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Commanders players are fired up to have Bieniemy as their new OC

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Eric Bieniemy sent a clear message to those in attendance for his introductory press conference about what he plans to do as the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders. 

Over the course of the 30 minutes he spent answering questions from reporters in front to fellow coaches, staff members and players, Bieniemy explained that playing hard, fast and with a purpose will be emphasized in his offense, while a lack of effort will not be tolerated. 

That was all Terry McLaurin needed to hear. Once the press conference was over, he shared a quick embrace with Bieniemy before explaining how excited he was for the new direction on offense. 

"He's a champion, a multiple time champion," McLaurin said. "He knows what it takes to get to the mountaintop, and that's what we're all chasing." 

McLaurin is not the only player fired up about Bieniemy, who is less than two weeks removed from winning a Super Bowl, coming to Washington. About a dozen of McLaurin's teammates were sitting in the front row listening to Bieniemy lay out his vision, and those who spoke to the media already seem bought into his plan. 

Bieniemy comes from a team that has made a habit of creating the success the Commanders and their players want for themselves. During the five years Bieniemy served as the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator, the team advanced to the conference championship five times and won the Super Bowl twice. 

But Bieniemy did not spend much time talking about his past or how many points he wants to score as the Commanders' play caller. Instead, he laid out the foundation for what he wants the Commanders' offense to be: a unit that is going to fight for 60 minutes and "do whatever the hell it takes to win." 

"The only thing that matters is did we win, or did we lose?" Bieniemy said. "So, we're gonna play complementary football. We're gonna do whatever the hell it takes for us to be victorious. That's all that matters."

That straightforward approach is something his new players can appreciate.

"I like his demeanor a lot," McLaurin said. "I like how serious he is about his business. I like how he lets everybody know what his expectations are, so there's no confusion when we step out on the field."

At times, that is going to involve some tough coaching from Bieniemy, who is known for pushing his players hard to get the most out of them. That style is not for everyone, but players like Adrian Peterson, Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes all credit him for playing a big role in their development.

It does not sound like McLaurin, who came to Washington as a third-round pick and had to fight to establish himself as a No. 1 receiver, will have a problem with that, either.

"I think you have to be ready for hard coaching," McLaurin said. "Coach EB knows when to push guys and when not to, but I think we're all serious about our business, and we know that it's going to take something different to get to where we want to get to."

And Bieniemy's way of doing things has a history of working. The Chiefs had five consecutive top five finishes in passing yards and third down conversion rate. In 2022, they led the league in points, total yards and passing yards.

That kind of success has the Commanders' skill players excited for what Bieniemy could do in Washington.

"I would just say the creativity," Jahan Dotson said on what stands out the most about the Chiefs' offense. "The way they get different guys involved, get guys in space and utilizing their guys very well. It's really cool to just see that success at the highest level of football. Knowing you get to work with someone who was doing that stuff is pretty cool."

The Commanders do not have clear future Hall of Fame players like the Chiefs, but there is talent for Bieniemy to work with. McLaurin and Dotson are part of a receiver position that possesses speed, quickness and exceptional route running. The backfield, which includes Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr., created a strong tandem when they were on the field together.

At quarterback, second-year pro Sam Howell is going to be given every opportunity to take the starting job for himself. Bieniemy is already a fan, saying that "the kid is a dynamic football player."

Like McLaurin, Howell shared an embrace with Bieniemy after the press conference, and the young quarterback believes Bieniemy can help him succeed.

"I'm a big fan of his," Howell said. "And just listening to him talk here, I'm super impressed with just the man he is. He comes from a team that's had a lot of success, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I'm just super excited to learn all that stuff and just get started with him."

Bieniemy cannot talk to his players about football yet, per league rules, but it will not be long until the Commanders return for OTAs and minicamp. That is when they will get to see Bieniemy's vision come to life.

"He's exactly the man I thought he'd be," Howell said.

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