Sean McDermott knows how to endear himself to a new franchise.
He showed so Tuesday evening.
The first-year Bills head coach invited several club greats to dinner at a Buffalo steakhouse. Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas, Steve Tasker, Darryl Talley and Cornelius Bennett all attended as alumni.
Of the group, Bennett was the shortest-tenured Bill, and he logged nine seasons. All of the ex-players overlapped as teammates from 1987 to 1994, a period covering the franchise’s glory years. Most were together before and after that span.
In January, McDermott joined a Bills franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since the 1995 season.
The former Panthers defensive coordinator sought Tuesday to “hear about what made the Super Bowl teams tick” from 1990 to 1993.
“We’ve all been on teams growing up,” McDermott said via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “Whether you’re on a football team, a baseball team, and whether you’re 8 years old, or 28 years old, the chemistry of those teams — the really good teams that we’ve all been around at different points in our lives — really defines those teams. The love between teammates, the bond, the life-long bond that’s been created. It was just fun to be in the room and listen more than anything.”
On Instagram, Kelly posted a photo of the dinner Wednesday after news of it broke.
“The gathering was probably one the most joyful nights I’ve had in years with my former teammates,” Kelly wrote. “Coach Sean did a lot of listening. He didn’t have much of a choice. The memories kept smiles on all of our faces throughout the evening. It was a blessed night. Now I feel we have a blessed coach.”