Eric Bieniemy is back for another season as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, which is not something coach Andy Reid expected when the 2021 season ended.
Reid said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis that he thought Bieniemy would be an NFL head coach by now. In each of the past four years, Bieniemy has interviewed for NFL head-coaching jobs, including this year with the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.
"It does surprise me a bit," Reid said. "He's a heck of a football coach."
Reid indicated he didn't hesitate to re-sign Bieniemy for another season, this despite a recent online report suggesting significant friction developed last season between Bieniemy and quarterback Patrick Mahomes and other players. The report was taken down not long after it was posted.
"The whole thing with Eric Bieniemy has gotten kind of fabricated," Reid said. "We were on vacation and over the two weeks I came back and all of a sudden it was that I didn't like Eric and Eric didn't like me and Patrick Mahomes and everybody else.
"That's not the case. We all get along good, and I'm glad he's back with us and rolling. My thought was that he potentially would get a head-coaching job, which I would have been happy with, too. But that's not the way it worked out."
The Chiefs lost quarterback coach Mike Kafka, who is the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants. They replaced him with former Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy, who was the offensive coordinator for Reid and the Chiefs before Bieniemy.
"It's great to have Matt back," Reid said of Nagy, who also coached for Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles. "I thought it was important, that continuity we've had between Eric, the quarterback coach, the offensive staff [and] Matt was the logical to do that if he wanted to do that. I didn't know where he'd be at after being a head coach but he was fired up to do it and Eric was fired up so I said, 'Let's go.'"