The Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator was officially named 20th head coach in Bills franchise history. The Buffalo News first reported the strong likelihood that McDermott would be the next head coach in Buffalo.
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The move seems to be both practical and symbolic for an organization looking to move on from the hastily discarded Rex Ryan era. McDermott, a longtime defensive coordinator like Ryan, runs a different system (a base 4-3 instead of Ryan’s 3-4) and has more of a reputation as an elastic play-caller.
With many Bills players mentioning a lack of order following Ryan’s ouster, it’s also no surprise that McDermott, known for his tough demeanor in the likeness of mentor Jim Johnson, rose to the top of the candidate pool.
McDermott had the benefit of working with a kindred spirit, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, in Carolina, who always believed that a good football team jerseys was built with a quarterback first, then through the defensive line. While Buffalo’s personnel — Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Shaq Lawson, to name a few — is strong up front, it doesn’t necessarily stack up with a rotation that included Kony Ealy, Kawann Short, Star Lotulelei, Vernon Butler and Charles Johnson.
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McDermott’s first job will undoubtedly be blow the dust off Dareus and Lawson’s potential. He’ll likely tap Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb to be his defensive coordinator in Buffalo, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Like Ryan, though, the true challenge will be finding an offensive coordinator who can turn a scattered group of talented players on offense into something that can compete with the Patriots and rapidly improving Dolphins. In a division that doesn’t show signs of getting softer, the Bills are jumping at the chance to toughen up.