Another head coach opening in the NFL has been filled, as the Buffalo Bills today hired Sean McDermott as their next head coach.
McDermott has spent the past six seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, leading a unit that had an impressive turnaround and has had a lot of success. In both 2013 and 2015, the Panthers had a top six defense in both yards per game and points per game allowed. They weren’t as good in 2016 - ranking 21st in yards per game allowed and 26th in points per game allowed - but McDermott has overall had quite a bit of success. Before his time as the Panthers defensive coordinator, he spent twelve seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2010) in a variety of roles, including as defensive coordinator for the final two years.
The hiring is one that the Bills hope will correct the defense from the past two years of Rex Ryan running things, as McDermott likely will bring quite a bit of change from Ryan. It’s a bit of a surprise to see Anthony Lynn not get the Bills’ head coaching job, but it seems that Buffalo placed a high emphasis on trying to fix the defensive struggles.
The Colts will face the Bills in 2017 as they go on the road to Buffalo, so they’ll get an up-close look at Sean McDermott next season.
This makes three coaching hires now official, as Doug Marrone was hired by the Jaguars and Vance Joseph by the Broncos. There are three jobs currently remaining to be filled, but it’s possible that others could still open up (like, of course, the job in Indianapolis).