Eric Bieniemy denies rumors he was fired from NFL gig before taking UCLA job

Although Eric Bieniemy lands in a great spot for him at UCLA, he is in denial about Washington.

Eric Bieniemy, Washington Commanders
Eric Bieniemy, Washington Commanders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Eric Bieniemy has a new job in as many years. The long-time offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs spent last season as the primary play-caller for the Washington Commanders. This was a huge step up for him, as he was unfortunately stuck behind Andy Reid's gigantic shadow in Kansas City. Washington was not a good football team. Everyone was fired by Josh Harris. Or so we thought...

Bieniemy is now going to be the new offensive coordinator of the UCLA Bruins on DeShaun Foster's staff. This was a previous place of employment for Bieniemy, who served as their running backs coach from 2003-05. It had been over a decade since he last coached in college. He was his alma mater's offensive coordinator at Colorado from 2011-12. Well, who says you can't go home, right?

In a statement, per ESPN, Bieniemy reaffirmed to everyone that he was not actually fired by the Commanders.

"I have no regrets with the Commanders. Contrary to what some think and what has been put out in the media, I was not fired. I actually just chose not to stay. Learned a lot and that is always a good thing."

No matter how things ended in Washington, Bieniemy seems to be at peace with a new opportunity.

"I will continue my walk in my peace. I'm excited to be here and to coach these young men and football again. My expectations and desire to be excellent will never be turned down. I'm fired up. Let's go."

The best thing he can do is to continue to prove everyone wrong, like he has made a career out of.

Eric Bieniemy denies he was fired by the Washington Commanders

Admittedly, I have long been over the notion of Bieniemy getting an opportunity to lead his own NFL team. He may not interview well. He may just be a glorified running backs coach. Regardless, it is not up to me. I don't make those kind of calls. All I can do is be optimistic for the future. Right now, I really like the pickup of Bieniemy for Foster on his first UCLA staff. This Bruins team is going to run the ball.

Even if Chip Kelly abruptly leaving the team was embarrassing, it will be far more embarrassing if Ohio State lost to Michigan for the fourth season in a row. With little to no expectations for 2024, now is the time to implement the foundation of a winning culture in Westwood. Bieniemy grew up in Southern California. He played in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers and previously worked at UCLA. Super!

Ultimately, this feels like a far more winnable situation at UCLA than what Bieniemy walked into at Washington on Ron Rivera's staff. For new ownership reasons, the 2023 Commanders never really stood a chance. With Foster being a distinguished UCLA alum and Bieniemy having a previous working relationship with the school, there is a chance this could work out in the end. Just give it time.

Look for the Bruins to leave their mark on a new Big Ten, with one well-designed run after another.

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