Snuck into the Bills 18-10 win against the New York Jets was a personal achievement for Sean McDermott. After yesterday’s win, McDermott now stands alone in 4th place on the Bills all-time regular season wins list with 30 wins. Prior to Sunday, he had been tied with Wade Phillips. Next on the list is Chuck Knox with 37.
As you can see, only four of the Bills twenty coaches have amassed 30 wins during their tenure. And speaking of tenure, Sean McDermott is already the 5th longest tenured Bills head coach with 55 games coached. In three weeks he will pass Dick Jauron for 4th place on that list. I have been tough on his defense in recent weeks, but doing this research made me realize just how lucky we are to have McDermott in Buffalo. He ended the drought with a quarterback and roster almost entirely from a previous regime. He drafted a franchise quarterback and rebuilt the roster in just one season, and then returned to the playoffs once again. Most importantly, he brought respect back to Buffalo. Buffalo is no longer the laughingstock of the NFL, as it had been since the start of the new millennium. Obviously, this is success that the Bills haven’t seen since Marv Levy, but it is also a clear direction and organization for a franchise that spun their wheels for the 17 years prior, shuffling through head coaches at an alarming rate. It seems like yesterday that Rex Ryan rolled out of One Bills Drive in his Bills themed truck. It is hard to believe that will be four years ago this Christmas. Sean McDermott didn’t need the bravado, didn’t need to guarantee making the playoffs, he just had to show up to work, be himself, and the results followed.
Out of the four Bills coaches that have won 30 or more games with the team, McDermott won number 30 faster than Chuck Knox and in one more game than Hall of Famer Marv Levy. Levy’s and McDermott’s tenures have started out similarly; here’s hoping that the similarities continue in the years ahead. I’d say it is a pretty safe bet that McDermott will be eventually pass Saban for 2nd most Bills wins by a head coach. Heck, he is already 25% of the way to passing Levy, too.
Fresh off of his new 5-year contract extension signed in August, Sean McDermott should continue to climb his way up the Bills history books in the coming years.