These white offensive assistants became NFL head coaches since Eric Bieniemy’s 1st AFC Championship Game

These white offensive assistants became NFL head coaches since Eric Bieniemy’s 1st AFC Championship Game

If the Kansas City Chiefs OC was white, he'd have been hired by now

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Image: AP

Super Bowl 57 already has a ton of storylines. Andy Reid will be facing a franchise that he once led to football’s biggest stage. Travis and Jason Kelce are making history as the first brothers to play against each other in the game. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are the first two Black quarterbacks to headline. And then there’s the subplot that people are overlooking — the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs have reached five AFC Championship Games and three Super Bowls since Eric Bieniemy took over as offensive coordinator, and he still hasn’t been offered a head coaching job.

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Days after Kellen Moore “mutually agreed to part ways” with the Dallas Cowboys as their offensive coordinator, he was hired by the Los Angeles Chargers to do the same job in another example of how NFL franchises love to keep hiring the same white guys over and over.

This isn’t about Moore or how his race is the reason why he will remain gainfully employed until he decides to hang it up. It’s about what Moore represents, which is the infatuation that teams have with putting white coaches at the front of the line — skipping the usually overqualified Black candidates that have more than waited their turn for promotion.

“You guys know how I feel about Eric,” Reid said about Bieniemy back in 2020. “I think he’d be tremendous. There’s a team out there — I don’t know the team, but there’s a team out there — that could really use him. Being the leader of men that he is, you’re not going to find people better than that in that category. And he’s a sharp offensive mind on top of that. So I’m a big fan. Don’t want to lose him, but reality is, there’s a good chance that happens.”

Over the last few years, Bieniemy has been interviewed close to 20 times for head coaching jobs but has yet to receive an offer. It’s mind-blowing given that the Chiefs took off on this historic run once he and Mahomes became the architects of one of the most electrifying offensives in the league’s history.

But, instead of telling you just how unfair this has been to Bieniemy, I’m going to show you. Here’s a look at the white offensive assistants that have been hired as head coaches since Bieniemy and the Chiefs started their run in 2018.

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Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns (2019)

Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns (2019)

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Before he was the Browns’ head coach, he served as Hue Jackson’s offensive coordinator. The Browns were 3-36 during Jackson’s tenure and decided to go with Kitchens who would finish his lone season as a head coach with a 6-10 record.

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Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (2019)

Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (2019)

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Last year, the Bengals lost in the Super Bowl by a field goal. This year, the Bengals lost in the AFC Championship Game by a field goal. Taylor has been a great hire.

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Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers (2019)

Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers (2019)

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Image: AP

Despite having to deal with everything that comes along with working with Aaron Rodgers, LaFleur’s time in Wisconsin has gone well. The Packers missed the playoffs this past season, but before that, they won their division and made it to the NFC Championship Game three years in a row under LaFleur.

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Joe Judge, New York Giants (2020)

Joe Judge, New York Giants (2020)

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Image: AP

If you hire someone from Bill Belichick’s staff as your head coach, it’s probably not going to work out for you. After coming over from New England, Judge lasted just two seasons in the Big Apple — and won a total of 10 games.

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Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns (2020)

Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns (2020)

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Winning AP Coach of the Year in your first year on the job is a good way to earn your keep. While the Browns haven’t made the postseason since Stefanski’s debut, they will have Deshaun Watson for a full offseason and training camp — whatever that means.

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Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles (2021)

Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles (2021)

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This is the guy who Bieniemy, Mahomes, and Reid will be trying to beat on Super Bowl Sunday. Since he’s shown up in Philly, the Eagles are 25-12. If only someone had given Bieniemy a similar chance.

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Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions (2021)

Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions (2021)

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After a successful tenure on HBO’s Hard Knocks and a “riveting” late-season win over the Packers that gave the Lions their first winning season since Jim Caldwell’s era in 2017, for some reason, people believe in Mr. Kneecaps in Detroit. Campbell is 12-21 in his time with the Lions.

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Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons (2021)

Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons (2021)

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After spending years climbing the ladder with the Tennessee Titans, Smith finally got a shot with the Falcons. It’s been unexciting, to say the least. Atlanta is 14-20 under Smith, as no one understands what’s going on with the Falcons.

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Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings (2022)

Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings (2022)

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The Vikings were on fire during O’Connell’s first year on the job as they finished the regular season 13-4. And then they were upset by the Giants in the Wild Card Round on their home turf. Let’s see how Year 2 works out.

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Brian Daboll, New York Giants (2022)

Brian Daboll, New York Giants (2022)

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Before the season started, Daboll was the “other Brian” in the fiasco with Bill Belichick in which he accidentally texted Brian Flores — spilling the beans that Flores’ interview was basically pointless given that Daboll was going to be the guy. Daboll led the G-Men to their first playoff victory since the Eli Manning/Tom Coughlin days.

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Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders (2022)

Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders (2022)

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Image: AP

Since 2000, between interim and hired head coaches, McDaniels is the 13th man to lead the Raiders — and that’s not even counting the fact that Jon Gruden did it twice. Las Vegas was terrible under McDaniels, as he’s failed every time he’s been a head coach. The Raiders finished 6-11 and are in the middle of an offseason full of unanswered questions.

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Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos (2022)

Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos (2022)

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You could make the argument that Hackett was the worst head coach in the NFL this past season. What makes it even worse is that after he was fired from his lone 4-11 season in Denver, the New York Jets immediately hired him to be their offensive coordinator — the same position Eric Bieniemy has.

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