Whitlock: Why Eric Bieniemy Should Take Over The Texans Now

Here’s what the Houston Texans should do in the next two weeks: 1) Hire Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as head coach; 2) Hire Chiefs assistant director of player personnel Ryan Poles or Michael Bradway as general manager.

Monday afternoon, after an 0-4 start, the Texans ditched head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien, another failed Bill Belichick assistant. O’Brien made a mess of the Texans. His feud with DeAndre Hopkins ended with the star receiver traded to Arizona, leaving $40-million quarterback Deshaun Watson without a number one receiver. A year ago, O’Brien’s desperation to win caused him to give away Houston’s top picks in 2021 for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. 

The Texans are a mess. Watson has looked erratic. Injuries and age are slowing defensive star J.J. Watt. 

The Texans need leadership on the sideline and in the front office. With their investment in Watson, the McNair family should look to Kansas City for a blueprint on harnessing and maximizing the talent of a $40-million QB. 

Bieniemy is the obvious choice to get first crack at molding Watson. 

Why wait three months to start the process? Why give these valuable three months of evaluation time to interim coach Romeo Crennel? Screw NFL hiring protocol and go for Bieniemy right now.

Commissioner Roger Goodell can’t say no. And neither should Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and head coach Andy Reid. 

The league has swallowed the Black Lives Matter police brutality gimmick. Jacob Blake’s name is splattered on the back of NFL helmets. Phony slogans are painted on the back of end zones. A quarter of the league’s players are refusing to participate in the national anthem. 

It’s the National Gestures League. 

I’ve been saying for months JOG — Jobs Over Gestures.

Eric Bieniemy is a black coach. He has qualified for the right to fail or succeed as a head coach the same as Bill O’Brien, Matt Patricia, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels and Joe Judge, a few of the apples off Bill Belichick’s tree. 

I’d much rather see the NFL ignore protocol and make Bieniemy the Texans coach immediately than see the players continue their grandstanding, social media-driven gestures. 

Ryan Poles and Mike Bradway are Chiefs general manager Brett Veach’s top lieutenants. Poles has been with the Chiefs for 12 years. He’s worked his way up the NFL ladder from scouting assistant. Poles is black. Bradway is the son of former NFL general manager Terry Bradway. Bradway worked in the Eagles organization for a decade and moved over to Kansas City two years ago. Poles and Bradway are in their 30s. 

They’ve been groomed by Reid and Veach. 

Why should the Chiefs risk disrupting their coaching staff and front office in the middle of the season?

Because it would be an awesome look for Andy Reid and Clark Hunt. They would be authentically supporting diversity rather than condoning the disingenuous gestures preferred by the league’s players. The athletes want to spend all day second-guessing the actions of police officers dealing with resisting criminal suspects. Adults should take meaningful action to create opportunities for qualified people. 

Bieniemy is qualified for the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. 

I’m not convinced he’ll be a success. I was disappointed he didn’t take the head job at his alma mater, Colorado. Successful head coaches have huge egos. They believe they can win anywhere. I’m also skeptical of his impact on Andy Reid’s offense. It’s Reid’s offense. Reid is the guy mentoring Patrick Mahomes. Just like Reid was the guy mentoring Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick. 

There’s a better chance Bieniemy is the next Matt Patricia, the guy who got partial credit for Belichick’s defense in New England, than he is the next Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl in Philly after caddying for Reid.

But Bieniemy has earned his chance to sink or swim. 

The other reason I’d let Bieniemy leave Kansas City immediately is because he’s going to be distracted the rest of the season. The woke sports media are going to distract him. It’s already started. Within minutes of the Texans firing O’Brien, speculation turned to Bieniemy as the perfect candidate to groom Watson. 

Bieniemy’s mind is going to wander. Leaving now would be a wonderful headstart for him. Crennel could remain the interim coach for the remainder of the season while Bieniemy and Poles/Bradway evaluated the roster, coaching staff and culture.

Everybody wins.      

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Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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  1. Don’t forget Reid disciple Matt Nagy who’s explosive offense put 3 points on the board Sunday against the Colts prior to the Colts going into a prevent defense. And I’m far from sold on the genius of Doug Pederson, take out their unicorn SB season and he’s a 26-25 head coach.

    As Terry Bradshaw said of NE, stop looking for Coaches there, Belichick is the only guy who can coach in New England.

  2. I agree. I think giving Bieniemy the opportunity now to evaluate the Texans and their needs would be necessary to turning their “potentially” lost season around. The Texans are way too pass happy and need a better balanced run-pass game. Watson also holds onto the football way too long and gets sacked because of it. Time to see what Bieniemy can do.

  3. I wanted the giants to hire him but we got Joe judge instead. Daniel Jones looks scared to throw the ball as if he’s been beaten over the head with the ‘turnover machine’ dunce hat. I’d rather have a guy throw 30/30 like Winston than the 4 ypa snoozefest I saw against the rams this week. Same offensive players sans Barkley as lasy year when he had two 5-TD games if I remember correctly. And actually he played well last year when Barkley was out. I don’t think bienemy would crush Jones’ confidence like judge or Garrett seem to have done.

  4. Yep, Jobs Over Gestures. Crennel has had a nice run in the NFL, perhaps time for someone younger like Bieniemy. Success with coaches on a staff is not mutually exclusive. Perhaps Andy Reid and Bieniemy can both succeed. I’d like to see that play out.

  5. Jason, the “National Gestures League” is one of my favorites. The Bieniemy argument is interesting and I mostly agree he deserves a chance somewhere. Becoming the Texans head coach with Watson could be the right pairing. It’s been reported the Chicago Bears were very close to picking Mahomes in the 2017 draft instead of Trubisky. I’d bet they’re still kicking themselves in the ass over that choice.

  6. Hey Jason…everything you’re saying here makes perfect sense, including hiring either Poles or Bradway as the GM. And absolutely, Bieniemy deserves a shot.
    We’ve all read and seen for decades how mediocre coaches, assistants, and personnel guys get re-cycled…time for new blood.

  7. It’s a wonderful idea on paper, but I don’t think Bieniemy would jump ship and leave the Chiefs right in the middle of their season. He’s got a chance to win a 2nd straight super bowl coaching Patrick Mahomes and then get the Texans job in the offseason. People would criticize him for bailing on the Chiefs in the middle of a super bowl run.

  8. Jason,
    Great commentary. How about the Atlanta coach getting the much deserved boot. I suggest Marvin Lewis–great coach–especially when considering the parsimonious owner and a long time quarterback that was above average at best. And how about Herm Edwards who did a very creditable job with the Chiefs and was responsible for bringing excellent talent.. He and many others are more than capable of taking over the helm from Matt Patricia.

  9. I think Eric Bieniemy will be an outstanding coach but if he jumps mid season what if Texans talent goes 3-13 and some other coordinator or Lincoln Reilly jumps, if I was Bieniemy I’d wait. Texans are not a competent coach away. GM will be key, they are going to hire one. Personally I think a couple of jobs especially Detroit are much better jobs. I would love to see that core with Bieniemy. Texans are 2-3 yrs away imo. I understand why this is your point Jason but frankly Houston fan base is too fragile to give up a potential ring in KC

  10. O’Brien wore out his welcome with Houston fans a couple of years ago. The Tunsil trade was an abject failure as Tunsil is pretty much an open door to Watson’s backside. The trade that sent the BEST wide reciever in this generation to Arizona for a one-legged running back made me think that O’Brien really hated Bob McNair and is trying to diminish the value of the franchise for Cal and the rest of the family.

    O’Brien should be coaching at an FCS school at best, but that’s not a big enough stage for his massive ego. Maybe Nick Saban will hire him when his current OC moves on the a HC job at a Power 5 school.

  11. I agree with the assessment of Eric Bieniemy. On paper, he is qualified to be given the opportunity to coach. Andy Reid will give any potential suitors high praise. The yards, the wins, the Super Bowls! Don’t fall for it.

  12. No doubt he is a great choice for head coach, but how can the chiefs let him go while trying to repeat as champions? Championship teams rely on focus for the ultimate goal. Not letting their offensive coordinator take a head coaching position early season. Watson got a raw deal with O’Brien! No doubt about that! But Bieniemy is coaching Mahomes. The potential for back to back super bowls with Mahomes should be enough to focus on and not what the media has to say. Sure he could go take over a Texans team that will take years to be competitive after the damage O’Brien has done or win another championship with KC and Mahomes. I don’t know. Just wanted to give my opinion.

  13. Having watched every Bieniemy press conference over the past couple years, I’m far from convinced he could be a successful head coach. I see him as some fire on the sidelines, an excellent drill sergeant, but hardly a commander in Chief (as it were). There is a lot that goes into being a head coach in the NFL: stragety (to quote Bugs Bunny), operations, managing ALL players, staffing and personnel decisions, divvying up responsibilities, etc. Even if Bieniemy IS qualified, his ability to ‘swim’ instead of ‘sink,’ becomes greatly diminished if he took over a team mid-season. It would be a disservice to him to not even allow him to put together his own staff and create a culture…to cite a current cliche.

    Make no mistake, it’s Andy’s team. E.B. is in the head coaching conversation because of Andy. When the often performs well, it’s “Eric called a great game” (just as it was Doug and Matt previously…and will be Mike soon enough). When the offense performs poorly, it’s “I should’ve called better plays and put the guys in a position to succeed.” He touts all of O.C.’s and they benefit from coaching on a team that has only missed the playoffs once since Reid got to K.C. Andy Reid is the Chiefs’ coach, and especially Mahomes’ coach.

    Not sure of the logic of “Because it would be an awesome look for Andy Reid and Clark Hunt. They would be authentically supporting diversity rather than condoning the disingenuous gestures preferred by the league’s players.” Why in the world would the onus be on the Chiefs to make a ‘gesture’ by letting Bieniemy go? If all of these symbols are bogus, and the Chiefs’ organization is already coerced into accepting slogans they do not believe in, why should THEY be the ones to go for a ‘good look’? Andy says the right things and toes the NFL line, but he’s not all the concerned with appearances. E.B. will get his job, if he can interview well enough and explain his vision, but mid-season would be a bad time for it to occur.

  14. Great idea in theory but I don’t see this happening. And I hope it doesn’t. The Chiefs have a great opportunity to do great things this year and I would hate to lose any of these guys before this season ends. Let’s enjoy another SB run. Go Chiefs!!

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