Good news, Bills fans: The team is getting closer to hiring a new coach. Bad news, Bills fans: Same.
At a time when, by all appearances, dysfunction resides at every level of the organization, the search for a new coach has led to Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, McDermott will meet with owners Terry and Kim Pegula in Boca Raton, Florida on Wednesday, with an eye toward hammering out a five-year contract.
McDermott, who has had other interviews both last year and this year, has had no other offers. If he wants to be an NFL head coach now, he’ll need to accept the job in Buffalo. Even if it will be harder for him to succeed in Buffalo given the blurred lines and undefined roles and responsibilities in the front office.
Apart from whether McDermott will have control over the roster and the draft (presumably, he won’t), McDermott needs to know who has the power — both on paper and as a practical matter. What does G.M. Doug Whaley actually do? What does team president Russ Brandon actually do? Who will I be dealing with when it comes to running the team? Which personalities will I have to navigate when attempting to get the things I need in order to coach the team as best I can?
Last week’s press conference from Doug Whaley raised plenty of red flags regarding who has the power, who has the influence, who’s making the decisions, and whether and to what extent ownership “gets it.” McDermott needs to suppress his desire to become an NFL head coach and force himself to ask tough questions that get to the heart of whether he will keep the job any longer than the man he’s replacing.