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It's about time Bills got it right

Sean McDermott

I checked the Bills website to be sure. In the section where the bios are written, you will find Sean McDermott's name and it officially lists one title, Head Coach. Now that is a big title, one that has been quickly been followed with the addition of the word "former" to the half dozen guys in Buffalo. But while McDermott still hasn't won or lost his first game in the NFL, he carries more power than any of his predecessors. And not just more than the list of underachievers that have prowled the sidelines in Buffalo for the last decades and a half. He appears to have more power than many current NFL head coaches, including some with big resumes and a Lombardi trophy. Way too early? Absolutely. But for this time in Buffalo Bills history, I am more than ok with it.

Brandon Beane was introduced as the new General Manager on Friday. When he and McDermott talk about collaboration, I think you actually believe it. The head coach downplayed his role in the selection of Beane, but there is no reason to believe a McDermott recommendation did not play a huge part in Terry Pegula's call on a GM. The key word that they both used Friday was "trust" and that is something that has been missing in management for the Bills since it was Levy and Polian or Butler running the show.

Sean McDermott walked into Orchard Park carrying the Andy Reid plabook. And I am not talking about the West Coast offense. I am talking about the plan on how to build an organization. 20 years ago when Reid wowed Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie with his plan, Reid was a quarterback's coach of the Packers. Within 3 year's he had moved Tom Modrak out of the front office and had taken control of the franchise. I don't believe McDermott's initial plan was to fast track that approach, but the dysfunction in the Bills front office allowed that to happen.

If McDermott didn't totally run the draft, he had a major influence. If McDermott did not pick Brandon Beane alone, he certainly was the driving force to bring his former colleague to the Bills. If McDermott did not make the call on bringing back Tyrod Taylor.... Nevermind. Of course he made the call on Tyrod. The Pegula's have made mistakes since buying the Bills, but I have a feeling that no matter how they got to McDermott, they made the right choice. This franchise has needed an Alpha to set the tone for everything they do and I believe they found their guy.

I don't think the plan going forward is for McDermott to do it all himself. I think he is smart enough to know that when you hire someone you trust (i.e. Leslie Frazier as the Defensive Coordinator) you let the person do the job. Maybe it is just semantics, but I think this organization will finally be more about influence and less about power. I think the plan is for McDermott to bring in people like Beane that have his respect and his trust, and then to watch them go to work.

Of course it could fail. McDermott won't be able to win (especially win big) until he gets the right quarterback. He has a roster with salary cap issues and aging veteran stars. He is in a division with the Patriots. But this franchise not only needed a guy to rebuild the structure, they needed a guy that recognized it needed to be done. The 17 year drought might likely go to 18 or more, but that doesn't mean the Bills did not finally get it right. Head Coach McDermott working in "collaboration" with GM Beane just feels right. And it's been a long time since we have been able to say that in Orchard Park


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