The Washington Commanders will look a little different on the field this season. After years of struggling on offense, the team made a blockbuster move in the offseason, hiring offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy away from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bieniemy helmed one of the best offenses in football over the past five seasons, but continued to get passed over for head-coaching jobs. If he succeeds in Washington, Bieniemy will prove he can excel in any environment, which should once again make him a popular head-coaching candidate.
With so much at stake, Bieniemy has asked a lot from Commanders players during training camp. That drew concern from some players, who went to head coach Ron Rivera because they were “a little concerned” about Bieniemy’s intensity.
Rivera said he spoke to those players and urged them to speak directly with Bieniemy. Rivera said those talks have been “enlightening” for those players. He also implied he didn’t have any issues with Bieniemy’s approach.
Bieniemy is vocal and demanding during training camp, something he admitted in June. Bieniemy told the Associated Press he wants players to maximize “every single opportunity.” He added he wants to create excitement during camp so players can feed off that energy.
In that same article, Quarterback Sam Howell said Bieniemy has high standards, but added that’s what Commanders players want.
While Howell appears to be one of the players on board with Bieniemy’s style, others need more time to get used to the change. Bieniemy’s style may differ from what Commanders players are used to, but it’s hard to argue against his track record.
The Commanders’ offense, meanwhile, hasn’t finished higher than 20th in points scored since 2017. It’s no guarantee Bieniemy’s approach will work, but whatever the Commanders did in recent seasons clearly wasn’t the answer.