News broke yesterday (from our Chief JP) that the Broncos had an interest in interviewing Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bienemy for their Head Coach opening.
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Please do not take the photo above as a tease about what might happen in regards to Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy. The sun is literally setting on EB’s time as Chiefs offensive coordinator, regardless of whether he becomes the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.
JP got the insight on this on Sunday afternoon, and several sources on Twitter are late to the party reporting it today. The Broncos have asked permission from the Chiefs to interview Eric Bienemy for their head coaching vacancy left by yesterday’s firing of Vic Fangio. And it makes sense. To Denver, they are looking at the guy who they see as responsible for KC’s historic offensive performance over the past 4 seasons – or, essentially, the entirety of Patrick Mahomes career. While Bienemy has been a large part of sculpting the Chiefs rushing principles since his arrival in Kansas City alongside Andy Reid in 2013, the offense is hardly a feather that can be placed in his cap. Has he been a fantastic players coach? Yes. Have there been times when everyone in the offensive room haven’t seen eye to eye, and questioned certain approaches to play calling? Yes. Is this an ugly breakup? It depends on who you ask, but for the most part – no.
The Chiefs signed Bienemy to a 1 year contract extension after the head coaching carousel of 2021 ended. This was done with the mutual understanding that Bienemy’s time as Chiefs offensive coordinator would be done following the 2021 regular season/2022 postseason. Whether the Broncos sign Bienemy as their head coach, or he ends up as the lead man for any of the other NFL franchises looking for head coaches (as of right now, that would be Miami, Chicago, Minnesota, and Jacksonville), his time as the Chiefs offensive coordinator will conclude with the Chiefs season, if not sooner. Bienemy will not be back to coach the team in 2022. Denver does seem like a good fit, considering EB had a historic career during his playing days at the University of Colorado. Bienemy still holds the Buffalos all time career records in rushing yards (3,940), all-purpose yards (4,351), and touchdowns (42). Buffs fans endearingly referred to EB as “Scooter” during his playing days, and in 1990 he finished third in Heisman Trophy voting while leading the Buffalos to a national championship. To say his roots in Colorado are deep would be an understatement.
So, who does that leave to fill the position for Kansas City? There is only one correct answer to this question. Mike Kafka. The Chiefs current quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator has been an Andy Reid disciple since Reid drafted him as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2010. Kafka has been on the Chiefs coaching staff since 2017, first as an offensive quality control coach – helping mentor a rough around the edges rookie quarterback by the name of Patrick Mahomes – and as quarterbacks coach since 2018. Kafka did brief stints with the Patriots, Jags, Bucs, Vikings, Titans, and Bengals as a player, but for the most part his only time away from Coach Reid was in 2016 when he served as an offensive GA for his alma mater Northwestern.
Chiefs Kingdom will always remember Eric Bienemy fondly, but all good things eventually come to an end. As we watch the final chapter of the Eric Bienemy story unfold, it is time to look forward to the Mike Kafka era of Chiefs offensive football. The man behind the curtain should be able to, in conjunction with Andy Reid’s unparalleled offensive mind, lead an offense that continues to evolve and improve.