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Eric Bieniemy is not the only coach on Andy Reid’s Chiefs staff that is drawing buzz

Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports

During last year’s hiring cycle much of the attention on Andy Reid’s staff went to offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who met with multiple owners but did not land a head coaching job. Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka also had the opportunity to interview for at least one head coaching opening, sources said, but, still learning under Reid as a young coach, he declined.

More teams are expected to pursue Kafka this offseason, with Kansas City’s offense still the envy of the NFL and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whom Kafka has trained since he was drafted, likely headed for a second MVP award in three years. While getting the opportunity to call plays and operate as an offensive coordinator — a certainty in Kansas City in 2021 should Bieniemy land a head coaching position — would be greatly appealing to Kafka, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he partake in a head coaching interview should the right opportunity arise in 2021.

Kafka, 33, just retired from the NFL in 2015, where the journeyman quarterback spent time with seven organizations, absorbing different offensive concepts and schemes along the way. Kafka, a fourth-round pick of the Eagles in 2010, spent one year as a graduate assistant at Northwestern before joining Reid’s staff in Kansas City as a quality control coach in 2017. He has been their quarterbacks coach since 2018, when Mahomes was drafted, and also added the title of passing game coordinator last year.

Reid is a huge proponent of Kafka’s and has told numerous peers that he believes Kafka will be an NFL head coach sooner or later. Kafka is very self-aware and cognizant of the fact he still has much to learn, according to several people who know him well and understands that the opportunity to learn and grow under a guru like Reid is unique and rewarding. Despite only a few years of coaching experience, he is no longer off the radar of search firms and many of the former personnel men who advise owners on coaching hires, and several sources who will be a part of coaching hires believe that multiple teams will request interviews with Kafka in 2021.

There could also be 10 or more offensive coordinator openings around the NFL and Kafka will most certainly be in demand for those positions with current NFL head coaches and several men who will be interviewing for head coaching jobs very high on Kafka. Should Bieniemy end up back in his current position on Reid’s staff, the opportunity to call plays may not materialize in Kansas City. Reid’s affinity for Kafka is well known and he has told associates how valuable he is to the team’s offensive production.

It could shape up for an array of possibilities for Kafka whenever the Chiefs season concludes. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is also expected to draw interest on the head coaching marker (he was previously head coach of the Rams) and Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub has had the opportunity to interview for head coaching jobs in the past as well and could also do so again in 2021 with his unit once again among the best in the NFL.




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