February 24, 2024

NFL coach could seek image rehab in Tuscaloosa

With Friday night’s news that Alabama’s expected offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb is instead taking the same role with the Seattle Seahawks, the search is on for the next Crimson Tide OC, and an intriguing name has emerged from the NFL ranks.

Eric Bieniemy, who drew a great deal of praise for his Super Bowl-winning tenure as the offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs before a lackluster season with the Washington Commanders, was listed as a candidate by Brad Crawford of 247 Sports.

Though Nick Saban is no longer the head coach, could a stint in Tuscaloosa do for Bieniemy what the Saban Coach Rehabilitation Clinic did for Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and others? There’s clearly a precedent, though it remains to be seen if new coach Kalen DeBoer has the same penchant for redemption that his predecessor did.

Additionally, it’s not even confirmed that Bieniemy would want the job. He last coached in college in 2011 and 2012 for his alma mater, Colorado, and some have speculated that he might take the 2024 season off entirely.

But if Bieniemy is looking to correct course after a bad season in D.C., Tuscaloosa might be an ideal place for him to do it. For one, a talent-rich program like Alabama typically comes with lofty expectations, but after Saban’s departure, the fan base is likely to give the coaching staff more leeway than has been offered in recent years.

Additionally, Grubb took the Seattle role when Bieniemy had been a contender. Alabama appears to be better set up for success in the college ranks than the Seahawks are in the NFL, and if Bieniemy were to help the Tide excel while Grubb, who has never coached in the NFL, struggled, it would effectively send a message to NFL teams that they made a mistake in letting him get away.

They say the best revenge is success. At Alabama, Eric Bieniemy could put that theory into practice.