1. Eric Bieniemy, assistant head coach/offensive coordinator, Commanders
For years, Eric Bieniemy has been seen as a potential head coaching candidate, and for years he hasn't been able to land a job in that role.
A former running back who played in the NFL for nine seasons and ran for 1,589 yards and 11 touchdowns, Bieniemy started as a highe school coach in 2000. He then spent time in the collegiate ranks before moving to the Minnesota Vikings to coach running backs in 2006.
He returned to the NCAA in 2011 to serve as the offensive coordinator in Colorado before joining Andy Reid in Kansas City in 2013. Starting out as a running back coach, he was promoted in 2018 to offensive coordinator.
Despite helping lead Kansas City to two titles, he doesn't get the credit he deserves since there were several other offensive coaches to leave and take head coaching gigs. Even with their departure, the Chiefs remained dominant, leading to the belief it was all Reid — despite the coach claiming Bieniemy ran the offense.
This led to his departure ahead of the 2023 campaign as Bieniemy knew he was going to need to prove himself elsewhere to get a head coaching job. He joined Ron Rivera in Washington as the Commanders offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
So far, their offense has yet to truly take off but the worst thing said about Bieniemy is that he expected his players to work hard. And so far, they've done that, even taking the Eagles to overtime in Week 4.
Bieniemy has former fifth-round pick Sam Howell playing well and the team is sitting at 2-2. If they continue to perform as they have, he could very well be in line for a job in 2024. He was tied to the Houston Texans back in 2021 and Deshaun Watson was a major advocate for him to be hired.
Houston was the only team with a vacancy that didn't call Bieniemy that year and that was the first domino to fall in the fractured relationship between Watson and the Texans.
Perhaps this time, he gets his way — should Cleveland be looking that is.