Monday, July 1, 2024

The Origin Of The Eric Bieniemy Bears News Is Pretty Significant


Chicago Bears fans were given a considerable shock when news dropped that their team reportedly had an interest in veteran offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy if Matt Eberflus is fired as head coach. The report came from Josina Anderson, one of the most well-connected national insiders in the business. So it was as legit as it can get. An immediate reaction to the news was understanding. Bieniemy has direct ties to GM Ryan Poles. They worked together for almost a decade in Kansas City, winning a Super Bowl in 2019.

Bieniemy did excellent work with Patrick Mahomes during that time and has gone on to help Sam Howell become the second-leading passer in the NFL this season. If the Bears plan to draft a new quarterback next year, it makes sense to hire an offensive head coach to develop him. Bieniemy has lots of experience doing that. Where it gets interesting is learning where the interest in him began. According to a source, it isn’t Poles who kickstarted things.

That would be Kevin Warren.

It’s been rumored for weeks that the Bears team president planned to become more active in the football operations. That means considerable changes this coming off-season with the idea of bringing in his own people. Bieniemy would be one of them. He and Warren spent five years together in Minnesota from 2006 through 2010. The Bears president knows one thing is constant with the man: he wins.

Bieniemy was a national champion as a player for Colorado in 1990. He helped San Diego reach their only Super Bowl in 1994. Minnesota reached the NFC championship in 2009. Now he has two Super Bowl rings from his time in Kansas City. If anybody will come to Chicago with high standards, it’s Bieniemy.

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As one Chiefs source said of Bieniemy, “He’s demanding, and he’ll push people. And he doesn’t care if he ruffles feathers.” That same Chiefs source said many players in Kansas City needed that push, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce…

…”He took over a tough situation there in Washington and has worked hard to correct it,” an executive with an NFC team said. “They needed a culture shock there. I think he’s probably helped his profile.”

Eric Bieniemy will be a risk.

Nobody disputes this. The fact that the guy has been passed over so many times for head coaching jobs is a red flag to some. Maybe there is a personality issue that a lot of organizations believe will never translate well to running a locker room. Bieniemy does have some unfortunate missteps in his background related to alcohol. New generations of players may not care for his reportedly intense and abrasive style. At the same time, it can often come down to the types of players you acquire. More than a few don’t mind being coached hard.

Besides, you can often tell how much somebody means to an organization after they’re gone. In 2022, Kansas City had the #1 offense in the NFL. Mahomes was the league MVP, throwing for over 5,000 yards. This year, they’ve fallen off considerably, dropping to 11th place despite no significant changes in personnel. They’ve failed to score 20 points in four of their last seven games. The only notable difference is Eric Bieniemy leaving for Washington with Matt Nagy replacing him as offensive coordinator.

Warren is no stranger to taking risks on coordinators with abrasive personalities. Minnesota did that with Mike Zimmer years ago. He ended up with a 72-56 record and made the playoffs three times. Bieniemy seems like the offensive version of him.


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Dec 7, 2023 6:37 am

Two weeks is a long time when your team sucks. lol. But they are trending up.

Dec 7, 2023 12:41 am

You know who else people complained about concerning personality issues? Mike Ditka! You didn’t take a lot of crap and instilled a no nonsense culture. He had the players backs if they played hard. And Mike Ditka would take the hits for them. And, Mike Ditka was a guy who was extremely generous with his time concerning practices and folks that knew the team pretty well. I know one thing, he was always nice to me and my oldest son. When he was a little guy, Coach invited us inside the McBubble to watch practices. Tough but kind, a taskmaster… Read more »

Mansa Musa
Dec 6, 2023 4:49 pm

Great observation about Sam Howell being 2nd in passing yards and 21st in ratings. Sam wasn’t drafted to be the starter, yet EB is utilizing his skills to the maximum.

A lot of the folks on here can’t make their mind up. If JF1 was 2nd in passing yards and still 14th in rating. You’d still continue to hear the negative of him not being the future.

Everyone has baggage from their past, yet it hasn’t stopped him from winning at every stop, oh yeah and those 2 Superbowl rings. Harbaugh doesn’t have any IJS.

Dec 6, 2023 1:38 pm

Yes, Sam Howell is #2 in passing yards, but he’s 21st in QB rating. For context, Fields is 14th. Also, as mentioned by another commenter, there’s the matter of not scoring enough points, which is the metric that matters most. Then, when you look at the running game…..WAS is 23rd. So, EB sounds like another Nagy….he prioritizes throwing the ball with not much focus on the run game. Hard pass. What else ya’ got?

Dec 6, 2023 12:39 pm

Looking at Sam Howell passing for a lot of yards is not good enough. Let me explain:

1. The Commanders have the highest pass play percentage in the league. Close to 70% pass plays called. (Just like Nagy) So no wonder Howell has yards.

2. His offense has the #2 passer, but are only 17th in scoring.

My fear is Bienemy is going to be Nagy 2.0. That system was an even worse fit for Fields than Getsy’s is. If they are drafting Caleb Williams then okay Bienemy maybe makes sense, but Harbaugh could make Fields a winner.

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