Buffalo Bills Leaning Towards Hiring Sean McDermott as Head Coach

Kristopher Nichols
January 12, 2017

The Bills ended their latest head-coaching search Wednesday, agreeing to hire Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to succeed the fired Rex Ryan, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano.

McDermott spent the past six seasons leading the Panthers defense after two seasons (2009-10) as the Eagles defensive coordinator. McDermott, who is 42-years old, is the 20th head coach in Bills' history and brings a strong, proven defense to Buffalo - a team stocked with talent along its defensive line.

Sean McDermott on Tuesday became the first defensive coordinator to interview for the 49ers' coaching vacancy.

McDermott's meeting with the Niners in NY on Tuesday followed his interviews last week with Buffalo and San Diego.

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W&M is one of just three schools to have multiple former players now serving as head coaches in the NFL - Idaho State (Marin Lewis, Bengals; Dirk Koetter; Buccaneers) and Pacific (Hue Jackson, Browns; Pete Carroll, Seahawks). He interviewed with Cleveland and Tampa Bay last season before those teams hired Hue Jackson and Dirk Koetter while the Panthers were preparing for their divisional-round game against Seattle.

Also, McDermott will have to work with a front office that appeared a bit foolish with the benching of Taylor, how it handled Ryan's firing and the postseason media conference with GM Doug Whaley that raised more questions than it actually answered. Carolina finished sixth in the league in scoring defense and sixth in yards allowed in 2015.

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.

During six seasons in Carolina, McDermott led a defense that finished in the NFL's top-10 three times.

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