As the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013-17, Alex Smith got to work with Eric Bieniemy firsthand.
Back then, Bieniemy was the team’s running backs coach. He assumed offensive coordinator duties in 2018, the year Smith left the team, but even in his time as a position coach he left a positive impression on the veteran quarterback.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor, Smith lauded Bieniemy for his leadership ability and said he couldn’t understand why the longtime assistant has not had an opportunity to be a head coach yet.
“I think it’s ridiculous that he hasn’t been hired yet,” Smith said. “I know the interview process is weird with a team that is still in [the playoffs], but regardless, I don’t see how you can excuse it.”
Former Chiefs QB Alex Smith on Eric Bieniemy: "I think it's ridiculous that he hasn't been hired yet."
He talked to @TerezPaylor on the Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast ⤵️
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 21, 2021
Six teams have filled head coaching vacancies already this cycle, with Bieniemy going 0-for-5 with franchises that interviewed him. The Philadelphia Eagles, who hired Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni on Thursday, were the one team Bieniemy did not interview with.
Bieniemy still could wind up being hired as the head coach of the Houston Texans. He has strong support among current Texans players, most notably quarterback Deshaun Watson.
In the meantime, he’ll continue preparing for Kansas City’s AFC Championship matchup with the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.