Eric Bieniemy: Key To Vikings Running Game?
Despite the efforts of USC’s Lane Kiffin, Eric Bieniemy will continue to coach the Vikings talented corps of running backs for another year. Last week, Bieniemy informed coach Childress of his decision. Childress, to say the least, was happy with Bieniemy’s choice, “Eric’s a bright young guy, he’s Adrian Peterson’s mentor…I think he has the ability to be a head coach at this level. He’s a tremendous teacher.”
As a counter to Lane Kiffin’s offer from USC, the Vikings handed Bieniemy an increase in pay and the title of assistant head coach offense. From Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Under this plan, Leslie Frazier will remain assistant head coach, as well as defensive coordinator, and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will continue to call plays. Bieniemy, though, will get more responsibilities when it comes to dealing with the offense and its players.
Judd Zulgad also reports that “Childress sees Bieniemy’s presence as not only a key for Peterson but also second-round running back Toby Gerhart.”
This is a good move for Eric Bieniemy and the Vikings. Bieniemy goes from the scape goat to the good guy, and the Vikings manage to hang on to a coach with a bright future. And if Bieniemy can help Peterson get a handle on his fumbling issues, that future could be realized sooner rather than later.