The Baltimore Ravens continue to search for their next offensive coordinator after parting ways with Greg Roman. It’s only natural to wonder how large a component the uncertainty of their quarterback position plays into that.
They have already been connected to a number of high-level names circulating the coaching landscape, and that includes Eric Bieniemy. He just won his second Super Bowl as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that the Ravens intend to speak with Bieniemy now that the Super Bowl is over.
One wonders if Bieniemy is not their top option given that the process has seemingly taken as long as it has. Most job positions would be filled by now, ordinarily. A similar delay took place when the Cincinnati Bengals seemed to be set to hire Zac Taylor as head coach. His Rams were on a Super Bowl run at the time.
The conversation over Bieniemy has always been a complicated one because of the specter of Andy Reid. The long shadow that he costs is not only due to his physical stature. While he has repeatedly deflected credit for the Chiefs’ offense, most seem to believe that he has a larger influence than most head coaches in that area.
Reid has also long championed Bieniemy as deserving of a promotion. But he was matter-of-fact in speaking about his coordinator’s job interviews this offseason. He doesn’t want to see him leave unless he’s taking a head coaching job.
As a side note, it wouldn’t do the Chiefs any good in terms of compensation, because a team is only awarded compensation for losing a minority coach or coordinator if it is due to a promotion, not a lateral move.
“I’m hoping he has an opportunity to go somewhere and do his thing where he can run the show and be Eric Bieniemy.”, he told reporters following the Super Bowl, via Adam Teicher of ESPN. To state the obvious, he wouldn’t have a chance to do that if he takes the offensive coordinator job in Baltimore under John Harbaugh.
Still, perhaps it’s telling that he is even taking interviews for offensive coordinator jobs. After all, isn’t he already the offensive coordinator, with the best quarterback in football? What purpose would it serve to leave? What better position could he possibly be in?
The obvious answer is because he is perceived to have less influence on the Chiefs’ success than a typical offensive coordinator. The question is whether or not that perception is valid. And whether or not he is interested in moving on because it is valid.
Bieniemy obviously wants to be the head coach of a team. He already nominally occupies the coaching position most often sought among new head coaches. Yet he is giving the perception that he believes he has a better path to an eventual head coaching opportunity by being an offensive coordinator under somebody other than Reid.