During the past two NFL head coach hiring cycles, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been one of the most sought after names.
Yet, unless the Houston Texans ultimately decide to hire Bieniemy, 12 different teams over the past two seasons will have passed on the Chiefs coordinator for a different candidate.
Washington Football team quarterback Alex Smith, who worked with Bieniemy for five seasons in Kansas City, is outraged the Chiefs OC hasn't been hired anywhere as a head coach.
"Yeah, I think it's ridiculous that he hasn't been hired yet," Smith said on the Yahoo Sports NFL podcast with Charles Robinson and Terez Paylor.
"I know the interview process is weird with a team still in [the playoffs]. But regardless, I don't see how you can excuse it."
Since taking over as Kansas City's offensive coordinator in 2018, Bieniemy has worked directly alongside head coach Andy Reid to orchestrate the best offense in professional football. Although Reid has served as the primary play-caller, Bieniemy deserves a large amount of credit for Kansas City's creativity and overall offensive success.
Being an NFL coach is a lot more than just mastering the Xs and the Os, though. The job requires a great leader, something Smith thinks describes Bieniemy perfectly.
"I think Eric's No. 1 quality -- and it was apparent from the first day I met him -- was his leadership," Smith said. "Leadership ability, a true leader of men, he was a guy that had played for a long time, he was a great teacher, commanded respect because he gave respect also."
In the interview, Smith also explained that Bieniemy is the exact opposite of what the quarterback called a "good luck coach."
The Washington passer highlighted Bieniemy's great passion for football as another reason why he deserves a shot to run his own team.
"In the NFL, sometimes you've got these 'good luck' coaches. You're about to take the field and they're like 'OK, good luck.' For me, I was always like, 'Aren't you going out there with us?'" Smith said.
"For me, E.B. is the epitome of the opposite of that. If he could've strapped them up and gone out there with you, he would. He would," Smith said. "And I feel like that was something for me that I loved so much in playing for him. Because I felt we were all going out there together, we were in it together. He brought that energy every single day, that passion."
Bieniemy is also a product of the Andy Reid tree, which has seen several coaches -- including Washington head coach Ron Rivera -- be successful as head coaches after working alongside Reid.
Based on what Bieniemy has been able to accomplish in Kansas City, Smith believes there's no reason he wouldn't be a successful head coach whenever he eventually ends up getting hired.
"There's not a facet of the game on offense where he hasn't been incredibly involved with. From protections, to the run game, to the pass game -- he knows it all. He knows this stuff," Smith said.
Rivera, Doug Pederson (Philadelphia), and Matt Nagy (Chicago) have all led teams to the playoffs as head coaches after working under Reid. Now, it's Bieniemy's turn.
"And then obviously, to have been in that system, to have been kind of groomed and brought up with all those guys -- certainly with Andy [Reid] but certainly to see Doug [Pederson] and Nags [Matt Nagy] -- I don't see how you could be more ready," Smith said.