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Mike Tomlin still confused over how Chiefs’ Eric Bieniemy wasn’t hired as a head coach

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Three head coaching cycles have come and gone — and Eric Bieniemy is still the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite being requested to interview for all seven head coaching jobs this offseason, Biemieny was not selected by any of those teams as a head coach — a head-scratcher amongst some NFL coaches. 

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is the latest to question why Bieniemy isn’t a head coach in the league, despite playing a major role in the Chiefs offense putting up incredible numbers over the last three seasons. 

“Bieniemy is a real head-scratcher for me,” Tomlin said on the lack of minority head coaches hired in the NFL, via Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Every offensive coordinator Andy Reid has had in the last 20 years got a head job. One of those guys, Brad Childress, hired me in Minnesota in 2006. Now, Andy has the best offense he’s ever had and [Bieniemy] can’t get a job?”

Tomlin has an excellent point regarding Reid’s offensive coordinators getting hired as head coaches over the past 22 years. Childress was the first of Reid’s offensive coordinators to land a head coaching job in 2006, followed by Doug Pederson in 2016 and Matt Nagy in 2017. Bieniemy is the only one of this group to have the No. 1 offense in the NFL in points and yards as Reid’s offensive coordinator, yet hasn’t been able to land a job. 

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Twelve of the 28 candidates interviewed for head coaching positions were minorities during this offseason, but Bieniemy was not hired. David Culley (Houston Texans) and Robert Saleh (New York Jets) were the minorities hired in this cycle. Per the Associated Press, the number of minority hires for open positions in the NFL was 34.6% in 2021 — up from 18.8% in 2020.

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As for head coaches? Only five of the 32 are minorities. Just three are Black, down from the five when Tomlin was hired in 2007. 

“I don’t have an answer for you as to how to make it better,” Tomlin said. “The optimist in me says things will get better, but there’s been no evidence in the recent cycles to back that up. Without evidence, all we have is hope. We just haven’t been able to move the needle.”


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