SAINT JOSEPH, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid understand Eric Bieniemy’s coaching style more than most.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and head coach are just a few more figures from the team that spoke highly of their former offensive coordinator of nine years.
The Commanders’ new offensive coordinator was known in Kansas City for his aggressive coaching style and tough love that he heaps on his players.
Known as “EB,” Bieniemy’s brought the high tempo and strenuous style of practice that he learned from Reid to Washington in his first season with the Commanders, and players have said it’s taken some getting used to.
Commanders running back Antonio Gibson said the practices with EB have been the hardest of his pro career, but it’s helped him be in the best shape that he’s been in going into his fourth year.
Reid relayed the same sentiments on Friday.
“He’s a tough kid, but he gets guys right,” Reid said.
“That’s his personality, and the guys play for him. He’s had great success. He had great success as a running backs coach and had great success as a coordinator. I always welcomed that, something that I welcomed into the mix. We always talk about letting a personality show, and I think that’s an important part of it.
“He’s gonna challenge ya. They’ll appreciate it when they’re winning games.”
The 65-year-old head coach also had Bieniemy and Carolina Panthers assistant head coach Duce Staley as running backs with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999. Staley has a similar coaching style to EB.
“They’re going to love you up, but they’re also going to tell you the truth. That’s the thing I appreciate about them,” Reid said. “They know what it takes to play at this level, and at a championship-caliber level. There’s a difference.”
Mahomes has had plenty of public displays of frustration with his former OC, but he speaks highly of him as well.
“EB is going to be harsh on you. He’s going to really try to get the best out of you every single day. He’s gonna hold you accountable whenever you don’t even want to hold yourself accountable and it made me a better player,” Mahomes said.
“He’s your number one supporter though. He will go to war with you just like any other guy on your team and you gotta know that. You gotta know when he’s talking to you on the football field, that he’s trying to get the best out of you. He’s not trying to put you down, he’s trying to push you to be even better than you think you can be.
“They’ll understand when they go out there and they start winning football games is there’s a reason to why he’s coaching you the way that he’s coaching you and that he loves you. I mean, he loves every guy that he coaches and you see that with the guys that have come out and said stuff about him, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Tyreek [Hill].
“I mean, they understand that he loves you and he’s gonna try to get the best out of you every single day.”
There are different coaching styles that NFL coaches take that are effective; the Chiefs’ and Bieniemy’s success justifies the method behind the OC’s madness.
“Nothing comes easy,” Reid said. “In this business, nothing comes easy. Hardly in life, nothing comes easy. You gotta work at it.”
With Bieniemy interviewing for NFL head coaching jobs with over half of the league’s teams without an offer, stepping out of the Chiefs’ shadow is one of the biggest tests of his coaching career.
The success of the Commanders’ offense will show just how effective EB is on his new team.