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#pounditThursday, December 7, 2023

Patrick Mahomes weighs in on Eric Bieniemy controversy

Patrick Mahomes throwing

Nov 22, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes spent the first six years of his career playing under head coach Andry Reid and his staff, which included Eric Bieniemy.

Bieniemy was the running backs coach when Mahomes was taken 10th overall in 2017, but was promoted to offensive coordinator the following year. He then began working directly with Mahomes & Co. And while it wasn’t always a perfect relationship, it was a productive one. The quarterback was named to five straight Pro Bowls, earned three All-Pro nods, was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 and NFL Most Valuable Player in both 2018 and 2020.

There’s also the matter of those two Super Bowl victories and MVP awards.

Needless to say, Bieniemy had a positive impact on Mahomes despite some of their spats. And that’s why it should come as little surprise that the 27-year-old came to the defense of Bieniemy this week after some Washington Commanders players privately complained about Bieniemy’s coaching style.

“[Bieniemy] is going to be harsh on you. He’s going to really try to get the best out of you every single day,” Mahomes said on Friday regarding Bieniemy. “He’s going to hold you accountable whenever you don’t even want to hold yourself accountable. And it made me a better player.

“He’s your No. 1 supporter, though. He will go to war with you just like any other guy on your team. And you’ve got to know that. And you’ve got to know when he’s talking to you on the football field, that he’s trying to get the best out of you. He’s not trying to put you down. He’s trying to push you to be even better than you think you can be.”

Some of the most successful coaches in NFL history lack bedside manner. That’s just how they’re wired and you can’t take that personally.

“That’s something that I think they’ll understand when they go out there and they start winning football games, is there’s a reason to why he’s coaching you the way that he’s coaching you and that he loves you. I mean, he loves every guy that he coaches,” Mahomes added. “And you see that with the guys that have come out and said stuff about him — Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Tyreek (Hill). They understand that he loves you and he’s going to try to get the best out of you every single day.”

Bieniemy’s resume speaks for itself, but there’s also a reason he’s failed to land a head coaching job. Some critics believe he’s not ready for the type of control he’s been given in Washington, and some of the early complaints seem to reflect that. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s entirely possible that Washington’s younger generation of player simply isn’t tuned to handle that level of intensity or scrutiny because they’ve developed in more coddled atmospheres.

A year from now, everyone will be able to look back on this controversy and decide for themselves who was right. But at least for now, Bieniemy’s most notable former player is coming to his defense.


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