bieniemy is lauded for his offensive mind, and another Chiefs player believes he may have taken it for granted.
“I had a long conversation with Marquez Valdes-Scantling about Bieniemy and he told me, ‘Last year, there are maybe times you kinda tune him out a little bit. All the yelling, he yells at everybody, from Andy Reid down to the janitor. But when he was back in that room that night, I kinda got the feeling that I missed it and took it maybe for granted,’” Palmer said.
“I bring this all up because, remember, the issues this Chiefs team has had this season, whether they were pre-snap penalties, whether they were alignment issues. I had a number of people late in the season in the building tell me that their thought is, ‘If E.B. is with this team, some of those things – the attention to details type of stuff – wouldn’t happen.’ So having him maybe back in the building before the AFC Championship Game, maybe a little bit of a restart, maybe a little bit of acknowledgment of what he always brought. Maybe fine tuned a couple things as they head out into the Super Bowl.”
Why is this meeting relevant? Well, the Commanders cleaned house this offseason following Ron Rivera’s departure as head coach before the 2023 campaign came to an end.
Bieniemy was one of those coaches, as the Commanders brought in Kliff Kingsbury as the new offensive coordinator under head coach Dan Quinn, who noted Bieniemy not being retained.
Matt Nagy, the current Chiefs offensive coordinator, held the position before Bieniemy took over after he accepted the head coaching post with the Chicago Bears.
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Nagy left but returned. Perhaps Bieniemy, now an experienced coordinator on the open market, could return to the Chiefs as well next season.