Commanders announce Bieniemy as OC, assistant head coach

FILE - Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy watches during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 11, 2022, in Denver. Bieniemy is finalizing terms to become the Washington Commanders' offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday, Feb. 17, because the deal was not yet completed. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File) (David Zalubowski, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Eric Bieniemy has agreed to be the Washington Commanders’ offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, the team announced Saturday.

Bieniemy, a two-time Super Bowl-winning assistant with Kansas City, now gets the chance to show what he can do without Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.

Bieniemy, who turns 54 in August, emerged from a pool of more than a half-dozen candidates as Washington’s choice for the job following the Chiefs’ second championship in his five seasons as their offensive coordinator. The longtime NFL assistant has interviewed for numerous head coaching jobs, but Reid calling plays for an offense featuring a two-time MVP in Mahomes clouded Bieniemy’s stock.

The decisions by teams not to hire Bieniemy, who is Black, as a head coach have been an ongoing talking point for critics of the NFL’s minority hiring practices.

Bieniemy will get the chance to call plays and run every aspect of Washington’s offense under Ron Rivera, a defensive-minded coach and former linebacker who’s going into his fourth season in charge of the team’s football operations.

Bieniemy inherits second-year quarterback Sam Howell, who goes into spring as the starter, and an offense that includes running backs Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson and top receiver Terry McLaurin.

A running back for nine seasons in the 1990s, Bieniemy has coached at the college and pro levels. He coached running backs with Kansas City for five years before being promoted to offensive coordinator and before that worked at the University of Colorado and for the Minnesota Vikings as a position coach.


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