KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Doug Pederson lasted five seasons in Philadelphia and Matt Nagy just four in Chicago before they ultimately were fired.

That hasn’t diminished the interest teams have in Andy Reid’s offensive coordinators.

Passed over several times for head coaching jobs over the past few seasons, Eric Bieniemy is again a hot commodity as the Chiefs prepare for a divisional-round matchup with the Bills on Sunday night. He spoke virtually with the Jaguars, Jets, Chargers, Falcons and Lions about their openings last season, and he’s been in touch with the Broncos about their job this season.

“All of that stuff is going to take care of itself,” he said. “And do not get me wrong, I am blessed and I am fortunate to be a part of that chatter, to be a part of some of the things that are taking place, but right now my focus is to make sure that we are ready to play a 60-minute game where we can go out there and play hard and play fast.”

Despite their disappointing fates, it’s not as if Bieniemy’s predecessors in charge of the Chiefs’ offense were total failures.

After spending three years in the job as part of Reid’s initial staff in Kansas City, Pederson was plucked away to rebuild the Eagles. He went 7-9 his first season before going 13-3 and winning the Super Bowl in Year 2. Two more playoff appearances followed before a 4-11-1 flop in 2020 led to Pederson’s firing.
Incidentally, he’s interviewed with multiple teams for their current coaching vacancies.


Nagy was fired earlier this month after a rollercoaster ride in Chicago. It included the soaring highs of a 12-4 debut and a pair of wild-card game appearances along with the crushing low of a 6-11 season that led to his ouster.

Pederson and Nagy are just two limbs on the Reid coaching tree, too.

There’s Super Bowl-winning Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who nearly had his injury-filled team in the playoffs again this season. Washington Coach Ron Rivera also reached the Super Bowl with Carolina. Brad Childress led Minnesota to the NFC title game and his replacement, current Buffalo coordinator Leslie Frazier, took the Vikings back to the playoffs. Todd Bowles, Pat Shurmur and current Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also have had head coaching jobs.

And let’s not forget, Bills Coach Sean McDermott got his start working for Reid during his days in Philadelphia.

So why has Reid been so successful at developing assistant coaches?

“First of all,” Bieniemy said, “he’s a father figure. He’s been around a number of years, and he’s very, very consistent in what he does. He does a great job of delegating and making sure that everybody knows exactly what their roles are. But on top of that, he allows you to be yourself. He wants you to be the expert at what you do.


“So, when you have a coach that’s not always just saying, `You have to do this,’ or, `You have to do that,’ it makes it special,” Bieniemy explained, “because guys can come to work feeling comfortable in their own skin and going out there and perform up to their best capabilities. Then, another thing is there are no egos. We all work together. I think that’s one of the unique parts that makes our coaching staff a very, very strong place, because we all work together. We all get along.”

Perhaps all of that has rubbed off on McDermott, too. His offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, has generated interest and Frazier is again attracting some attention as a head coaching candidate.

Much like Bieniemy, they prefer to keep a low profile and focus solely on Sunday’s game in Kansas City.

“For me, it’s all about the game that we have and that’s how I approached last week leading up to our New England game,” Frazier said, “just making sure I stayed locked in on what we had to get done against that particular time. I’m not the type of person that can divide my mind and switch gears, so I had to stay locked in.”

Perhaps the biggest impediment to Bieniemy landing a top job the past couple of years has been his own success. The Chiefs have reached three straight AFC championship games and two straight Super Bowls, which means they’ve regularly played into February – long past the time most organizations want the hiring process to be complete.

In the eyes of Reid, though, that’s a lousy excuse.


“It disappoints me that someone hasn’t hired him, obviously, because he’s so good,” Reid said. “I’m hoping that takes place this year. But you know the guys, they’re not going to let it be a distraction. They’re going to defer to the team and what that’s all about and then kind of let the chips fall where they may. I’m sure between COVID-19 and our long season it hasn’t been real beneficial for EB in having the opportunity, but I think this year he’s going to end up with one.”

• Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property after he broke a vacuum and other items during an argument, putting his status for Sunday’s divisional round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills in question.

Police in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas, said the 23-year-old Gay was arrested Wednesday night and was due to appear in court on Thursday. The Kansas City Star reported the total of damaged property amounted to $225.

No drugs, alcohol or weapons were involved and no one was injured, police said.

Gay’s agents, Maxx Lepsettler and Ryan Rubin, said in a statement that Gay was visiting his son when he got into an argument with the child’s mother, who called the police. The agents said that Gay would likely pay a fine and replace the vacuum and “all should be resolved today with no further issues.”

Gay was not at practice Wednesday and those available to speak with reporters deferred all questions about his status for the playoff game to Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, who does not speak to the media again until Friday.


PANTHERS: Former Washington coach Jay Gruden and Indianapolis Colts running backs coach Scottie Montgomery have had second interviews with the Carolina Panthers for their vacant offensive coordinator position, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Panthers Coach Matt Rhule fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady in the middle of the season with the offense struggling. The Panthers brought back Cam Newton midseason, but still finished 5-12 and their offense ranked 30th in yards and 29th in points scored.

The second round of interviews with Gruden and Montgomery were conducted in-person.

Gruden and Montgomery were among the seven known candidates the Panthers had spoken with in the first round of virtual interviews.

The others who interviewed virtually include former New York Giants coach and current Dallas Cowboys consultant Ben McAdoo, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Luke Getsy, and former Houston Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak and Indianapolis Colts wide receivers coach Mike Groh.

The Panthers have not ruled out bringing in some of those candidates for second interviews.


Gruden was Washington’s head coach from 2014-19. He was Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator in 2020 and was out of the league this season.

GIANTS: The New York Giants seemingly have finished their interviews for a general manager, meeting with San Francisco 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters.

Peters was the third candidate to have a second interview for the job that opened when Dave Gettleman retired a day after the Giants finished a 4-13 season.

New York, which has not made the playoffs since 2016, also had two interviews with Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen and Kansas City’s executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles.

There was no immediate indication when the Giants planned to announce their new general manager. His first job will be to hire a new coach. Joe Judge was fired the day after Gettleman retired. Judge had a 10-23 record in two seasons.

Peters met with co-owners Steve Tisch and John Mara, along with Mara’s brother Chris, the senior vice president of player personnel, at the team’s headquarters. He also got a tour of the facility and met other members of the front office.


Peters, 42, is finishing his first season as the San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager. The 19-year NFL veteran previously spent four years as the team’s vice president of player personnel.

Peters also spent eight seasons (2009-16) with the Denver Broncos, mostly in scouting. He started his NFL career, working six seasons with the New England Patriots.

VIKINGS: The Minnesota Vikings completed their first round of general manager interviews by meeting with Cleveland vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook and New England scouting consultant Eliot Wolf.

Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon also interviewed for head coach.

49ERS: Coach Kyle Shanahan is hopeful that star edge rusher Nick Bosa will be cleared to play in a divisional-round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night.

Bosa left last week’s wild-card win at Dallas in the first half with a concussion, but has made good progress in his recovery. Bosa returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and then was a full participant on Thursday before the Niners (11-7) left for Green Bay (13-4).


Bosa is listed as questionable for the game and must clear one final step in the protocol before being cleared to play in the game. Shanahan said it’s “looking good” that Bosa will be able to play against the Packers.

COWBOYS: The NFL fined Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott $25,000 for comments condoning fans throwing objects at officials after a wild-card loss to San Francisco.

The fine was issued a day after Prescott apologized in a series of tweets. Told after the game that fans were throwing objects at officials, Prescott said, “Credit to them then.” He initially called it “sad” because he was told the objects were being thrown at Dallas players.

When given another chance to answer a question about fans throwing objects at officials, Prescott said, “I guess it’s why the refs took off and got out of there so fast. I think everybody was upset about the way that this thing played out.”

The 23-17 loss to the 49ers ended after Prescott gained 17 yards on a quarterback draw to the 49ers’ 24-yard line, and the Cowboys were unable to spike the ball in time to stop to clock for one more play. Umpire Ramon George bumped into Prescott when officially marking the ball, and then time ran out.

Prescott wasn’t the only Dallas player to criticize officials after the game. Coach Mike McCarthy also questioned why the Cowboys weren’t given time to run another play.


It was a rare public misstep from Prescott, who was criticized for his comments. He even drew a rebuke from NBA referees. He apologized two days later.

“I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday,” Prescott wrote in one of three Twitter posts. “I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair.”

AWARDS: Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham, Denver Broncos tight end/fullback Andrew Beck, and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson are finalists for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award.

The award recognizes people who demonstrated exceptional effort to honor and support members of the military community. It will be recognized on Feb. 10 at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press reveals its individual award winners for the 2021 season.

LAWSUIT: The NFL filed a motion asking a Nevada court to dismiss former Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the league, saying the accusations that the the NFL leaked Gruden’s old, offensive emails are “baseless” and “should be dismissed for failure to state a single viable cause of action.”

The league responded Wednesday to the suit Gruden filed in district court in Clark County, Nevada, in November. The NFL filed a motion to dismiss the case and also asked the court to stay that motion until it first rules on whether the case should be moved to arbitration.

Gruden resigned as coach of the Raiders in October with more than six seasons remaining on his 10-year, $100 million contract.

He claimed a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” was used by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to destroy Gruden’s career by leaking the old emails that included racist, misogynistic and homophobic language.

The emails were sent to former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen and others from 2011 to 2018 during Gruden’s time as an announcer at ESPN. The emails came from a set of 650,000 emails obtained by the league in June during an investigation into the workplace culture of the Washington Football Team.

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