On Thursday night, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts for their vacant head coach position, according to the team.
Colts owner Jim Irsay broke the news via his official Twitter account.
Just completed our interview with Eric Bieniemy
—Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) January 13, 2023
Bieniemy, 53, has been considered for head coaching positions over the last five offseasons, but no team has chosen to hire him. The Chiefs remain optimistic that this could be the offseason for Bieniemy, who was the team’s running backs coach (2013-17) before his promotion to its coordinators (2018-present) for the last five seasons.
Teams Eric Bieniemy has interviewed for or had a request to be interviewed in the past 4 years:
Bengals, Dolphins, Jaguars, Chargers, Broncos, Saints, Falcons, Lions, Jets, Texans, Browns, Giants, Panthers, Bucs, Eagles.
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) February 7, 2022
In late December, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked what may tip the scale for Bieniemy this offseason.
“I thought [the league] did a nice job of that this offseason getting [potential candidates] together with the owners,” said Reid, referring to the NFL’s first-ever coach and front office accelerator program that took place in May. “To me, that was the difference. More a casual setting. Not, ‘I have to hire this guy right now.’ Get to know them. I appreciated that.
“I thought that was a good thing for Eric. I know what he can do. I’ve said it 100 times. I haven’t changed my opinion on that. So, I hope he gets an opportunity.”
Reid and Bieniemy led the Chiefs to the league’s No. 1 ranking in yards per game (413.6) and points per game (29.2) in 2022. He is the only offensive coordinator that soon-to-be two-time-MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes has ever known as a starter.
The Colts fired Frank Reich midseason, turning the reins to former center Jeff Saturday. Between Reich and Saturday, the Colts were 27th in the league in points per game (17.0), finishing with a 4-12-1 record.
Bieniemy’s case may be helped by the familiarity with Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who worked in the Chiefs scouting and personnel department from 2013-17.
This is the first known interview for Bieniemy this cycle. Arizona, Carolina, Denver and Houston also have head coach vacancies to fill.