Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott is a finalist for the NFL’s Coach of the Year award, reports The Buffalo News beat reporter Vic Carucci. McDermott earned the recognition following a 10-6 season that saw the Bills clinch the AFC’s fifth seed with room to spare, before an overtime defeat against the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round.
McDermott, who’s 25-23 as a head coach in regular-season games, has led the Bills to two playoff appearances in three years after the team endured a 17-year drought. He’s the team’s most successful head coach since Wade Phillips and Marv Levy.
Chuck Knox, in the 1980 season, was Buffalo’s only AP Coach of the Year award winner (and also honored by the Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly), though the Sporting News named Marv Levy its winner in the 1988 season. Information on historical finalists for the award is harder to come by, but it’s safe to assume that McDermott is the first Bills coach to reach that mark in at least 19 years.
Ironically enough, one more former Bills coach was a unanimous Coach of the Year selection: Dick Jauron, who led the Chicago Bears to a 13-3 record in 2001. Safe to say he didn’t carry that success to Buffalo.