LeSean McCoy, a former running back, once played under Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator and associate head coach of the Washington Commanders. McCoy is familiar with Bieniemy’s communication style both during practices and during games.
“The thing that alarmed me the most was the relationship with the players,” McCoy said about Bieniemy during a Wednesday appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” program, per Zach Dean of Outkick. “You have to change with the times. With Bieniemy, I think he’s stuck in that old, back in the days where the coaches were cussing players out … that’s not how it’s played nowadays.”
When head coach Ron Rivera admitted on Tuesday that some of his players had trouble adjusting to Bieniemy’s aggressiveness and demeanor after the two-time Super Bowl champion coordinator joined Washington this offseason, it raised potential problems for the Commanders. Later in the day, a rather indignant Bieniemy claimed he simply “is who he is,” and on Wednesday, Rivera apologized for his earlier remarks, saying he had “put [his] foot in [his] mouth.”
During the 2019 NFL season, McCoy worked with Bieniemy as a coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. He advised the 53-year-old to understand that in a different setting without his Patrick Mahomes-led offense, his coaching approach might do more harm than good.
.@CutonDime25 on Eric Bieniemy:
“I was part of that Kansas City Chiefs championship team… One of the first things I noticed is how he talks to the players.” pic.twitter.com/fJXYousp2z
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 9, 2023
This past winter, Bieniemy switched teams from the Chiefs to the Commanders, in part so he could take over as Washington’s main offensive play-caller. It’s unclear why Rivera disclosed this information about a month before the Commanders’ home opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 10, but it appears he has a ready-made defense in case the team’s offense struggles repeatedly under Bieniemy this season.