Speaking on Brandon Marshall’s “I Am Athlete Tonight” SiriusXM program On Wednesday, former Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy said differences between him and Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy were the reason he didn’t return to the team after his 2019 Super Bowl-winning campaign — and that despite numerous interviews with the head coach. in recent years, Bieniemy’s coaching style is the reason he wasn’t selected to coach an NFL team.
“I’ll say this,” McCoy said. “There’s a reason why every year they press him to get a coaching job – a head coaching job or an offensive coordinator job – somewhere else and he doesn’t get one.”
McCoy said Bieniemy’s personal style irritated some players, including himself.
“Some players, he speaks to them in a certain way – and some players will take it,” the two-time All-Pro retiree said. “I wouldn’t take it – like, ‘Whoa.’
“A few questions I would ask, everyone is responsible. That’s why it isn’t. Because he’s a black coach? That’s not the reason. The reason is… I’m not going to get into that.
Pressed for an explanation, McCoy relented.
“There’s a reason why every year they’ve asked him to get a job – and then when the time comes nobody hires him because they know the type of coach he really is.”
When asked if that was the reason he didn’t return for another season with the Chiefs, McCoy went all out.
“Yeah, that’s exactly what it was,” he said.
Reacting to McCoy’s comments at his press conference Thursday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid didn’t seem surprised.
“Sometimes it’s hard for a veteran,” he noted. “Maybe their level of performance isn’t what it used to be – and that’s hard to take [criticism] sometimes. [Bieniemy’s] will push you to try to maximize what you have. It is one of its strengths.
“He’s no different than he is with you guys. He will come in and shoot you. Sometimes you want to hear it. Sometimes that’s not the case.
But Reid – who is never interested in escalating a war of words – went on to say how much he respects McCoy.
“I’m a huge LeSean fan,” Reid said. “In my eyes, he is a future Hall of Fame running back. If you look at the stats, he’s terrific. But he wasn’t the youngest puppy in the kennel here. He was in the back [of his career] – and sometimes it’s hard to bear.
Reid then continued to support his offensive coordinator.
“You have been here,” he told the assembled reporters. “You saw how he [Bieniemy] Is. You see the love the players have for him; he has all these guys standing up for him and saying positive things.
And during his time on the team, McCoy was one of those players.
“He’s one of the best running coaches in the league,” he told reporters ahead of Super Bowl LIV, according to NJ.com.
At the time, McCoy said he thought Bieniemy would eventually land a head coaching job in the NFL.
“I think a lot of coaches got hired because of Coach Reid and that’s how it usually works,” he said. “It’s a hearty league. You want winners, and you’re starting from a winning tree, so if you start with [New England Patriots head coach Bill] Belichick, a lot of coaches are hired from his tree. And then Coach Reid…it’s just a matter of good timing.
“It’s time for him. You keep hearing his name come up. Usually where there is smoke there is fire. I think he will eventually find a job.
Which statements represent McCoy’s true view of Bieniemy? It’s impossible to say. But now his opposing views are both out there.
And so are Reid’s parting words on Bieniemy.
“He’s a hell of a football manager,” insisted the head coach. “I’m disappointed he didn’t have a chance. Hopefully he will have one in the future.