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Eric Bieniemy a Late Coaching Free Agent after Commanders Hire Kliff Kingsbury



Pittsburgh Steelers Washington Commanders Eric Bieniemy

The Washington Commanders are set to hire Kliff Kingsbury as their new offensive coordinator, meaning that Eric Bieniemy will be a coaching free agent, very late in the hiring process.

The Pittsburgh Steelers might’ve been interested in Bieniemy for their offensive coordinator vacancy, but he wasn’t available when Mike Tomlin made the decision to offer Arthur Smith the job early last week.

Bieniemy spent one season as the offensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders after five years serving as the offensive coordinator under Andy Ried with the Kansas City Chiefs. When head coach Ron Rivera as fired on Jan. 8, Bieniemy went into coaching purgatory. 

He interviewed for the head coaching job in Washington, but was clearly not considered the favorite as the Commanders first pursued Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson before finally pivoting to Dan Quinn, who is expected to be officially announced as the next Commanders head coach on Monday.

After the Quinn news was first reported, Bieniemy became a late candidate for the Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator job, but that was filled on Saturday night by former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

The OC market is closing fast. Greg Roman is expected to join Jim Harbaugh with the Los Angeles Chargers, leaving only the Seattle Seahawks with a coaching vacancy.

Bieniemy coming available later in the coaching cycle could levy some criticism for moving too quickly at the feet of Tomlin. Smith was set to fly to Tampa to interview for the Buccaneers job, so Tomlin could have felt pressured to offer him the job, at risk of losing out on his top current choice.

It’s also possible that the Steelers could have the best of both worlds. If Bieniemy does not land the Seattle vacancy, he could be up for taking a job as an assistant head coach or passing-game coordinator. The Steelers have interviewed three candidates for the latter job and seem to open to expanding their offensive coaching staff for the first time in years to give Smith, who has a running-game background, additional help in the passing department.