The Jets’ coaching search is officially underway.
They completed their first interview on Wednesday with Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, the Jets announced.
Bieniemy also met with the Jets for their opening two years ago when Jets CEO Christopher Johnson chose Adam Gase. Johnson fired Gase on Sunday night after the Jets finished a 2-14 season.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas is leading this coaching search, but Johnson and team president Hymie Elhai will be involved as well.
Bieniemy, 51, is one of the hottest coaching names this offseason, along with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
The Jets reportedly have submitted interview requests for Daboll and Smith already. They’re expected to also seek permission to speak to Saleh as well as a number of candidates. General manager Joe Douglas said the Jets would "cast a wide a net" in this search.
Bieniemy has worked under Andy Reid since 2013, first as running backs coach. Bieniemy became Kansas City’s offensive coordinator in 2018 and has helped in developing Patrick Mahomes into one of the best players in the NFL. Mahomes led Kansas City to a Super Bowl victory last year.
In Bieniemy’s three years as coordinator, Kansas City ranked in the top six in overall offense, passing offense and points. This season, Kansas City was first in total offense and passing offense and earned the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a 14-2 record.
Bieniemy, who spent nine seasons playing running back in the NFL, has been coaching since 2001. He served as running backs coach for Colorado and UCLA before spending five seasons in that same role for the Minnesota Vikings. Bieniemy returned to Colorado and was offensive coordinator for two seasons until joining Reid’s staff.
The Jets aren’t necessarily looking for someone offense-centric like two years ago when Johnson wanted someone to develop Sam Darnold. Gase was too focused on the offense and didn’t develop Darnold to be the franchise quarterback the Jets envisioned.
Now the Jets want someone who can oversee the entire team and create the kind of culture that can help end their 10-year playoff drought.
"Bringing this program back to respectability, bringing this program back to winning games and competing for playoffs and the Super Bowl, that is the No. 1 goal," Douglas said. "That’s going to start with the type of leader and person that we bring in to partner with myself, Christopher, Hymie and really build the right culture and really be the leader that can take us to the next level."