Bieniemy Brings Innovation to the Table and What to Expect | Washington Commanders
By Adam Aniba
The much anticipated announcement of former Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy became official today. Head Coach Ron Rivera introduced Bieniemy, while answering vatipois question about the organization and ownership involvement.
Bieniemy also got a chance to speak and laid out his thoughts with to media/players in attendance.
Bieniemy was in KC for ten years, but was the Chiefs OC from 2018-2022, appearing in
3 AFC Championships and winning 2 Lombardi Trophies during that span.
Although former Eagles and Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy had some well publicized and less than flattering comments to say about his former Chiefs OC, the new
Washington play caller brushed it off when questioned.
During his only season in Kansas City (2019), McCoy recorded fumbles in consecutive games, leading to him being benched after recorded 465 yards rushing in 13 games.
During a recent episode of the Al Gali podcast (2/7/23), special guest Cody Tapp of the "Cody and Gold" podcast (leading Kansas City Chiefs insider podcast), had a few takes on the questions surrounding Bieniemy's role in Kansas City
"Andy (Chiefs HC) will tell you, he calls some of the plays because they do a lot of collaborative things and Eric Bieniemy is certainly apart of that. His job is to find advantages".
Tapp went on to elaborate more on Bieniemy.
"Some believe the super creative plays must be Andy Reid, but not always. The Rose Bowl Parade play (a shifted motion play in the Super Bowl) which was the motion play, is what got Sky Moore and Kadarius Toney wide open TDs. That was Bienemy. He spotted those plays on tape, in which Jacksonville used to score multiple times against the Eagles earlier in the season. He is a big part of their offensive game planning, their offensive plan."
"He's changed a lot over the years. He has a firm grasp of what he's gonna do. His players love him".
Bieniemy comes into a situation, where innovation has been lacking from previous Washington regimes. His situational awareness and ability to get his offensive playmakers involved is notable. Inheriting a receiving core made up of talent, youth and experience will make his transition a lot smoother.
Fans should expect to see Terry McLaurin utilized even more with EB calling the plays. Washington's WR1 is coming off of a career year and third straight season recording over 1,000 receiving yards. Getting Terry the ball early and often, seems like a sure bet.
Second year receiver Jahan Dotson led the team with 7 TDs in '22 (only 12 games active) during his rookie season and is another chess piece Bieniemy can move all over the field and frequently utilize in pre-snap motion.
Finally, Curtis Samuel was the swiss army knife in Scott Turner's offense. Unfortunately, Turner's plays were often predictable when Samuel lined up in the backfield. Bieniemy could have a lot of fun moving the veteran receiver all over the filed as his gadget option.
Now to the most imperative position on the field. Rivera essentially stated that it's second year quarterback Sam Howell's job to lose as QB1, heading into Training Camp.
The Chiefs ran a lot of pre-snap motion, tempo, zone read and a decent amount of RPO. During his time at UNC, Howell's offense relied heavily on RPO concepts, which was a knock on him coming into the league.
Bieniemy now gets a chance to mold Howell, without the drawback of bad habits that many veterans like Wentz/Heinicke developed over the years, playing in multiple NFL systems.
It was public knowledge that Andy Reid, Bieniemy, the Chiefs offensive position coaches and quarterbacks constantly brainstormed together, while creating weekly game plans.
Although Washington's offense will involve a healthy dose of Brian Robinson Jr and Antonio Gibson in the run game, the passing game will likely be the key to their success.
Howell has displayed his ability to get the ball downfield and tuck it to scramble, but the intermediate game, involving spread concepts and slants will utilize all of Washington's pass catchers. The Chiefs often had 8-10 pass catchers a game, getting the ball in a variety of ways.
Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, not known as a dual threat, has been utilized as a runner with a 5.9 yard per carry (21.1 YPC) in '22 with over 1K rushing yards over the last three seasons. Howell nearly eclipsed 900 yards rushing and threw for over 3,000 yards during his last season ar North Carolina, while losing all weapons to the NFL.
Bieniemy will inject innovation into Washington's offense and it will start with playing to Howell's strengths. As mentioned, Beineemy will implement a lot of creative pre-snap motion, RPO/Zone read with quick game concepts and of course play-action.
Other receivers such as Dyami Brown & Cam Sims, along with the tight end Cole Tuner, John Bates and speedster Armani Rogers will also see their share of targets.
As much as RIvera wants to run the ball with a 2 to 1 ratio, the passing game will open up opportunities to run more late in games and keep defenses honest.
Teams routinely loaded the box with 8 defenders when Turner was calling the plays, based on his predictability and lack of pass protection. That will change this upcoming season.
The former Chiefs OC will likely have a new look offensive line and a loaded cast of receivers, in addition to some effective runners. Teams will have to account for all the pre-snap movement and misdirection that Bieniemy will bring to the table, so putting up 30+ points a game could become routine.
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