Three More Coaching Hires Official: The Bills officially announced the hiring of Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator and Juan Castillo as the offensive line coach and running game coordinator. Both of these hirings were reported yesterday. The team also hired Bob Babich as the team's linebackers coach. He is a 14 year veteran who coached the Chargers linebackers last year. During his press conference Sean McDermott announced the team will retain special teams coordinator Danny Crossman
Pegula Introduces McDermott: Terry Pegula introduced Sean McDermott as the Bills new head coach at a press conference this afternoon followed by a Q&A with McDermott and Doug Whaley. The media was warned that they would only take questions pertaining to the search and moving forward. Pegula did not take questions. Pegula said Whaley and Jim Monos did a great job leading the search as the search focused on a head coach who could concentrate on long term planning and short term decisive decision making that will help them win football games. He also needed to be a man that could act as the face of the organization and handle the culture of the team. Sean was the leading candidate from day one of the search with his strong passion of the game and the fact he has trained for this since being with Andy Reid's staff. He is a smart, thorough, decisive winner according to Pegula.
McDermott Opening Statement: Sean McDermott begun by thanking the lord, his parents, his family, the Panthers, the players he's coached, and Andy Reid. He seemed to get choked up early in his statements. He thanked the Pegulas in having the confidence in giving him this opportunity along with the search team. They look forward to this opportunity to be a part of this city and this fan base. This is their type of town and they look forward to making it their home. He called it an honor to coach the players and he looks forward to doing it together. He understands the expectations and he accepts the challenge. He wants to build a culture of winning and it is an honor and privlege to be the coach and they will do it as a team.
Questions: John Warrow of the AP got the first question and welcomed him to Buffalo. He asked how he will bring the franchise back to a winning program. McDermott said he has been around winning programs and in his diligent nature he has learned every step of the way brick by brick. He has been to three Super Bowls so he knows what that tastes like. He feels confident in his abilities to bring that to Buffalo. Sal Cappaccio of WGR followed Warrow and asked why he wanted the job. He said he did his research like he always does as he is a meticilous thorough guy. He feels it was the best job on the market because of the ownership. He has seen what great ownership looks like and they have two great ones that are committed to winning. Secondly he talked about the great fanbase. He has been here as a visitor and wants to be part of it. He looks forward to creating that fire in the stadium. Vic Carucci went next and asked how he will get things turned around quickly with a new scheme. He will evaluate the roster and put the players in position to be successful. He looked at the personnel and says he looks forward to working with the players on this team. He answered Jerry Sullivan's question on promises and said they wil be competitive but he's not in to making promises. They will compete on a daily basis and he will build the culture along with the people in the building to build the standard of winning. He believes in the process and they have a lot of work to do. Adam Begnini asks about control of the 53 and Sean immediately said Whaley has control of the 53 and he's very comfortable with the situation. He wouldn't have taken the job if he wasn't comfortable with that and he made that clear and the Pegulas made it clear. Whaley piped in saying it's a team effort and it starts at the top. They are working together at every level. Sal Mariona then asked about the quarterback situation and asked how he will address it. Sean had a nice conversation with Tyrod Taylor right before the press conference. He doesn't want to get ahead of himself he will be methodic in evaluating every position and every player. There will be a time for that. Joe Buscaglia then asked about the defensive scheme. McDermott said he comes from a 4-3 background but has worked in a 3-4. He won't get into what they will do at this point but will put the players in position to succeed. McDermott doesn't know yet if he will call the defensive players but he will be involved in all three faces. Matt Fairburn asked about the offensive coordinator search and McDermott said it's an extremely important one. He is at work putting the staff together. He will build it with people of great energy and he's talking to a number of great candidates. He said they have retained Danny Crossman as the special teams coordinator. On another question on Taylor, he said he appreciated him reaching out and called him a fine young mine and he's watched him. He knows his skillset and what he brings to the table. It is premature to expand any futher. He will diligently look at the roster and go through it with Whaley. Leo Roth pressed him further on if he can keep him if he wants to. He said he's confident in Doug and the Pegulas and he knows what he's looking for and he knows what a winner looks like. Josh Reed asked him about the embracing the drought. McDermott said he knows the rich history of football in Buffalo. He gets them looking at the 17 years of the drought but he also looks at the great players that have played there. He understands about the drought and he gets the passionate fanbase and that was part of the draw of coming here. He grew up like that. He won't shy away from this challenge. They will start by winning inside the community and then go outward. Whaley said McDermott is a guy who will maximize player ability. Nothing has been finalized with any other coaches besides Crossman at this time. He is looking for great people since it's a people driven business. He wants guys who care about people, care about these players. His background is in accountablity and he will require that. He said they will do everything possible to gain a competitive advantage and that will include analytics. To win on the field, you need to win off the field first. He always believed in safety first and doing things the right way. Being a good football coach is mastering fundamentals and techniques. He's a big believer in character as well.
Pegula On WGR: Terry Pegula told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News that once Sean McDermott is introduced he will be the face of the franchise. So an hour before the announcement Pegula sat down with John Murphy and Donald Jones on WGR. On the hiring of McDermott he said they didn't interview as many candidates as last time but researched more than they interviewed. They didn't need to talk to more candidates since Shawn he was very impressive and just nailed it. They were looking for a decisive coach who showed unparallel leadership that players could be drawn too and Shawn stuck out. They feel he can also look at the long term planning of the franchise. It was as seven hour interview and you can tell he was ready to be a head coach. He had every answer, plans, a thick book with his notes. They love that he was groomed by Andy Reid to be successful. Everything they heard about him from the outside was very good. He thinks there is something special about Sean and he has candidates in mind at least three deep for each position. Sean asked about the oragnaizational structure and Pegula told him the coach and GM work together and they both answer to the owners. McDermott was most comfortable with that because that's what he was used to. Pegula feels it is the most common structure in the NFL. Pegula says they all laugh at the perception that the front office is full of disfunction. They all get along together and they all work well together. The way he looks at it, the more everyone knows what the guy next to him is doing the better off they all are. Pegula called it grossly unfair what Doug Whaley is going through. He said what he told the Buffalo News, if he fails at press conference and they wins who cares. He likes him and he's a smart guy who works hard. He promises the fans they are working diligently to end that streak. He calls it unfair to the people in the building that have been there that they are saddled with the 17 year playoff drought. They weren't involved in football operations so the drought isn't their fault. He feels they were a few plays away from making the playoffs the past two seasons. Pegula tells the fans to give the new coach a chance and they are going to keep trying to win.
Presser at 2pm: Today's press conference to introduce Sean McDermott will be at 2pm. And as usual for big press conferences we will be posting snippets right here. Terry Pegula will introduce him but isn't expected to take questions. He did a lengthy interview with Tim Graham of the Buffalo News where he sort of addresses the issues without really saying too much of substance on the subjects fans want to know about it. It's still a good read as he says there is no disfunction and the organizational chart is sound.
Thursday January 12, 2017
Bills Have A Defensive Coordinator: Sean McDermott has picked Leslie Frazier to be his defensive coordinator. The two coached together in Philadelphia. Frazier was the head coach of the Vikings for three years and most recently the Buccaneers defensive coordinator the past two seasons. Early reports had McDermott bringing with him Panthers LB coach Al Holcomb to be his defensive coordinator but Frazier's name came up just today and he got the job. In other news you can scratch Anthony Lynn off the list for offensive coordinator as he has become the new head coach of the LA Chargers.
McDermott's First Hire: Several reports are out there that the Sean McDermott has made his first hire and it is the person who replaced him as defensive coordinator when he left the Eagles. Juan Castillo will coach the offensive line and also will be the running game coordinator. He is an offensive coach who took over the Eagles defense even though he had no experience there. He coached with McDermott in Philadelphia for 11 years under Andy Reid. He was the OL coach there from 1998 to 2010. He most recently was with the Ravens as their OL coach.
Incognito To Pro Bowl: A day after LeSean McCoy backed out of the Pro Bowl the Bills get another one to replace him. Richie Incognito has been named to the squad as a replacement for Ravens guard Marshall Yanda. He also went to the game last year and is the first Bills offensive linemen to go in back to back seasons since Jason Peters in 2007 and 2008.
Press Conference Tomorrow: The Bills announced they will have a press conference tomorrow to introduce Sean McDermott as their new head coach. The time is still to be determined. In the meantime, the team released the following statements from Terry Pegula, Doug Whaley, and McDermott: