“When all is said and done, years from now, Sean McDermott will go down as the all-time greatest head coach of the Buffalo Bills.”
I said those words.
I said them mostly to myself, last spring. Before the team had built their record to 4-2. Before they had even played a legitimate NFL game. I said it before the pre-season games, and before summer camp began. I said it before the late spring off-season workouts.
I said it mostly to myself in the early spring, but by late spring I had posted it publicly on social media.
I also made it a part of my opening season article here at BillsMafia.com. But, that was the article that never got published. (we had a bit of a technical snafu)
And so, I am leading off with it here, in today’s game day article.
Let me repeat it…
When all is said and done, years from now, Sean McDermott will go down as the all-time greatest head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
I guess a statement like this sort of demands a bit of an explanation. Fair enough.
My conclusion towards this end does not come from anything I have seen as a sideline field general during these six regular season games the Bills have played thus far. McDermott definitely has some more to learn as far as game flow, clock management, and personnel transition are concerned.
I think he does a pretty good job getting his staff prepared for different foes each week.
I think he speaks to the press in deliberate, and meaningful ways. He’s a professional.
But none of those things are what I saw as early as last spring, that makes me think he will end with legendary status in Buffalo Bills lore.
I’m going to try to convey all of this to you, without using the word process. But, as you can imagine, that might be difficult.
Let’s use instead, the word vision.
This man came with a plan. He walked off the airplane that brought him to us from Charlotte, North Carolina with a vision inside of his head. A vision of how to make a championship football team.
He looked around the locker room and offices at One Bills Drive, and he immediately recognized that what he saw there was not what he envisioned in his head.
He saw some players that did not play football for the love of playing football. He found a few contracts that held the team’s future for ransom. He found an overall attitude that, though maybe most of the people were enjoying themselves, wasn’t geared toward commitment to championship success. He found draft philosophies that gravitated toward selections from certain types of football schools, but not necessarily toward certain types of football players. He found and administration that barely communicated in any meaningful way.
Essentially, he found a staff that did not have a cohesive plan and several players that had just not bought in to the game of professional football.
He didn’t get out his broom and sweep the building clean. He said hello to everyone, smiled, and thanked the owners for the opportunity.
He talked with players, he talked with the press, he talked with the owners. At every moment, he was in his process. (sorry, you knew I couldn’t do it)
He knew what he wanted to do. What he needed to do. And he knew who he needed to get to help him do it.
He needed Brandon Beane.
Down in the offices of the Carolina Panthers, Brandon Beane was weighing his options. He was becoming an attractive candidate for a general manager position in the NFL. He may have even had an idea that the position at Carolina might be available soon. (It would be, weeks later)
But, Beane also knew where he wanted to be. Where he needed to be.
He needed to be with Sean McDermott.
These men had similar visions. They spoke the same language. They had a shared process.
They new they shared a process that would make a championship program. They just needed a team that they could run together.
Hello Terry and Kim Pegula.
Goodbye Rex and Rob Ryan.
Goodbye Doug Whaley, and a few other scouts and staffers.
Goodbye Stephon Gilmore.
And goodbye this guy, that guy, and oh yes, goodbye Sammy Watkins.
Goodbye that guy, this guy, and goodbye Ronald Darby.
And goodbye Marcell Dareus.
This week’s move was just the next block laid in the foundation that will become the future Buffalo Bills. The architects of this championship building is the firm of McDermott, Beane & Company.
McDermott and Beane knew they needed to be together. That is why Brandon Beane elected to come to Buffalo, when perhaps he knew other offers might come his way.
This team works well together. But, make no mistake, Sean McDermott is running this show.
What you see unveiling before your eyes, is part of Sean McDermott’s master plan.
This is his vision coming into reality.
This is his process.
The Buffalo Bills are 4-2. They are playing motivated football and winning games. They are relevant in NFL conversations during the week, and opposing coaches are having difficulties preparing for them on the weekend.
Sean McDermott has this Bills team winning.
And, have you seen next year’s draft picks?
Musings From Around the NFL
Let’s take a look at each division this week.
In the AFC East… the Patriots seem more like the Patriots, just different. The Jets are going to spoil some other NFL team’s playoff hopes at some point (let’s hope its not Buffalo), and the schizophrenic Dolphins fell off the cliff Thursday night.
At one point earlier, I thought the Steelers were perhaps falling apart (I think after the Bears game). But there they are, 5-2, solidly in control of the AFCN.
No team seems to want to win the AFC South. Is Jacksonville really the best of them?
What once seemed like a division that might send 3 teams to the AFC playoffs, the West no longer seems that way. Kansas City will win it, and the other teams will beat each other up, and let other teams do it, too. Today, for instance…go Bills.
The Eagles are running away with the NFC East, and the Vikings seem to be taking control of the North.
Are the Saints really back on top of the South? Atlanta is crashing and Carolina seems afraid of success.
And then there is the Rams. Youngest coach in the NFL. First place in the NFC West.
Fantasy Football Tips
In the fantasy football world, defenses and kickers get no respect. Let me toss a couple of stat bombs at you this week.
Do you know that the defenses of the Jaguars, Ravens and Rams all have more fantasy points than LeSean McCoy this year? Yep.
Also, I have had a bit of luck taking whichever kicker is playing the Bills each week. The Bills’ bend-but-not-break defense has allowed them to be rather productive. This week, that is not Sebastian Jakikowski, he’s on IR. The Raiders kicker this week is Giorgio Tavecchio. I wrote that right.
How prepared were you, with about 3 minutes left in the game, to really have a rotten Monday, a rotten week, and a whole lot of complaining about a Bills let up, a 4th quarter implosion, and probably Tyrod Taylor in general? (because that is what so many of us do when the Bills lose a game)
This is not your old (last year) Buffalo Bills team. The old team would have failed us. They would not have done the things they needed to do to win last week’s game against the Buccaneers.
Wondering how they were able to do it?
Scroll back up to the top of this article.
Buffalo has a second home game in a row, this week welcoming the Oakland Raiders (he said in his best deep Chris Berman gravelly voice).
What a hot mess this Raiders team has become of late.
With the running game failing, look for Derek Carr to put up big numbers, especially to Michael Crabtree. (with the Bills luck, this will be the week Amari Cooper breaks out of his slump. Did I just say that? That is so last year of me. Right?)
But, it’s fine if the Raiders pass for a lot of yards, as long as they don’t get in the end zone. They will, eventually, but not enough times.
The Bills defense will do its job, again, and the offense continues its renaissance after last week’s reemergence.
I see Shady in the end zone again, and more Jordan Matthews this week.
Buffalo 27 – Oakland 16
Read me next week!
Editor’s babble: Thanks to Rick Bates for his outstanding contributions to our blog. You can follow Rick on Twitter @MyHammock.