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Bet the Next Head Coach of the Washington Redskins

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/08/2019

The biggest sports news of the week so far broke early Monday morning with announcement that the Washington Redskins had fired head coach Jay Gruden one day after a 33-7 home loss to the New England Patriots.   That loss ran Washington’s record to 0-5 on the season and as a result the news of Gruden’s dismissal was all but expected.  In fact, many NFL observers—and even Gruden himself—thought that he might get fired after Washington’s 24-3 loss to the New York Giants in Week 4.

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Gruden was quick to give his side of the story and although he was very diplomatic about it he blamed lack of ‘total say’ during his time as Redskins’ head coach.  It was a veiled reference to Washington owner Dan Snyder and General Manager Bruce Allen who had the final word on football related matters.  Gruden does have the distinction of lasting just over 5 years—longer than any of the 7 previous head coaches during the time Snyder has owned the team.

Speculation has already begun over the next permanent head coach for the Washington Redskins.  Assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan will take over on an interim basis and an unexpected (and improbable) reversal in the Skins’ fortunes could give him a shot at the permanent job.  Or maybe not—ESPN quoted an ‘unnamed source’ close to Washington’s owner that gave three names that would be on any ‘short list’ for a new head coach: current Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

No matter who takes over as Washington Redskins head coach they’re facing a very profound challenge.  The team is a mess and a comprehensive rebuild is likely to be necessary.  This is hard enough under any circumstances but the new head coach will be expected to show some immediate results, as much for the passionate Redskins fanbase as anything else.  These demanding boosters will also want the job to go to a ‘big name’ head coach.  The most significant challenge might be dealing with the aforementioned owner and general manager.  It would take a coach with a huge reputation to wrest final say on personnel decisions away from Synder and Allen.

BetOnline.ag has posted betting odds on the Washington Redskins’ next head coach listing over 50 betting interests.  We’ll look at the favorites today and consider some intermediate and longshots in the next couple of days.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS HEAD COACH IN WEEK 1 OF 2020 REGULAR SEASON

THE FAVORITE—ERIC BIENIEMY (+350)

All alone at the top of the betting board is Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.  Bieniemy has shot to the top of the ‘coaching prospect’ list for several reasons.  He’s been the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator since 2018 and his tenure has coincided with the dominant performance of Patrick Mahomes as KC quarterback.  Andy Reid already has a reputation for cultivating future head coaches—as of January 2018, 25% of the head coaches in the NFL were either Reid himself or former Reid assistants.  His previous two offensive coordinators are Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy, now the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears respectively.

Bieniemy played in the NFL for nine seasons and has been a coach at the college and NFL level since 2001.  He served as the running backs coach at Colorado and UCLA from 2001 to 2005.  He then took over as the running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 and held the job until he left to become offensive coordinator at his alma mater, the University of Colorado.  In 2013, he returned to the NFL as the running backs coach for the Chiefs and held that position until he took over as offensive coordinator prior to the 2018 season.

Since taking over as offensive coordinator quarterback Patrick Mahomes has become a dominant NFL quarterback and the Chiefs’ offense has been borderline unstoppable.  Kansas City scored 565 points last year—third most in NFL history.  In the process, Mahomes became the second quarterback in league history to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a season (Peyton Manning is the other).  The hope would be that Bieniemy could work some of that magic with Washington’s current quarterback prospect, Dwayne Haskins who the Redskins drafted with the #7 overall pick in the 2019 draft.

In many ways, Bieniemy is a perfect fit.  The question is ‘Would he want the job’?  He’s in a position where he’ll be at or near the top of the candidate list for any NFL team with a head coaching vacancy.  He might prefer not to take over a franchise in such disarray or with a notoriously controlling owner and GM.  If he’s up for a huge challenge for his first NFL head coaching job, the Redskins certainly fit that description.

Next up—we’ll look at the second tier candidates to become the next head coach of the Washington Redskins. 

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