McDermott confirms he will call defensive plays in 2023

The Bills head coach will take over play-calling duties from Leslie Frazier

Phoenix, Ariz. (WGR 550) - When defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier announced he was stepping away last month during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane both opened the door for McDermott calling defensive plays for the team in 2023.

Less than two weeks ago, Beane, once again, said it was possible, and added he would let McDermott decide what's best for the defense.

During the first day of NFL Owners' Meetings in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday, McDermott confirmed that's what the current plan is.

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"At this point, I'm going to be the play-caller," McDermott told a contingent of media at the annual league meetings at the Arizona Baltimore Hotel.

McDermott also acknowledged things could change not only between now and the start of the season, but even after that.

"Very confident the staff that we have," he said. "Taking it from the time that Leslie took the year off until now, I think we've been working well together and I'm very encouraged by that. We've got good coaches on staff, as I mentioned before, not going to go outside to fill that role."

McDermott added he has enough confidence in the coaches around him that if he needs to hand play-calling duties over to them from time-to-time, he's willing to do that.

The Bills head coach has called plays previously for two different organizations when he was the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 and 2010, and in the same role with the Carolina Panthers from 2011-2016.

"It's what I did coming up through. It's something I'm very comfortable with," he said. "The key here is I've got a really good staff around me to even think that was possible. If you don't have that type of staff, it can go in a lot of different directions. We're just going to take it one day at a time. That's where we are at right now. If we come to a deal where it's like, 'This isn't working, because of the breadth of the job, in addition to the coordinator piece,' then I'll turn it over. So I'm very confident in the people in the room."

When asked if there will be any philosophical changes to the defense with him calling it, McDermott responded, "we'll see."

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