Did the Buffalo Bills make the right moves in hiring Brandon Beane as the new general manger and Sean McDermott as head coach?
On May 13, 2013, the Buffalo Bills hired Doug Whaley as their general manager. Whaley had been in the organization since 2010, was Buddy Nix’s assistant, and had a big say in the Bills draft process. Whaley became Nix’s predecessor, who was in charge of the Bills from the latter half of the 2009 season.
Whaley had a tough task at hand, trying to end their playoff drought and bring a Super Bowl to the city of Buffalo. The ball was handed to his new quarterback of the future, E.J. Manuel, who Whaley was responsible for drafting.
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The Bills struggled the next two seasons under head coach Doug Marrone, who ultimately left the team for other coaching options. Whaley followed up Marrone with Rex Ryan, who was fired from the New York Jets at the end of the 2014 season. Ryan, known for his outgoing personality and dominant defenses, injected some fire and passion into the organization.
However the Bills defense actually declined from the 2014 season, finishing 19th and 14th in total defense during the next two campaigns. The Bills eventually fired Ryan before the end of the 2016 season after failing to provide Buffalo with a winning season.
After the unsuccessful Rex Ryan experiment, the Bills brought in former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to try and turn around the franchise. He found success in Carolina, leading their defense to the Super Bowl in the 2015 season, ultimately losing to the Denver Broncos. The new head coach in Buffalo has been a part of a long coaching tree, learning behind the likes of Andy Reid, Jim Johnson and Ron Rivera.
What does McDermott bring to the Bills? Hopefully he can bring a tough defense that the Bills haven’t had the past couple seasons. Ryan failed to lead the defense, which has the talent to be one of the toughest in the NFL. McDermott’s track record suggests that he could very well turn that around.
On May 9, the Bills officially hired Brandon Beane to be their new general manager. Beane had been in the Panthers organization as well, holding various positions for 19 years. He had been the assistant general manager for the Panthers since 2015. He was a big part of bringing the roster together that won the NFC and made it to the Super Bowl in 2015.
As for what Beane brings to Buffalo, the main thing is experience. After being a part of the Panthers for 19 seasons, he knows what it takes to win in this league. He has been a part of six playoff appearances and has been to the ultimate show twice.
Many believed that when the Bills hired Beane, it would mean that McDermott would have final say of the 53-man roster. But according to Ian Rapaport of NFL Network, that is not true. Beane will have full control of the roster, though he’ll “work closely with McDermott.”
Bringing in McDermott and Beane is wise for the organization, as they have familiarity with each other. The pair have worked together since 2011, though they have a tough task ahead of them in Buffalo.
Ending a 17-year playoff drought is no small task. If both McDermott and Beane can bring the success they had in Carolina to Buffalo, Bills fans will be elated. There are high hopes that McDermott and Beane can turn this franchise around and make Buffalo proud once again.