Only one head coaching job remains open and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy remains waiting. Bieniemy is a candidate for the Texans’ job and has strong support from quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Washington quarterback Alex Smith, who worked with Bieniemy for five seasons in Kansas City, finds it difficult to believe Bieniemy doesn’t already have a head coaching job.
Eleven teams have hired head coaches over the past year, and all passed on Bieniemy.
“Yeah, I think it’s ridiculous that he hasn’t been hired yet,” Smith said on the Yahoo Sports NFL podcast with Charles Robinson and Terez Paylor, via NBCSportsWashington.com. “I know the interview process is weird with a team still in [the playoffs]. But regardless, I don’t see how you can excuse it.”
Bieniemy doesn’t call plays in Kansas City; head coach Andy Reid does.
But being an NFL head coach entails more than Xs and Os, and plenty of recent head coaching hires haven’t called the plays before getting a promotion.
“I think Eric’s No. 1 quality — and it was apparent from the first day I met him — was his leadership,” Smith said. “Leadership ability, a true leader of men. He was a guy that had played for a long time. He was a great teacher, commanded respect because he gave respect also.”
Ron Rivera, Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy all got head coaching jobs after working under Reid. All three led their teams to the playoffs.
“To have been in that system, to have been kind of groomed and brought up with all those guys — certainly with Andy [Reid] but certainly to see Doug [Pederson] and Nags [Matt Nagy] — I don’t see how you could be more ready,” Smith said.