Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy figures to be a hot head-coaching candidate this offseason.
The Carolina Panthers are the first out of the gate to attempt to interview the 50-year-old coordinator.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports the Panthers have submitted a request to interview Bieniemy, per sources informed of the situation.
A former NFL running back, Bieniemy has been an NFL assistant for 12 seasons and spent the last two as the Chiefs OC.
Given the prosperity of Andy Reid assistants, interest in Bieniemy isn't a surprise. Reid has stumped for the OC to get HC consideration the past several seasons.
Since Bieniemy took over as offensive coordinator in K.C. in 2018, the Chiefs rank first in points per game (31.8), first in third-down percentage (47.4), second in total yards per game (402.4) and passing yards per game (295.4), and third in red-zone percentage (64.5).
While Reid calls plays, Bieniemy has gotten spot opportunities, particularly during the preseason, and the offense hasn't looked noticeably different. Notably, the previous two Reid OC, neither of whom called plays regularly either, Matt Nagy and Doug Pederson didn't have the offensive output Bieniemy's unit had -- of course they didn't have Patrick Mahomes either.
If and when he gets a head coaching position, Bieniemy's ability to scheme an offense, lead players, and manage the game will be more vital than his lack of play-calling experience.
The Panthers have already interviewed former Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy and are expected to give an interview to interim coach Perry Fewell, who went 0-4 this season in Carolina after Ron Rivera was fired.