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Bills announce Sean McDermott as new head coach

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11:  Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott of the Carolina Panthers during the NFL season opening game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Panthers 28-21.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

The search for Rex Ryan’s replacement as the Bills’ head coach is officially over.

The Bills had a second interview with Sean McDermott on Wednesday and it ended with a job offer that McDermott accepted. As a result, the team has announced McDermott will be the 20th head coach in franchise history.

It is the first time that McDermott will be a head coach. He served as the defensive coordinator in Carolina for the last six seasons, which included an NFC championship and four top-10 finishes in yards allowed.

The Bills defense was a disappointment in Ryan’s two years on the job and there were several complaints from Bills players about the complexity of the system. McDermott will now put together a staff to try for better results on that side of the ball while also working to land an offensive coordinator to head up the other side of the ball.

There’s been a report that he’d like to work with former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy on that front, but McCoy is slated to interview with the Broncos on Thursday.

With McDermott under contract, there are now three teams — Rams, 49ers and Chargers — still looking for head coaches. McDermott was on the list of candidates for both the 49ers and Chargers.

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60 Responses to “Bills announce Sean McDermott as new head coach”
  1. ontherocks1964 says: Jan 11, 2017 4:56 PM

    With Mike McCoy scheduled to interview for the OC role in Denver, he better move quick if he wants him in Buffalo. Any other worthy OC candidates out there?

  2. firerogergoodell says: Jan 11, 2017 5:00 PM

    Pretty good. Pretty pretty pretty pretty good.

    – Larry David

  3. firecracker87 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:03 PM

    Bad timing, BB and TB12 have not retired yet.

  4. dickshotdogs says: Jan 11, 2017 5:04 PM

    I think this is a very good hire for The Bills.

    Patriots fan

  5. firstand4ever says: Jan 11, 2017 5:04 PM

    What becomes of Anthony Lynn?

  6. teal379 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:05 PM

    Rams
    Chargers
    49’rs

    In that order for best place left to land.

    I’m guessing it will be filled in that order too unless one of them gets anxious about being out of the news cycle and makes some ridiculous offer to a no-name in the effort of just filling the spot.

  7. billswillnevermove says: Jan 11, 2017 5:05 PM

    I actually like this hire.

  8. tebow420 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:05 PM

    Give Rex another shot

  9. jonwill57 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:07 PM

    Shady McCoy meet your new OC… Chip Kelly!!

  10. milehighcityboss says: Jan 11, 2017 5:08 PM

    A million comments for the Broncos head coaching hire and only two for the Bills hire…. that shows that you are all obsessed with the Broncos. Its tough at the top… #BroncosCountry

  11. tyelee says: Jan 11, 2017 5:08 PM

    All Cali teams still open that have mulitple issues other than the usual ones!

  12. Flash1287 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:10 PM

    So…….8-8, again??

  13. carloswlassiter says: Jan 11, 2017 5:16 PM

    I’m totally unfamiliar with this guy, but maybe he’ll be just what they need in Buffalo.

  14. canadianbillsfan says: Jan 11, 2017 5:17 PM

    Now I’m hoping he can convince McCoy to come with him as OC. If he does that my Bills may actually be good next year.

    Maybe.

    God I hate being a Bills fan.

  15. corkspop says: Jan 11, 2017 5:17 PM

    If there wasn’t a good, NFL-experienced Head Coach available, this is a good choice. Hopefully he can line up a bombs away Offensive Coordinator and Whaley signs a real QB. Do that, switch to a 4-3 Defense, and you’re in the playoffs!

  16. codiablo says: Jan 11, 2017 5:18 PM

    “Dear Anthony Lynn – thanks for helping with that thing you know we “had” to do. This will give you a leg up to return as offensive coordinator.” WINK 😉

    -The Pegulas

  17. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Jan 11, 2017 5:19 PM

    I have no dog in this fight, but…

    Oh never mind!

  18. gjv001 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:21 PM

    Great choice by the Bills!!!!!!

  19. bucks4ever13 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:22 PM

    milehighcityboss says:
    Jan 11, 2017 5:08 PM
    A million comments for the Broncos head coaching hire and only two for the Bills hire…. that shows that you are all obsessed with the Broncos. Its tough at the top… #BroncosCountry
    ________________________________________

    Tough at the top? The Broncos didn’t even make the playoffs this year. Alas, neither did my Panthers. Anyway…

    Congrats to McDermott. He did a great job with the Panthers defenses while in Carolina. Best of luck to him.

  20. bleck5 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:23 PM

    Maybe the Bills will finally become formidable. At least they wont be in the cellar like the Jets.

  21. dickshotdogs says: Jan 11, 2017 5:24 PM

    What are The Broncos up to this weekend? Oh, that’s right, they’re watching The Patriots. Boom!

  22. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says: Jan 11, 2017 5:26 PM

    I fail to see how this is an improvement over Rex Ryan. 7-9 again.

  23. Quavo says: Jan 11, 2017 5:28 PM

    At least it’s not Sean McDonough

  24. stillabillsfan says: Jan 11, 2017 5:31 PM

    If Anthony Lynn doesn’t have a real shot at a HC job, I hope he and Sean do the smart thing and let things be on offense. The offense is close enough to make a playoff run. The D-line will be retooled and I think McD can work with the rest.

  25. milehighcityboss says: Jan 11, 2017 5:33 PM

    bucks4ever13 says:
    Jan 11, 2017 5:22 PM
    ___________________

    Tough at the top? The Broncos didn’t even make the playoffs this year. Alas, neither did my Panthers. Anyway…

    Congrats to McDermott. He did a great job with the Panthers defenses while in Carolina. Best of luck to him.

    _______________________

    Who is the current Super Bowl Champion? I’ll wait. Like I said, its tough at the top..

  26. carloswlassiter says: Jan 11, 2017 5:38 PM

    stillabillsfan says:
    Jan 11, 2017 5:31 PM

    If Anthony Lynn doesn’t have a real shot at a HC job, I hope he and Sean do the smart thing and let things be on offense.
    ————————————————————-
    That’s not how the world works.

  27. webster8723 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:39 PM

    I couldn’t be more happy with this choice. The Bills always pick a HC that is average or way below average. Take Rex Ryan for example. He was a proven failure and the Bills still hired him. Doug Marrone went 25-25 with Syracuse and was hired as Buffalo’s HC. Chan Gailey, Mike Mularkey, and Dick Jauron were complete failures.

    So I’m happy with this hire, bc I 100% though it was going to be stupid Chip Kelly or Jeff Fisher.

    GO BILLS!!

  28. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Jan 11, 2017 5:41 PM

    Does he play quarterback?

  29. glmore says: Jan 11, 2017 5:52 PM

    He can bring Shula along as an OC!

  30. dohczeppelin says: Jan 11, 2017 5:59 PM

    Nice. Basically anyone’s better than Rex. Even if the Bills still suck under McDermott at least Buffalo won’t have that loudmouth moron making us look bad anymore.

    People spoke highly of Lynn as a coach but with less than one season as an OC, running a modified version of someone else’s offense, I was skeptical he would have the experience for the top job. Most of his career was as an RB position coach with no experience that I know of with Defense, which is the Bills biggest weakness after the Rex train plowed into it. He is probably at least ready for an OC slot somewhere though.

  31. ariani1985 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:00 PM

    Notice he has a better leg than the gimp known as carr!

  32. dontbugmeonsundays says: Jan 11, 2017 6:01 PM

    He will be remembered forever if he takes my Bills to the playoffs. I like this hire a lot. I’m hearing a lot of good things from Panthers fan about him. Got my fingers crossed. Hopefully this 17 year drought ends. It’s been wayyy too long!

  33. VenerableAxiom says: Jan 11, 2017 6:03 PM

    Everyone is trying to find the next Adam Gase.

  34. firstand4ever says: Jan 11, 2017 6:03 PM

    Rams-McVay?…. 49ers-Kyle Shanahan or Josh McDaniels?…. That leaves The Chargers, who may waittill after January 17th before hiring someone. I wonder if Lynn stays in Buffalo, gets one of the remaining jobs or jumps ship to another team as OC.

  35. ihavepriors says: Jan 11, 2017 6:04 PM

    See how quickly the other vacancies fill up now that Denver made its choice?

  36. kevpft says: Jan 11, 2017 6:33 PM

    milehighcityboss says:
    Jan 11, 2017 5:08 PM
    A million comments for the Broncos head coaching hire and only two for the Bills hire…. that shows that you are all obsessed with the Broncos. Its tough at the top… #BroncosCountry

    ————-

    I suspect it may be closer to, “what the heck are the Broncos thinking?”

    Last place in the division next year seems a real possibility.

  37. yourmomapproves says: Jan 11, 2017 6:36 PM

    But is he going to try and get players smart enough to digest a defensive philosophy?

  38. donbat67 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:50 PM

    YEAH ! Phins fans

  39. maust1013 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:52 PM

    osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Jan 11, 2017 5:26 PM
    I fail to see how this is an improvement over Rex Ryan. 7-9 again.
    ===============

    12’s fail to see a lot of things

  40. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:56 PM

    Donks had about the fastest champs to chumps transition I’ve ever seen lolz

  41. westcoastbillsfan says: Jan 11, 2017 6:56 PM

    Rumor has it McDermott instills discipline which the Bills reportedly need. I’d prefer someone that’s been a head coach or at least been part of a longtime winner. …Of course, I still wish I was reading that Brandon and Whaley are no longer employees in the Bills Front Office.

  42. abcisezas123 says: Jan 11, 2017 7:04 PM

    Probably the only guy willing to work within that dysfunctional front office structure. Strange considering Lynn was the name they were leading with – probably to see if it would be acceptable. Maybe the negative feedback caused them to focus on others.

    Though I thought it pretty dumb of Lynn to say he’d bring Bradley. As if a front office would just allow a HC with little coordinating experience the change to unilaterally pick a coaching staff.

    But, if you’re going to hire someone without HC experience, best to be someone who’s been a coordinator. McDermott got screwed in the last days of Reid as a scapegoat, though many thought he had HC potential even back then.

  43. blackbug99 says: Jan 11, 2017 7:14 PM

    What becomes of Anthony Lynn?
    ***********************************

    Lynn has had a great year. O-line coach to O-coordinator to interim HC. But, he’s not ready for a HC gig. I do wish him well. It will come 🙂

  44. raiderapologist says: Jan 11, 2017 7:16 PM

    Say hello to the next guy to get fired from that CFL outpost in two years. If he doesn’t quit first.

  45. buffalobraves says: Jan 11, 2017 7:36 PM

    Bills-3rd or 4th in the AFCE for the next 2-3 years. Sorry, pains me-and many others.

  46. realqc says: Jan 11, 2017 7:51 PM

    Thank you for your years of service here in the Queen City. Wish you luck McD

  47. billswillnevermove says: Jan 11, 2017 7:58 PM

    raiderapologist says:
    Jan 11, 2017 7:16 PM
    Say hello to the next guy to get fired from that CFL outpost in two years. If he doesn’t quit first.
    _______________________________________
    Get with the program genius, he never coached in the CFL…..but your coach showed a lot of CFL potential when he wouldn’t pull Cook for the 2nd string QB. Better luck next year LOL.

  48. onebuffalove716 says: Jan 11, 2017 8:22 PM

    raiderapologist says:
    Jan 11, 2017 7:16 PM
    Say hello to the next guy to get fired from that CFL outpost in two years. If he doesn’t quit first.

    1 54
    Report comment

    Brock Osweiler..lol

  49. abcisezas123 says: Jan 11, 2017 8:30 PM

    Hey, how about we not rip on our Canadian friends? I watch the CFL and enjoy it, actually.

    How about USFL (especially since they’re out of business?). Maybe a better analogy when ywanna rip someone as not being NFL “primetime” (Berman voice).

  50. mentallywoozy says: Jan 11, 2017 8:34 PM

    Got a raw deal when he left Philly trying to replace the legendary JJ but he’s done great things in Carolina and has deserved this opportunity for the last 3 seasons. Best of luck to the young coach.

  51. streetyson says: Jan 11, 2017 8:35 PM

    Probably the Bills’ biggest problem was that they went through 9 HCs in the 20yrs since the end of Levy’s time there – almost one every 2yrs. I know it’s a new-ish (2014) owner fired Ryan – but let’s hope it’s not the same 2yr-ethos or the Bills will likely suffer two more decades of pain. The omens, however (GM Whaley’s comments, owner Pegula’s other sports franchises), don’t yet provide too much hope.

  52. thefatlazygamer says: Jan 11, 2017 8:50 PM

    “What becomes of Anthony Lynn?”

    He keeps getting token interviews to satisfy the Rooney rule. It was clear from day one why suddenly 6 teams wanted to interview him. It’s not because he had the Bills pull out an amazing practices and Week 17 victory under his leadership. If I was him, I’d be pissed that I got passed around like candy just to satisfy a stupid rule.

  53. nepatriot1 says: Jan 11, 2017 9:02 PM

    Flash1287 says:
    Jan 11, 2017 5:10 PM
    So…….8-8, again??
    ———————
    Wow, pretty optomistic

  54. cowboy2016 says: Jan 11, 2017 9:16 PM

    In 2019 the headline here will read, “Bills Fire Sean McDermott”

  55. vusnu says: Jan 11, 2017 10:07 PM

    Hope this works out for Sean, but I was never a fan. He only lasted a year as DC in Philly before he was fired, and Ron Rivera really ran the defense in Carolina. The Panthers defense had some great player – but this year without Josh Norman, it took a huge nosedive. I haven’t seen anything from McDermott to demonstrate that he has what it takes to be the head coach of a winner in this league. Hope I’m wrong.

  56. newmancave2016 says: Jan 11, 2017 10:50 PM

    I have a colleague who is friends with his family. I really wish the best for him. It didn’t work out for him in Philadelphia, but it really wasn’t his fault. He’s been a great defensive coordinator for Carolina and I think he’ll probably be a great head coach.

  57. igotgamenj says: Jan 11, 2017 11:23 PM

    But wait I thought Rex Ryan was the next best thing to sliced bread ?

  58. 667s650w says: Jan 12, 2017 12:50 AM

    Congrats you hired a defensive minded head coach who’s defense in Carolina was ranked 21st in the league to replace another defensive minded coach (Rex) who’s defense was ranked #19th in the league.

    I am not even sure the dysfunctional front office will give McDermott 2 years before they fire him and replace him with Hue Jackson (who Cleveland will fire)..

  59. internetcommenter7 says: Jan 12, 2017 4:23 AM

    Massive downgrade. Sad for bills fans.

  60. everlast79 says: Jan 12, 2017 10:31 AM

    As a Panthers fan, I have to say Sean McDermott will be missed. He did a great job in making the best of his resources to give us a respectable, and at times, a feared defense that kept us in many games when the offense was struggling. Good luck Coach, I hope you turn the Bills around (except if and when they play the Panthers 🙂 )

    #KeepPounding

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