Buffalo Bills hire Panthers DC Sean McDermott as their next head coach

All signs had pointed to interim coach Anthony Lynn becoming the Buffalo Bills’ full-time head coach after his quick rise through the ranks this season. However, the Bills are reportedly going in a different direction.

The team announced on Wednesday that former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has been hired as Buffalo’s new head coach.

McDermott, 42, has spent the last six years as Carolina’s defensive coordinator. Before joining the Panthers, he held the same position with the Eagles from 2009-10.

The Panthers had a terrific defensive season in 2015, ranking sixth in both points and yards allowed while forcing the most turnovers in the NFL on the way to a Super Bowl appearance. They took a step back this season with the departures of Josh Norman, Roman Harper and Charles Tillman, but they were still No. 6 against the run.

This will be McDermott’s first stint as a head coach in the NFL. Expectations will be high with Buffalo’s last playoff appearance coming in 1999, so there will be a minimal grace period for him. Rex Ryan lasted only two years despite being just one game below .500 (15-16).