Bills set to hire Sean McDermott as Head Coach

Reports are filtering in that the Buffalo Bills have their sights set on hiring former Eagles Defensive Coordinator and Current Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott as their Head Coach.

The 42 year old McDermott would become the 20th head coach in Bills history. This year McDermott interviewed with the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. Last season, he met with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McDermott’s competition was Seattle Defensive Coordinator Kris Richard and Arizona Offensive Coordinator Harold Godwin. No other candidates are currently scheduled to be interviewed.

From the Panthers website, Sean McDermott’s bio reads as follows :

Sean McDermott is in his sixth season as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, developing young players and maximizing veteran talent to lead a unit that has become one of the best in the NFL. McDermott is the only coordinator in the NFL to field a top-10 defense each of the last four seasons.

In 2015, McDermott’s defense was instrumental in the Panthers’ 15–1 regular season and run to Super Bowl 50. Carolina ranked second in the NFL in yards allowed per play (4.9) and sixth in scoring defense (19.3) and total defense (322.9). The defense again showed a nose for the ball, as Carolina led the league in interceptions (24), takeaways (39), points off turnovers (148) and turnover differential (+20) and tied a franchise record with four interception return touchdowns. Safety Kurt Coleman tied for third in the NFL with seven interceptions and added two more in the postseason.

Four of McDermott’s defenders — linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly, cornerback Josh Norman and defensive tackle Kawann Short — were named to the Pro Bowl and earned All-Pro honors. Short was among the most dominant defensive linemen in the NFL, setting a Panthers record by a defensive tackle with 11 sacks, tied for the most among NFL defensive tackles and tied for eighth overall. Norman and the secondary helped limit opponents to the lowest passer rating (73.5) in the NFL.

In 2014, McDermott guided a defense that weathered injuries and attrition to another top-10 finish. Carolina forced 20 fumbles, second in the league, and tied for 10th in takeaways with 26, helping power the Panthers into the playoffs. In a 27–16 NFC Wild Card win, Carolina held the Arizona Cardinals to an NFL postseason record 78 total net yards. Kuechly earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro distinctions after leading the NFL in tackles, and Davis produced his third consecutive 100-tackle season. Defensive end Charles Johnson produced his fifth consecutive season with eight or more sacks.

In 2013, McDermott was named The Sporting News Coordinator of the Year when his unit ranked second in total defense (301.3). The Panthers also led the league in sacks (60) while finishing second in scoring defense (15.1). The defense helped propel Carolina to a 12–4 record, an NFC South title and the team’s first playoff appearance since 2008. In allowing the franchise’s fewest points since 1996, the defense set a team record with an NFL-low 21 touchdowns allowed while scoring a team-record four defensive touchdowns.

McDermott’s defense featured one of the best front sevens in the NFL. Kuechly earned the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and Davis returned to top form following three knee surgeries to set a career high in tackles. Defensive end Greg Hardy tied a franchise record with 15 sacks to earn Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition, and Johnson added 11 sacks as the pair each finished with double-digit sacks for the second consecutive year. Carolina’s top two draft choices, defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, earned All-Rookie honors.

In 2012, McDermott’s unit ranked 10th in total defense — an 18-spot improvement from 2011 — as Carolina finished in the top 10 in sacks, third-down conversion percentage and negative plays created. Kuechly earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading the league in tackles with a franchise record 205.

In McDermott’s first year with the Panthers in 2011, his defense overcame youth and injuries to produce key stops and takeaways that contributed to wins in four of the final six games.

McDermott came to Carolina following 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, the last two as defensive coordinator, helping the Eagles to the playoffs in each of those seasons. During his tenure with Philadelphia, McDermott contributed to six division titles, five NFC Championship appearances and a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX.

In 2010, McDermott led one of the league’s youngest defenses, which finished in the top 10 in takeaways and sacks. In his first season overseeing the Eagles’ defense in 2009, McDermott was named the NFL’s top defensive coordinator by Pro Football Weekly after his unit ranked third in the NFL with 38 takeaways and 44 sacks. Philadelphia also stood second in third-down defense and fifth in yards per play allowed.

McDermott coached the secondary and linebackers before becoming defensive coordinator, learning under the late Jim Johnson, the Eagles’ legendary defensive coordinator. Tutoring the defensive backs in 2008, McDermott helped the Eagles rank third in the NFL in pass defense and second in net yards per pass play. Free safety Brian Dawkins and cornerback Asante Samuel garnered Pro Bowl recognition, and strong safety Quintin Mikell captured second-team All-Pro accolades.

In 2007, McDermott took over the linebackers after serving as the secondary/safeties coach from 2004–06. Dawkins was a Pro Bowler all three seasons, and fellow safety Michael Lewis joined him in 2004.

McDermott worked as the team’s assistant defensive backs coach in 2003 and as the defensive assistant/quality control coach from 2001–02, assisting with linebackers. He joined the organization in 1998 as a scouting administrative coordinator before being promoted to assistant to the head coach in 1999.

An All-Atlantic 10 Conference choice at safety for William & Mary as a senior in 1997, McDermott graduated with a degree in finance and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1998.

Safety: William & Mary 1994–97. College coach: William & Mary 1998. Pro coach: Philadelphia Eagles 2001–10, joined Panthers in 2011.