5 Things You Need to Know About Eric Bieniemy 

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1. Bieniemy is under the Andy Reid coaching tree – a tree that produced seven of the league’s head coaches in 2018, eight if you include Reid himself. That pedigree certainly bodes well as Reid is known for grooming his assistants to be NFL head coaches, and successful ones at that. According to an article in the Kansas City Star, 67 percent of Reid’s assistants that have gone on to be head coaches have taken their team to the postseason.

Bieniemy originally arrived in Kansas City in 2013 as the running backs coach under Reid and this past season was promoted to offensive coordinator after the departure of Matt Nagy to Chicago. In turn, Bieniemy helped to create the league’s best offense this season. Kansas City ranks first in yards and points for 2018, scoring 565 points while amassing 6,810 total yards. While the story of their offense has undoubtedly been first-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, they run a sneakily efficient ground game, one that ranks in the top five for rushing yards per play with a 4.79 average. The offense as a whole is ranked second in the red zone, scoring on 71.83 percent of their trips inside the 20 and also ranks second on third down, converting 47.16 percent of attempts.

2. His background is in the running game, starting with his own playing days. He was the nation’s second-leading rusher at the University of Colorado in 1990 and finished third in the Heisman voting that year. Bieniemy stands as Colorado’s all-time leading rusher to this day with 3,940 yards on the ground, 4,351 all-purpose yards and 42 total touchdowns during his time as a Buffalo. He went on to have a nine-year career in the NFL, playing for three different teams. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round (39th overall) in 1991 where he stayed for four years before moving onto the Cincinnati Bengals for another four seasons. He spent one year in Philadelphia before retiring and turning to coaching.

3. His coaching career again began from the ground up. Bieniemy returned to the University of Colorado, after playing nine years in the NFL, to finish his degree and coach running backs in 2001. From there, he was hired by UCLA in the same capacity from 2003 to 2005, also serving as the school’s recruiting coordinator in 2005. UCLA won the Sun Bowl that year. After a five-season stint in the NFL, Bieniemy returned to the collegiate ranks when he was named offensive coordinator of his alma mater, Colorado, under then-Head Coach Jon Embree. He would stay there before being hired by the Chiefs in 2013.

4. Bieniemy first made the jump to the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. With him as their running backs coach, Vikings’ backs flourished. In Bieniemy’s very first year, Chester Taylor ran for 1,216 yards. The next year, a certain back named Adrian Peterson was added to the mix, who topped 1,341 yards in 2007 and a whopping 1,760 yards in 2008 under Bieniemy, good for the league lead in both years. In 2007, Bieniemy was responsible for the number one rushing offense in the NFL. With Peterson and Taylor leading the way, Minnesota rushers gained 2,634 yards on the ground and scored 22 touchdowns. The Vikings would stay top 10 in the category for the rest of Bieniemy’s tenure and by 2010, Bieniemy was named assistant head coach for the offense by the Vikings.

5. Bieniemy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana before attending high school in La Puente, California, where he lettered in football and track. Nicknamed “Scooter,” he was heavily recruited coming out of high school after earning second-team All-America honors and rushing for 2,002 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior. He would again be given the honor in 1990, being named a consensus All-American while at the University of Colorado. He also earned Big-Eight Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors as a senior.

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