INDIANAPOLIS — Chiefs head coach Andy Reid wasted no time after he stepped to the podium at the NFL Combine on Tuesday, immediately addressing rumors of disfunction amongst himself, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, saying “that’s kind of gotten fabricated.”
“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 Pat Mahomes and everybody else, and that’s not the case,” Reid said. “We all get along good and I’m glad he’s back with us and rolling. I thought he’d potentially get a head coaching job, which I would have been happy with too, but that’s not how it worked out.
“Anyway I just wanted to put that to rest,” Reid finished.
Bieniemy recently agreed on a one-year deal to return as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2022. Much was made of the routine postseason meeting between Reid and Bieniemy to determine their future together, but Reid said nothing was unusual about the meeting or the ongoing relationship between the Chiefs and their offensive coordinator.
“Everything’s set up for Eric to go be a head coach, and that part hasn’t changed,” Reid said. “We’re all pulling for him and he’s working his tail off, which I think is important. But nothing has changed with any of that. I know everything that was written. I didn’t know where all that came from but nothing, I mean, nothing, nothing has changed.”
Yet during a season when nine NFL franchises hired new head coaches, Bieniemy remained outside the club. Reid expressed surprise once again that Bieniemy didn’t receive an offer, and he remains perplexed what else he and the Chiefs can do to boost Bieniemy’s prospects.
“I don’t know that, past what we’ve done, I don’t know what,” Reid said. “I don’t think there is. I mean he helps out with everything. He’s done everything. It’s not like he hasn’t had a chance to be right in the mix on everything.”
Reid also again rejected the premise that Bieniemy somehow lacks sufficient ownership of Chiefs’ offensive success. Reid has pointedly remarked the past two seasons that Bieniemy has called plays during games. That also didn’t stop Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy, Bieniemy’s predecessors as offensive coordinator for Reid in Kansas City, from receiving NFL head coaching offers.
Reid also recalled that when the Philadelphia Eagles hired him as their head coach in 1999, he was the quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers under head coach Mike Holmgren and offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis. Lewis, perhaps notably, was also a minority like Bieniemy.
“I always go back to myself, I was the third guy in Green Bay, they gave me an opportunity to go,” Reid said. “So I don’t know exactly why it’s taking place, I don’t know that. Nobody’s told me this is the reason but I’m with him every day. I’m with him every day, so I have a pretty good idea.
Despite the frustration and confusion surrounding this year’s coaching carousel, Reid said the ultimate goal remains to help Bieniemy achieve his mission toward becoming an NFL head coach.
“I want him to be a head coach, that’s what I want, and I want him to be able to run his own show,” Reid said. “That I think is important. Hoping that takes place, and what’s funny is that our whole building feels that way, so it’s not just me trying to promote somebody. It’s everybody in the building.