It was so just a matter of time before Sean McDermott landed a head coaching position. After three years of off-season considerations from teams like the Eagles to and Redskins, the Buffalo Bills have hired McDermott, the Panthers defensive coordinator for the past five years, as Head Coach.
The headlines may have spotlighted Cam Newton throughout McDermott's tenure, but the team's heart and soul has always been the defense. It's been the real identity in the shadows of Cam's starlight.
McDermott had a rough first year as a coordinator for Carolina. The Panthers finished at the bottom in nearly every defensive category. The next four years, however, Carolina was able to field a top 12 defense and a top 10 defense three of those four years. In 2013, McDermott's defense was second only to Seattle, which was one of the best defenses in NFL history. Carolina wasn't far behind either, tallying a record-setting 64 sacks that year.
McDermott has been a fantastic coordinator for Carolina. Most impressively, he's helped coach Carolina's defense into a league-leading with used and discarded parts. Carolina's secondary is shows it best. McDermott helped Josh Norman grow from a stubborn kid from Coastal Carolina into a star corner. He helped vets like Roman Harper and Drayton Florence find success in the Twilight of their careers, and he even helped retreads like Mike Mitchell get paid.
Sean McDermott to Buffalo. Steve Wilks is a shoe-in for CAR DC unless he gets L.A. job. If that happens, CAR will have to rebuild D staff— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) January 11, 2017
McDermott has been instrumental in Carolina's success in the last four years. Sure, it's a sign of success for an organization when a coordinator gets poached to be a head coach, but this is tough loss for Carolina. Most believe Carolina will promote Assistant Head Coach Steve Wilks to Defensive Coordinator. Wilks has garnered some interest outside the organization, but an internal promotion would be a familiar move for both him and the Panthers. He intimately knows Carolina's personnel and understands defensive philosophy by working closely under McDermott's guidance. All of this will hopefully lessen the blow that naturally comes when a coaching staff reorganizes.
The challenge will probably be more difficult for McDermott in the end. As the Bills' head coach, he will have to try and find a way to win in a division that has been dominated by the New England Patriots for over 15-years without a quarterback, a star receiver who hardly plays, and a host of contractual challenges many attribute to inept management.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
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