By no means is this Sean McDermott’s fault. For all I know, the former Panthers defensive coordinator very well could be the head coach who finally steers the Bills in the right direction. He may wind up ending the longest playoff drought in major professional sports, 17 seasons in all.
My problem with McDermott actually has nothing to do with McDermott. The same beef would have applied to any coach the Bills hired so long as the same people remained in charge of the front office. They can’t be trusted to make sound decisions, so there’s little reason to believe they made the right call now.
With all apologies to McDermott, the hierarchy doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt on any decision. These are the same people who were convinced they couldn’t let Rex Ryan out of the room before hiring him. Ryan showed his incompetence in less than a year and was gone in less than two.
So what changed?
Bills fans couldn’t have felt better after hearing Doug Whaley led the search for a coaching candidate. Whaley had two head coaches, Ryan and Doug Marrone, during his regime as general manager. He had problems working in unison with both, largely because he insisted upon keeping control over the 53-man roster.
Terry and Kim Pegula’s decision to keep Whaley through obvious dysfunction remains one of the great mysteries of recent Buffalo sports. It’s right up there with Whaley’s daily duties and how Russ Brandon managed to survive. The wheels keep continue turning while the organization goes in circles.
Here’s hoping McDermott can wrestle power away from Whaley and push him one step closer to the door. We’ll know much more once we learn whether the coach or general manager controls the 53-man roster. The Bills could argue they’ll make joint decisions, but that’s nonsense. Only one person can make the final call.
If McDermott gained control, there’s a better chance the Bills have a coach worth keeping. If he surrendered that right during negotiations, they have a coach who agreed to take the job for all the wrong reasons.
Either way, McDermott will need to prove the football team was placed in good hands. The wise would proceed with healthy skepticism before convincing themselves a savior has arrived. I’ll have my doubts until the results prove otherwise.