The consensus is in: Sean McDermott is one of the top coaches in the National Football League.
During June, three major outlets — CBS Sports, NBC Sports and Pro Football Network — released lists ranking all 32 NFL coaches. They all name McDermott as one of the 10-best at his craft.
The highest praise comes from CBS Sports, which places McDermott at No. 5 overall. He is ranked ahead of Super Bowl winners Pete Carroll (6), Bruce Arians (8) and Mike Tomlin (10). That’s indicative of how highly the Bills’ operation is regarded around the league.
Since coming to Buffalo in 2017, McDermott has led the Bills to three playoff appearances, including last season’s run to the AFC Championship Game.
One of the main reasons for that success is consistency. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is entering his fourth season on the job, meaning he’s been able to work with Josh Allen every step of the way. Over the last three years, Allen has developed into an elite quarterback, finishing second in MVP voting in 2020.
Of course, Allen’s ascension is the biggest reason for Buffalo’s recent success. But remember: McDermott made the playoffs with Tyrod Taylor under center in 2017, and with a version of Allen that was prone to costly turnovers and mistakes in 2019.
McDermott has also helped hold together this defensive core, with numerous players, including Matt Milano and Micah Hyde, re-signing on below market deals. He’s created a culture that players want to be part of.
NBC Sports ranks McDermott No. 6 overall, calling him the “best defensive hire of the last decade.”
“Sean McDermott has handled his side of the ball while championing aggressive solutions on offense,” the article says. “With defensive brains to match his offensive firepower, McDermott has opened the championship window he worked tirelessly to build.”
With that in mind, Pro Football Network’s decision to place McDermott at No. 8 on its list seems a little low. He’s ranked right behind Frank Reich, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a playoff appearance last year, but hasn’t built up the same head coaching track record as McDermott.
Still, it’s hard to gripe about a top-10 ranking. Do you think Perry Fewell or Chan Gailey ever came close to earning that kind of praise?
Over the last 20 years, the Bills saw first-hand how Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led the New England Patriots to dynastic greatness. Now the question is, can McDermott and Allen accomplish the same thing?
The national NFL press certainly appears bullish on their chances.