Back on January 16, NFL Network reported the Philadelphia Eagles “requested permission to interview” Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their head coach opening. NFL Network also said it was “[to be determined] when the interview will occur.”
As it turns out, the meeting never took place ... because the Eagles didn’t even formally request an interview. Andy Reid revealed as much during Super Bowl media availability on Wednesday:
“They had talked early about it, but there was nothing formally sent in,” Andy Reid said of the Eagles’ request to interview Chiefs OC Eric Bienemy for their HC vacancy. https://t.co/W7Fw2VUyXY— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) February 3, 2021
Due to both the NFL’s interviewing rules and the Eagles’ late start on their coaching search, Philly missed their first window to speak with Bieniemy in the playoffs. But they did still have a chance to speak with Bieniemy leading up to the AFC Championship Game. The Eagles conducted an interview with Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles in the same time-frame.
The NFL has granted clubs permission to conduct virtual interviews this week with head-coaching candidates who are still in the playoffs, provided the employer club consents, per source. Notable for the likes of Eric Bieniemy and Todd Bowles, who interviews with the #Eagles today— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 18, 2021
A number of Eagles fans aren’t going to like that the team didn’t make an effort to at least speak with Bieniemy.
Sure, it’s hard to parse exactly how much credit he individually deserves for the Chiefs’ success when he’s not a full-time play-caller and he’s working with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. But he deserves at least some level of recognition.
I don’t know that Bieniemy is necessarily the slam dunk candidate that many seem to think he is. There are some reports about Bieniemy interviewing poorly. There’s also an “uncomfortable past” to consider.
He’s certainly someone worth talking to, though, and for some reason, the Eagles didn’t do that.