Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has become the example of the Rooney Rule gone wrong. He did not get a head coaching job in the offseason despite three interviews for such jobs in January.
Of the four vacancies, two were filled by first-year head coaches and only one went to a minority (Ron Rivera to Washington). It marked the third consecutive offseason that only one minority was hired as a head coach, three of 20 hirings.
Bieniemy, though, is undeterred.
“I’ve always been a patient man,” Bieniemy told Steve Wyche of NFL Media on Tuesday. “I get an opportunity to work with coach Andy Reid, [General Manager] Brett Veach, Mark Donovan our president and then our owner Clark Hunt. I have nothing to worry about. In order to get a job, you gotta make sure you’re doing your job. So, I’m blessed and fortunate to be in the situation that I’m in. And on top of that, the only thing I know is the grind. And when the timing is right, it will be right. And it has to be a great fit. So, being patient, I have no problem with that. The only thing I know how to do is keep chopping wood. And everything will work out for the best when it’s all said and done.”
Bieniemy has worked for Reid since 2013, serving as the offensive coordinator the past two seasons.
Only three of the 32 NFL head coaches are black, and the league is seeking ways to bring more diversity to the sideline and the front office.
“I do feel diversity is important, but when it’s all said and done with, you want to make sure you get the right people that are the right fit for your staff and your organization,” Bieniemy, 50, said. “When it’s all said and done with, let’s make sure we get the right people who are the best fit for that particular job.”