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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs promoted from within for their new offensive coordinator. They hired running backs coach Eric Bieniemy to replace Matt Nagy, who was hired Monday as the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

Bieniemy, 48, has been with the Chiefs as their running backs coach since 2013, when Andy Reid arrived as head coach.

“I’ve known Eric a long time, both as a player and a coach,” Reid said. “He’s done a phenomenal job with our running backs and has been involved in every aspect of our offense over the last five years. He’s a great teacher and has earned this opportunity. I know he will do a good job.”
Bieniemy has experience as a coordinator. He served in that role in 2011 and 2012 at the University of Colorado.

Bieniemy played nine seasons as an NFL running back for three teams. His final NFL season in 1999 was with the Philadelphia Eagles, who at the time were coached by Reid.

Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West have had breakout seasons at running back for the Chiefs the last three seasons. Each led the Chiefs in rushing once over the past three seasons, and Hunt, a third-round draft pick, led the league in rushing this season as a rookie.

The Chiefs’ season ended Saturday with a 22-21 AFC wild-card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.

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Ben Rothlisberger thinks that the Jesse James catch reversal was a product of over-officiating.

Ben Rothlisberger thinks that the Jesse James catch reversal was a product of over-officiating.

PITTSBURGH — If you’re seeing too much yellow during your NFL viewership, you’re not alone.

Ben Roethlisberger feels the same way.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback looked at the big picture of officiating during his weekly radio show Tuesday, a timely topic coming out of Jesse James’ controversial touchdown reversal.

“I think officials are calling a lot, maybe too much. I think officials are taking the game away some times,” Roethlisberger said. “I think that they’re affecting the outcome, and I’m not trying to criticize officiating because I don’t want to get fined or anything like that. I’ve heard it from many people. You watch a game and it’s like almost every snap there seems to be a penalty and whether it’s warranted or unwarranted, it just seems like there’s a lot of penalties being called nowadays.”
Roethlisberger thought he had a 10-yard touchdown to James with 28 seconds left to take a 30-27 lead over New England. But the officials ruled the catch incomplete because James didn’t “survive the ground,” prompting a wild sequence for the Steelers offense that resulted in a Roethlisberger interception.

Roethlisberger makes clear he thought James caught the ball, especially after a few days to digest the play.

“Honestly it makes less sense to me,” Roethlisberger said. “I felt like he caught it. He brought it into his body and then reached out and then yeah, when he hit the ground it came loose, but I felt like the reach is credit of the football move.”

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In a span of seven minutes, Marcell Dareus used the words shocking, overwhelming and emotional to describe what he’s felt since he was traded to the Jaguars on Friday evening.

From the phone call from the Buffalo Bills informing him of the trade to his arrival in Jacksonville amid the annual Florida-Georgia game at EverBank Field to meeting the coaching staff to quiet moments in his hotel room, Dareus said he was still trying to adjust even as he participated in his first practice Monday morning.

“I still haven’t gotten over it yet,” Dareus said. “I’m still in shock. I’m shocked for a trade. I’m shocked that this defense, this team … I’m still just taking it all in. It’s three days, man. Three days.”

The Jaguars’ newest defensive tackle said he had an idea that something may have been in the works last week but he continued to prepare for the Bills’ home game against Oakland. When he was told he was headed to Jacksonville in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2018, things started to happen pretty quickly.

Friends and teammates stopped by his home on Friday night to say goodbye, and on Saturday morning he was headed to the airport with a one-way ticket.
“I still haven’t gotten over it yet. I’m still in shock. I’m shocked for a trade. I’m shocked that this defense, this team … I’m still just taking it all in. It’s three days, man. Three days.”

Marcell Dareus said Monday that it's been a whirlwind three days after being traded from the Bills to the Jaguars.

Marcell Dareus said Monday that it’s been a whirlwind three days after being traded from the Bills to the Jaguars.

Marcell Dareus
“Little overwhelming,” Dareus said. “Kind of saw some things happening but at the same time I was getting prepared for the game and we had a game plan in and I was practicing all week and I’m just zoned in, trying to keep negativity out. And when I got the call and things happened the way it did, I can’t lie it did make me a little emotional because I know [Saturday] it is a one-way ticket [to Jacksonville].

“It was so swift that before I knew it I was already in Charlotte and by the time I got to Charlotte, a blink of the eye and I’m here in Jacksonville saying hey to the coaches, the biggest cocktail party in the world, and with all that going on it was just — the world is spinning. Traded, on the plane, cocktail party, going to the stadium, saying hello, getting out, going to the hotel room laying on the bed looking at the roof: What is going on?”

Dareus isn’t completely unfamiliar with the Jaguars. Doug Marrone was the head coach and Nathaniel Hackett the offensive coordinator in Buffalo in 2013-14. Jason Rebrovich is the Jaguars’ assistant defensive line coach and he was a quality control/assistant defensive line coach under Marrone in Buffalo, too.

That at least helped to somewhat lessen the shock, but he’s now caught up in learning the Jaguars’ defensive system and finding out where he fits in. The Jaguars are last in the NFL against the run (138.6 yards per game) and no team has allowed more than their 5.2 yards per rush. The 6-foot-3, 331-pound Dareus gets headlines because of his prowess as an interior pass-rusher (35 sacks in six-plus seasons) but he’s one of the league’s better run-stuffing tackles.
Dareus had his two best seasons under Marrone, racking up 17.5 sacks in 2013-14 and making the Pro Bowl in both seasons. The move does come with some risk. Dareus has had more than his share of off-field issues — he was benched for being late to a team meeting in 2013, was sent home from a preseason game this year for violating a team rule, was twice suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and he’s had two offseason arrests — but the Jaguars believe the help the Alabama product can bring the run defense is worth the risk.

“We’re all at risk, myself, everybody,” Marrone said. “I think some people get themselves in situations [and] you hope that they learn from it. If they don’t then obviously there’s consequences.”

Dareus said he’s glad to be getting a fresh start.

“I thought that Buffalo was home and extremely happy for everything I’ve done there, everything they’ve done for me, the organization,” he said. “… “At the same time it’s a business and this is where I am and I am thoroughly happy just to be a Jag. It feels good to be wanted.”