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Chiefs’ Eric Bieniemy Returning As Offensive Coordinator In 2022: Initial Reactions

What are your thoughts on Bieniemy's return to the Chiefs?

It’s now official. Long-tenured offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy, will return to his role for the Chiefs in 2022. Bieniemy’s contract had expired following the 2021 season. Despite his name constantly circling in head coaching circles, Bieniemy has been unable to land an offer after more than three years of interviews in every offseason coaching carousel.

Most recently, Bieniemy interviewed with the Saints before they hired Dennis Allen as their new head coach. In total, Eric Bieniemy has interviewed for twelve different teams as a head coach candidate since 2019 alone. Bieniemy returns to Kansas City on just a one-year contract.

This offseason, some conflicting reports discussed a possible rift between Eric Bieniemy and Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has not commented directly on these reports, but many members of the team have come to Bieniemy’s defense on Twitter, seemingly casting those reports into doubt. The team has been nothing but supportive of Eric Bieniemy in his time as Offensive Coordinator and his pursuit of a head coaching role. The reports of a rift within the organization could easily be far-fetched and without foundation.

Even still, the Chiefs’ decision to sign Bieniemy to just one-year extension points to some unhappiness within the organization with recent offensive performance. Most notably, the failures in Super Bowl 55 and the 2021 AFC Championship Game. The struggles of Patrick Mahomes in 2021 were perhaps the biggest storyline in the entire NFL through the mid-way point of the season. From Weeks Five through 12 in 2021, Patrick Mahomes played at a season-long pace of 23 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. Those three things are key question marks that Eric Bieniemy will have to answer as we look ahead to next season and what his future may hold in Kansas City and beyond.

What’s Next?

What’s next for the Chiefs on offense? Bieniemy will return as offensive coordinator, but QB Coach Mike Kafka has accepted the Giant’s open OC position this offseason. There have been many reports thrown out this offseason. Many have mentioned Alex Smith as a potential replacement for Kafka as Quarterbacks coach.

Additionally, former Chiefs’ OC, Matt Nagy, has been mentioned in many Chiefs’ circles this offseason. Nagy, most recently head coach of the Chicago Bears, was a member of the Chiefs coaching staff from 2013 to 2017. Should Bieniemy have received a head coaching offer, Nagy was the favorite of many to replace him as Offensive Coordinator.

Nagy is a name to watch as the offseason progresses. I expect him to receive much consideration for the open Quarterbacks coach position. He would likely be involved in the offensive process as a special advisor to Andy Reid or Eric Bieniemy. The return of Bieniemy assures some consistency entering next season after the Chiefs were concerned they may enter the 2022 season without two of their top offensive minds in the coaching staff.

Bieniemy, who returns for a fifth season as Offensive Coordinator under Andy Reid, now becomes the second longest-tenured Offensive Coordinator to serve under Andy Reid. Marty Mornhinweg served seven seasons as OC under Reid in Philadelphia. Questions remain after a decline on offense in mid-2021. Patrick Mahomes didn’t score a single touchdown in the second half of the AFC Championship game after the Chiefs jumped to a quick 21-3 lead.

With the return of Bieniemy, the Chiefs’ problems haven’t changed. They must figure out how to fix the offense, who will become the much-needed number two wide receiver in the offense, and what they can do to support Patrick Mahomes more in 2022.

Luckily, with the Coordinator questions out to pasture, the Chiefs can now focus on tackling those problems instead of figuring out who will lead the offense.

What are your thoughts on Bieniemy’s return to the Chiefs? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.

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