4 Ben Johnson backup plans the Washington Commanders should hire

The Washington Commanders missed the boat on Ben Johnson, but several strong options remain.

Eric Bieniemy, Washington Commanders
Eric Bieniemy, Washington Commanders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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2. Commanders can hire OC Eric Bieniemy


There has been talk of Eric Bieniemy as the natural successor to Washington's head coaching job going back to last offseason, when Ron Rivera managed to pry him away from Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Not many Super Bowl-winning coordinators responsible for historically great offenses go without a promotion for as long as Bieniemy has. He's right there, in-house. He is arguably the most obvious choice and the best choice.

The Commanders would need to reckon with the tame performance of the offense last season, but it's hard to blame Bieniemy for an inexperienced, trigger-happy QB and Washington's general incompetence on the personnel front. The Commanders have a few nifty weapons, but lack the structure and player experience necessary to unlock those weapons. Washington should land a QB upgrade on draft night. Meanwhile, the Commanders figure to aggressively restock the roster in free agency.

Even after last season's milquetoast results, Bieniemy should receive strong consideration from the Commanders (as well as the Seahawks and any other team thinking about their next head coach). He has earned it. Much is said about the various coaching trees in the NFL — Shanahan, Belichick, McVay — but what about Andy Reid? Kansas City has been a paragon of excellence for over half a decade now. Obviously, Patrick Mahomes and a bit of luck helps, but Reid is a long-established offensive genius. Bieniemy was there to build the foundation of Kansas City's dynasty.

The Commanders would be foolish not to seriously mull over Bieniemy, who received the first in-person interview of Washington's coaching search. So long as the Commanders nail the QB pick and solidify the offensive depth chart, the results should come in time.