Kansas City Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy came under fire on Thursday, facing sharp criticism over his coaching style from former Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy.
The story was just breaking as Andy Reid and Chiefs players posted up for the first media availability at Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
When questioned about the interview, Reid came to the defense of his offensive coordinator.
He suggested that Bieniemy might have simply told McCoy something that he didn’t want to hear.
“I think, sometimes, it’s hard on a veteran player,” Reid said. “Maybe their performance level isn’t what it used to be. It’s hard to take sometimes. But (Eric Bieniemy) has got to push it and try to maximize what you’ve got. That’s one of his strengths. He’s no different than he is when he’s with you guys. He’s going to come in and shoot you straight. Sometimes you want to hear it, sometimes you don’t.”
Bieniemy is known for being a straight shooter. He’s known for pushing his players to be the very best version of themselves. On the field in Kansas City, a then-31-year-old McCoy was far and away from the best version of himself.
“I’m a big LeSean (McCoy) fan,” Reid said. “In my eyes, he’s a future Hall of Fame running back. If you look at it statistically, he was tremendous. But he wasn’t the youngest pup in the kennel here, man. He was on the backside (of his career) and sometimes that is hard to take.”
While Chiefs TE Travis Kelce hadn’t heard the interview featuring McCoy’s comments, he was asked about the situation. He had quite a mature approach to it all.
“I think everyone has their own personal relationships in their journey throughout life,” Kelce said. “I know some people that have said bad things about others that I have absolutely adored. I think this would be a situation (like that). I don’t know what was said, if (LeSean McCoy) said bad things about him. I know I have a great relationship with (Eric Bieniemy). I have even butted heads with him, but at the same time I know what (Bieniemy) is about. That guy is about working hard for the whole of the team and making sure that everybody is accountable. On top of that, he’s just a passionate guy. He’s a competitor, one of the best competitors that I have ever met because of how hard he works and how much attention to detail that he has.”
Asked whether he thought that anything he saw from Bieniemy dealing with players should prevent him from becoming a head coach, Kelce was quick to rebuke the notion.
“Not a chance,” he said.
Reid had similar sentiments regarding Bieniemy’s interactions with players.
“You’ve been here,” Reid said. “You’ve seen how he does and the love that the players have for him. He’s got all of these guys standing up for him and saying positive things. That’s what it is. He’s a heck of a football coach. At this point, he hasn’t had a chance (to become a head coach), but I’m optimistic that he’s going to have one in the future.”