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AFC East Report: Buffalo Bills hire Sean McDermott as their new head coach

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The Bills have found Rex Ryan’s successor.

When the New England Patriots hired Bill Belichick as their head coach in 2000, Wade Phillips was holding the same position for the Buffalo Bills. But while Belichick is still leading the Patriots, Phillips has long left Buffalo and the team has not had any long-lasting stability since.

Since Belichick joined New England, the Bills have gone through seven different head coaches (plus two interims). The last one, Rex Ryan, was fired in December prior to the team’s regular season finale. Yesterday, Buffalo has found Ryan’s successor.

According to a team press release confirming prior reports, the Bills have chosen Sean McDermott as their new head coach:

IT’S OFFICIAL. We’ve agreed with Sean McDermott to become head coach of the Buffalo Bills!

For the last six years, McDermott worked as the Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator. During his tenure, the team earned three NFC South titles (2013-2015) and reached Super Bowl 50. However, it was also plagued by defensive inconsistency at times – 2016 was the latest example of that. Still, the 42-year old has proven himself a capable signal caller and now inherits a solid core of players in Buffalo.

The Patriots have only once played a defense coached by McDermott. In week 11 of the 2013 season, New England played the Panthers on Monday Night Football; a game the team lost 24-20. With McDermott now taking over the Bills, the Patriots will face him twice a year – hopefully with better results.