NFL rumors: Eric Bieniemy had one NFL offer available before choosing UCLA

Eric Bieniemy had an opportunity to stay in the NFL before taking a coordinator role at the college level with UCLA.

Washington Commanders v Denver Broncos
Washington Commanders v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

Eric Bieniemy's prospects as a head coach at the NFL level remain perplexing. Despite interviewing for plenty of head coaching roles over the years, including for the Washington Commanders' vacancy this January, he has yet to get an opportunity to lead a team himself.

Bieniemy has earned a reputation as a quality offensive mind and coordinator, but that reputation has been underscored by some doubts over whether or not he has benefited from being placed in favorable positions. Having Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback will do that.

Bieniemy now gets to head to the college level and coach there, taking a role as Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator with the UCLA Bruins, where he was a running backs coach 20 years ago. Bieniemy also notes he played high school ball in the area, giving him the opportunity to return home with his new job.

Eric Bieniemy had chance to stay in NFL, but it feels like a demotion

Eric Bieniemy was not afforded the opportunity to return to the Commanders after his lone season as offensive coordinator. New head coach Dan Quinn opted to shape his own staff. Bieniemy came to the Commanders as OC under Ron Rivera for 2023, a lateral move as he was OC for the Chiefs directly before. Outwardly, it looked like a role where he wanted to prove he could implement and lead a successful system even with inferior weapons at his disposal.

While he leaves the NFL, he did have a role available to him, but it feels like a bit of a demotion from OC: Running backs coach (and assistant head coach), according to Adam Schefter's report. Schefter did not say which team offered him such a role.

All said and done, Bieniemy takes a role at the collegiate level that will allow him to make his mark on an offense, potentially affording him another platform for his work to return to the NFL down the road. It looks like, if he still wants that coveted head coaching role, it may still be a few years out for him.

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