A lot has changed since Eric Bieniemy was last coaching in Boulder. The Colorado Buffaloes' legendary running back has been back coaching in the NFL for over a decade now. He linked up with Andy Reid in Kansas City as part of his first Chiefs' staff in 2013, where he moved up from running backs coach to offensive coordinator in 2018. Of course, it wasn't good enough to get his own team.
This has everything to do with Bieniemy being a former running back and not a primary play-caller during his five years working alongside Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Reid is the play-caller. For better or worse, it has an effect on offensive minds in that building getting opportunities to lead a team of their own. Bieniemy may never get to lead an NFL team of his own...
After having an up-and-down year as the Washington Commanders offensive coordinator, Charles McDonald of Yahoo Sports argues that it might be time for Bieniemy to go back to his alma mater of Colorado to serve on Deion Sanders' staff. He fits the mold of the type of attentive coaches Coach Prime loves to have on his staff. The problem is been there, done that and Pat Shurmur is still there...
This is not the craziest idea in the world, but it is still going to take him a while to lead his own team.
Pros and cons of Eric Bieniemy possibly going back to Colorado to coach
If I were Bieniemy, I would try to get back on Reid's staff as quickly as possible. This past season in Washington showed us that he can call plays at the game's highest level. I always knew he could, but the presence of Reid can be a tad smothering for aspiring offensive minds. Doug Pederson was able to get out from under it, while Matt Nagy was defined by it. Guess who is back not calling plays in KC?
Overall, I do like Shurmur as an offensive play-caller. He has had his moments doing that quite well in the NFL. Taking over mid-season once the Sean Lewis coordinator experiment failed, Shurmur tried to make the Colorado offense a bit more balanced. Bieniemy could be in line with that as a former running back who coached Mahomes in Kansas City from 2017-22. This being his alma mater helps.
However, I think the instant Bieniemy leaves the NFL forever ruins his slim chances of being a head coach in the league. He may have to bide his time and be something like an offensive analyst at CU anyway. If there is any upside to going to work for Sanders back at his alma mater it is that if Sanders leaves for a bigger job in a few years, Bieniemy's coaching stock will have risen enough to take over.
It may take until 2026, but Colorado promoting Bieniemy from within to lead the Buffs sounds great.