New York Jets: Breaking down 3 confirmed head coaching candidates

New York Jets, Eric Bieniemy

Here we go, New York Jets fans! The coaching search has begun, and the Jets will look to hire their next head coach. The Adam Gase era is in the past, and the team will now look at guys who can lead the Jets for, hopefully, the next decade. Here are three of the most popular confirmed candidates so far, a summary of their background and how they could impact the team.

Brian Daboll OC Bills

Brian Daboll has an extensive coaching background. He has had the privilege to learn under two of the greatest coaches in all of football history at Alabama with Nick Saban and in New England with Bill Belichick. His history includes multiple roles on both sides of the role, but predominantly as an offensive coach.  The 45-year-old has been a coach in football since 1997 and in the pros since 2000. With over 20 years of knowledge, he has hit his stride in Buffalo. Daboll has transformed the Bills offense and completely shaped Josh Allen. When he inherited Allen, he was a raw player who still missed simple throws and needs grooming. Now, Allen looks like a top-five quarterback.

Daboll is a football guy. He is well-liked and well respected, and with the mentors he has had, he obviously knows the game well. Daboll is a hot commodity on the coaching market, and landing him will be tough if he is who the Jets end up liking most. Daboll seems to fit the leadership and culture-changing mold on the surface due to the impact he has had on the Bills offense, but with no past as a head coach, you have to wonder how he will do leading a roster of 53 men. Daboll is likely a front runner for multiple jobs, and it will be interesting to see if the Jets can get him in for at least one interview and potentially make a run at him.

Arthur Smith OC Titans

Arthur Smith did not have to be an NFL coach. The former college guard could have easily taken a role in the family business, FedEx. Smith’s father owns FedEx, but rather than pursue money, Smith pursued a passion and is doing a good job at it. Smith started coaching in 2006 as a grad assistant at his alma mater, UNC. He then carried that into jobs as a defensive assistant for the Washington Football Team and Ole Miss.

Since 2011,  Smith has been a coach on the Titans. Despite four regime changes, Smith has been the constant. Smith is highly respected and has taken his time moving up the ranks, learning, and not rushing anything. Then, when he saw Matt LaFleur heading to Green Bay, he jumped on an opportunity and approached Mike Vrabel about a promotion from Tight Ends Coach to Offensive Coordinator. Since then, the Titans offense hasn’t looked back. Ryan Tannehill is playing the best football of his career and has gone from a backup QB to a top 10 one. Not only that, but Derrick Henry is finally being used as the beast he is.

Arthur Smith is a go-getter and someone who is well-liked by his players. He commands respect and is a leader. As a former offensive lineman, he is sure to be someone who clicks with Joe Douglas. Smith has no previous head coaching experience, but his impact has been more apparent than that of Daboll on the offense. Smith is a highly respected coach and has been requested to interview for every opening. If the Jets can get a shot at him and he prefers to come here, I firmly believe he is a favorite to land this gig.

Eric Bieniemy OC Chiefs

Rounding out our list of most popular coaching candidates confirmed for an interview is perhaps the most popular one: Chiefs Offensive Coordinator and Super Bowl Champion coach Eric Bieniemy. Bieniemy has been a coach in the NFL since 2001, after taking two years off. He is a former pro running back and finished third place in the 1990n Heisman race. He has been an offensive coach and coordinator in both the college and pro ranks and has been a fixture on Andy Reid’s staff since 2013. Bieniemy is well-liked by his players and is highly regarded by Andy Reid. Bieniemy has reportedly played a key role in play-calling and in maintaining the offense.

Bieniemy is another real football guy. As another former player, there will be that admiration between him and Douglas. Here is the thing, I think their philosophies will lead to a massive disconnect. Where Smith and Daboll are more traditional football guys (Smith more than Daboll because of his playing days), Bieniemy is more modern. I think that Bieniemy will be a player first coach based on his reputation with the Chiefs and not the leader/CEO type the Jets need.

There are character issues with Bieniemy; he has faced harassment and assault allegations at multiple points in his playing and coaching career. He has also had a few issues driving, including a DUI in 2001. However, this was all 20 years ago, and Bieniemy strikes me as a guy who has turned over a new leaf. Still, there was a reason the Jets didn’t bring him back for a second interview a few years ago, and part of me wonders if it was due to the aforementioned character concerns. Nonetheless, Bieniemy has proved he deserves a shot as a head coach on the field, and if he interviews well and can explain his past, I think he ends up with a head coaching job; I just don’t think it will be for the Jets.

New York Giants have an underrated head coaching option in Eric Bieniemy

New York Giants, Eric Bieniemy

With the New York Giants prowling the free agent pool of head coaches, several options have risen to the top, including former Green Bay HC Mike McCarthy, and program head for Baylor, Matt Rhule.

Both have their respective pros and cons, with McCarthy being the most experienced among the available options, with the exception of Jason Garrett, who’s expected to be on the market as well.

The New York Giants have an underrated option:

Current Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy, is a target that might offer fresh blood and fantastic knowledge for Big Blue. Bieniemy doesn’t have any head coaching experience in the NFL, but he has been learning behind Andy Ried, one of the league’s premier coaches.

Here’s a look at Bienmiey’s coaching history:

During his early collegiate years, the Chiefs’ OC served as the running backs coach for the Colorado Buffaloes from 2001 to 2002, and then at UCLA from 2003 to 2005. He then made the jump to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL, serving as their running backs coach, helping maximize Adrian Peterson in his prime. Peterson led the NFC in rushing yards with 1,341 in 2007 and 2008 with 1,760 yards. In 2010, Bieniemy was named the Vikings’ assistant coach for the offense.

After a lengthy stint in the NFL, he returned to Colorado as the team’s offensive coordinator under head coach Jon Embree. In 2013, he made his way to Kansas City as the running back coach and was promoted in 2018 to offensive coordinator. In his first season as OC, the Chiefs were first in the NFL in yards per game and points scores, thanks to Patrick Mahomes and a deadly group of running backs.

Bieniemy’s success with the Chiefs have made him an excellent candidate to take the next step and become a head coach in the NFL, but his lack of experience concerns, as it should be. The Giants hired Pat Shurmur after a short stint as head coach with the Cleveland Browns, and that backfired immensely.

If New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch are looking for fresh blood and a coaching style that would maximize Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, Bieniemy shouldn’t be overlooked.

New York Giants: Chiefs OC A Lesser Known Candidate For Coach Job

The last time the New York Giants hired an offensive coordinator who was experiencing a hot run, it didn’t go well – that was, of course, Pat Shurmur, who held the position for the Vikings before taking the Giants job after the firing of Ben McAdoo. We all know how that went, but it looks like the Giants might be in the market for another offensive coordinator who is in position to find a head coaching job.

This coach, however, has multiple options and seems to be a hotter prospect than Shurmur ever was.

The person in question would of course be Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who has found success with one of the top offenses in the league and helped to get the most out of quarterback Pat Mahomes, who became a star under his watch in Kansas City. Aside from that, the Chiefs finished the year with 12 wins and are currently in the playoffs, thanks in no small part to the offensive side of the ball.

According to Adam Schefter, the Giants have requested permission to interview Bieniemy, along with the Panthers. It’s just one of a number of requests the Giants have made around the league, in addition to interviews that have already been scheduled. Still, it’s worth noting – especially with the Giants looking to find success in a similar way to the Chiefs, namely by setting up their young quarterback for success.

What does Chiefs head coach Andy Reid think about his offensive coordinator potentially getting a head coaching job this year?

“I think he’d be tremendous. There’s a team out there – I don’t know the team, but there’s a team out there – that could really use him. Being the leader of men that he is, you’re not going to find people better than that in that category. And he’s a sharp offensive mind on top of that. So I’m a big fan. Don’t want to lose him, but reality is, there’s a good chance that happens,” Reid told SNY.

Bieniemy isn’t as high on the list of candidates, at least seemingly, as other such as Matt Rhule and Ron Rivera, of course, or even former Packers coach Mike McCarthy. But that doesn’t mean the Giants shouldn’t consider all the options, the Chiefs OC included – not considering all the options well enough, after all, likely helped the team get into their current situation.