‘The best coach is going to get hired’: Chiefs’ Bieniemy responds to change in NFL ‘Rooney Rule’

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been up for numerous head coaching jobs in the past couple seasons. 

Recently, the NFL tweaked the “Rooney Rule,” a rule forcing NFL teams to interview a minority candidate.

The change now mandates that teams interview at least two minority candidates for head coach along with at least one minority candidate for coordinator, senior level or general manager positions.

Bieniemy said he hopes it will help the best candidate get the job.

“I am blessed and fortunate to be placed in this opportunity in this given this situation. One thing, as a coach, you always want to be judged based upon your own merit, so at the end of the day the best coach is going to be hired,” Bieniemy said. 

“I coach football, but when it’s all said and done with, I can’t control all the controllables. I think that one thing that popped up was, some assistant coaches are now going to have an opportunity to interview.”

“I think that’s huge. I think that’s huge across the board, regardless of skin color. It doesn’t make a difference. Now, you get an opportunity to interview the best football coach for that particular position.”

On the field, he’s excited about the potential of first-round pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and he hopes the young running back learns from the other Chiefs players.

“We know the person, and we know one thing that kid is going to do. That kid is going to work his tail off,” Bieniemy said. “Now, he’s just going to be a piece of the puzzle. We have Damien Williams, Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson and DeAndre Washington. He’ll have an opportunity to learn under a collective group.”

Bieniemy said Edwards-Helaire does have the willingness to block, and he must understand it’s a huge asset for him moving forward.

“He’s one of those ideal kids who fits in what we do. The players are going the help him grow to be even more of a special contributor.”

Finally, he commented on Sammy Watkins returning to the team this year.

“I love Sammy. I love the way he comes to work every single day. I’m very blessed and fortunate that we’re bringing him back. He’s a big, huge part of what we do, and I’m actually proud that he allowed people to get to know him because he’s a beautiful kid. He’s a hard working kid, and the only thing that he wants to do — he wants to be great.”

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