SAINT JOSEPH, Mo. — Eric Bieniemy’s coaching style hasn’t been widely accepted just yet in Washington.
The Commanders’ new offensive coordinator was known in Kansas City for his aggressive coaching style. Bieniemy is a stern, fiery coach that constantly told players to finish plays and he’s the first coach you will hear on the field.
Bieniemy is also one of the first coaches who offensive players will praise with credit for their success.
The coach referred to as “EB” meshed with Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid for almost a decade because of his passion and edge. Reid’s training camps are known to push players past their limits because of the intensity and pace of the practices.
EB has brought that style of practice to Washington in his first season with the Commanders and players have said that it has taken some getting used to. Commanders running back Antonio Gibson said the practices with EB have been the hardest of his pro career, but it has helped him be in the best shape that he’s been in going into his fourth year.
Chiefs players also relayed similar sentiments about their former offensive lead.
Guard Trey Smith remembered his first conversation with Bieniemy in the Chiefs’ cafeteria.
“He’d been following my career from an early time. One of the coaches at Tennessee, they knew each other way back in the day,” Smith said.
“From day one, EB sort of encouraged me. Like, you know, ‘you have a bright future, man. You just got to keep working.’ Then from there obviously as practice rolled on, I might have a hiccup here or miss here, he’s going to get on me, but then he talks to me about, ‘okay, this is why I’m getting on. I want you to be the best. I want you to be a great player, you know?’
“So my relationship with EB was always great. He’s very demanding as a coach because he knows and believes in us as young men, as young players. He knows how well we can be.”
Second-year wide receiver Skyy Moore was used to EB’s style of coaching.
“It was normal to me,” Moore said. “My wide receiver coach, Coach Harbaugh, coached exactly like EB.”
“It’s always good to have those type of coaches because those coaches that like when everything, you know, everything sinks down when it’s the fourth quarter, game [is] on the line, you kind of like sink to the level of your training that he’s pushing.”
Many Chiefs offensive players heaped praises for Bieniemy since he had been passed over for several head coach and OC jobs despite interviewing with more than half of the NFL’s teams during his nine years in KC.
As he embarks on his first journey away from Reid in hopes of being an NFL head coach, he must get his new players on board with his coaching style.
Their results this season will show how they have adapted to their new OC.