PASADENA, Calif. – Fox pregame analyst Howie Long is a Sean McDermott fan.
During and after a Super Bowl press conference here Wednesday, the Hall of Fame defensive lineman gave the Buffalo Bills new coach a ringing endorsement and also put in a good word for quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
"McDermott is a Jim Johnson disciple from Philadelphia," said Long. "The late Jim Johnson, great defensive coordinator. And he’s been great down in Carolina, McDermott. We talked about him on the way up here in the truck, McDermott. Really aggressive. I think he’ll switch to a team up in Buffalo that fits their personnel... They'll go from a three-man front to a four-man front, which I think fits what they do. And I think he’s ready. They got a good coach.”
“I think it all begins and ends with how credible the guy is in front of the room,” added Long. “He is a serious guy, he knows his stuff. He built a great foundation down in Carolina for defense. But like everything, they have to figure out if the guy they have now at quarterback is the guy. Do we try to make a trade, do we go through free agency? Is there someone out there in the draft? Is there a (Dallas quarterback) Dak Prescott out there in the draft?”
Long said he is a Tyrod fan.
“I like him a lot,” said Long. “I live in Virginia (Taylor played at Virginia Tech) so I’ve watched him a long time. But it is really not important what I think of him, it is what the new head coach does.”
What about the criticism that Taylor doesn’t see over the middle of the field?
“Yeah, I think you could make the same statement about (Seattle quarterback) Russell Wilson. Russell is from Richmond. I coached against Russell in high school. I’ve known Russell since he was 13.
“There are things they do in Seattle to accommodate for that. Deeper drops if you notice. Take a look when you watch Seattle (play Atlanta) this weekend. It gives him a better ability (to see the field.) You have to move the pocket a little bit.”
Long wasn’t a fan of the philosophy of former Bills Coach Rex Ryan.
“When you are married to that kind of philosophy that Rex had – we are going to run the football, we’re going to play great defense, and that’s how we are going to win,” said Long, "the margin for error is you have to win a lot of 16-14 games."
That might be true, but the Bills offense averaged 25 points offensively and still finished 7-9.
“But when you are playing that style of football it puts a lot of pressure on your defense,” said Long.
What about the suggestion that McDermott is the anti-Rex?
“I don’t know if he an anti-Rex but he’s different from Rex for sure,” said Long.