Over the past year, no fewer than 11 teams throughout the NFL have hired a new head coach. All of them decided to pass on Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, which, according to Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith, is a complete travesty.
Smith, who had the opportunity to work under Bieniemy during the former's five-year stint with the Chiefs prior to the trade to the Washington Football Team, expressed his disbelief in why it has taken this long for Bieniemy to get a much-deserved head coaching post:
“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 NBC Sports Washington. “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.”
Smith does have a point here. On paper, Bieniemy appears to have the right type of experience under his belt to take on a head coaching job. It is a bit baffling why so many teams have decided to pass on Bieniemy. One can't help but think that there must be at least one good reason for all this.
For Smith, however, he had nothing but praise for the 51-year-old offensive coordinator:
“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.”
Smith carried on with his campaign for Bieniemy, saying how coaching under the tutelage of the great Andy Reid for so long now should bump up Bieniemy's credentials. Just like it did for the likes of Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy—two coaches that have had success as head coaches after working under Andy Reid.
“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.
As it is, only one job opening remains available, and reports are saying that Bieniemy remains a candidate for the Houston Texans head coaching position.