Eric Bieniemy will interview for the Bucs head-coaching job in Kansas City today.
The Chiefs offensive coordinator has a playoff game to prepare for Jan. 12, so he will meet with the Bucs and Jets today and likely the Dolphins on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
Bieniemy, 49, has never been a head coach at any level. But the success of former Chiefs assistants under Andy Reid — such as Bears head coach Matt Nagy and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson — certainly has helped his candidacy.
Unlike Nagy and Pederson, Bieniemy does not call the plays for the Chiefs. Reid has handled those duties this year, and the Chiefs have thrived with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is an MVP candidate.
But Bieniemy did call plays as offensive coordinator at Colorado and he is an important part of the collaborative effort used for game-planning by Reid.
This is Bieniemy's window to interview, with an extra week to prepare for the AFC divisional playoff game. But it's not insignificant that the Bucs are starting there on his first day of availability.
Some things can be gleaned by the urgency a team has with a candidate, and the fact general manager Jason Licht is in Kansas City on the first day he chose to interview could mean a lot.
Bieniemy also has reportedly turned down an opportunity to interview with the Cardinals, which shows there's mutual interest in the Bucs.
Bieniemy played nine seasons at running back in the NFL for the Chargers, Bengals and Eagles. He's primarily been a running backs coach, and, given the state of the Bucs' ground game, that may actually be a good thing.
In a Yahoo Sports story, Bieniemy is described as a passionate, tough-talking coach who can he heard over most anyone at practice.
"I love him, he's the best coach that I've ever been around," fullback Anthony Sherman told Yahoo Sports.
Sherman said Bieniemy can be prickly and won't suffer fools.
"He believes in you and it helps you believe in yourself and he's not a bull (expletive). He's straight forward. He's going to tell you how it is, like it or not."
The Bucs also plan to interview Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, according to the NFL Network.