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Commanders Players Reportedly Concerned By Eric Bieniemy's Intensity

Anthony DiMoro

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that some players have expressed their concerns regarding the intensity of new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, according to ESPN's John Keim.

Bieniemy's intensity during practice has had players expressing their concerns regarding his style, which is making the rounds now on sports social media and among the leading sports media journalists covering the NFL.

"I'm always going to be loud, always going to be vocal, always going to demand from my leaders," Bieniemy said. "If I ain't doing my job, my ass gets fired. It's my job and my responsibility to make sure I'm getting our guys to do what I'm expecting them to do."

Rivera said that some players were "a little concerned" with how hard Bieniemy was riding them during practice.

The Commanders are adjusting to the approach of Bieniemy, who came over this offseason following 10 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs in the same role.

The heralded offensive coordinator will have his work cut out for him as he attempts to turn around an offense that has not ranked above 20th in points or yards per game since 2017, a long stretch.

Rivera is looking for some sort of spark as he is entering his fourth season with Washington and first with new owner Josh Harris, emphasizing how critical this season may be for Rivera's standing in Washington.

"I want our guys to clearly understand we don't take anything for granted," Bieniemy said. "You see me pull players and have long discussions with them so we're always on the same page. Eric Bieniemy is who he is. Eric Bieniemy knows how to adapt and adjust. Eric Bieniemy is a tough, hard-nosed coach but also understand I'm going to be the biggest and harshest critic but also their No. 1 fan. I got their back ... all the time."

"As a coach, I have to assimilate and get a feel for everybody," Rivera said. "Eric has an approach and it's the way he does things and it's not going to change because he believes in it. Jack [Del Rio] has his approach. Having been a head coach, I think Jack has a tendency to try to figure guys out a little bit more as opposed to, 'Hey, this is it, this is the way it's going to be,' that type of stuff. Eric hasn't had that experience yet."

"One thing they do appreciate: I'm always up front and honest," Bieniemy said.

"They've got to understand we're in a grown man's business," he added. "My job is to make sure I do the best job of overcommunicating clearly. When I'm getting on them it's not personal. What's personal is I want us to win. I expect that particular player to be great at all times. I expect that effort to be a standard that's accepted by all of us. If they don't reach it, my job is to address it."

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