It had been a challenging couple of weeks for the Buffalo Bills leading up to their Week 14 game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Instead of simply focusing on rest and relaxation during their Week 13 bye, and then preparing for the Chiefs this past week — the Bills were faced with a mountain range of noise outside the organization, focused on edge rusher Von Miller and head coach Sean McDermott.
While Miller’s arrest for accusations of domestic violence involving assault of his pregnant girlfriend remains under investigation, the results of a deep dive into the history of Sean McDermott’s tenure were laid bare. And with a larger percentage of readers they sought to undo a man who does his best to remain close to the vest both personally and while protecting his football team.
Tyler Dunne’s 25,000-word opus about McDermott, featuring 25 former players and others who worked with and or around him at One Bills Drive likely did little to change most peoples’ already-formed opinions on him as Buffalo’s head coach. However, the inclusion of details about a disastrous training camp locker room speech from 2019 involving a metaphor about the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 hit louder than anything else in Dunne’s three-part story.
Speeches in those settings, in most locker room moments, are often private affairs. Locker rooms are supposed to be sacred spaces, unless NFL films or credentialed reporting outfits are invited in and given permission to share personally or publicly. But Dunne isn’t credentialed as a Bills reporter, so the sanctity of protocol did not apply.
As one might expect, there have been no shortage of opinions about the results of that long-form story. Interestingly, many who continue to have doubts about McDermott’s future employ with the team have taken exception with what they find to be a smear campaign on the part of the Go Long author. When a person is forced to re-visit comments made five years ago, to a room full of enough players who weren’t part of the organization, it’s bound to ruffle some outside feathers.
That appears to be the case, following the Bills’ massive win against the Chiefs on Sunday. As McDermott pointed out in his postgame locker room speech shared by the team’s official social media outlets: “I’m so proud of you guys, all the distractions this week, you guys did not flinch. Coaches, the players, staff. So proud of you guys, man.”
We’ve spent so much time wading through the muck and mire of off-field drama that it’s perhaps time to enjoy a bit of resiliency and soak in the positivity that’s swelling from One Bills Drive (and also within the visiting lock room at Arrowhead Stadium).
Contained here is but a small sample of the very vocal and public support of Sean McDermott, including each press conference following yesterday’s road win.
This story from Mitch Morse means so much. We don't talk enough about mental health and for him to share this story, and how Sean McDermott helped him, is very important #BillsMafia @WKBW pic.twitter.com/udJAb1U5j8— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) December 11, 2023
“Whatever leak or whatever - I think you’re a coward.”— Matt Parrino (@MattParrino) December 11, 2023
Ed Oliver defended Sean McDermott after the Bills defense came up with a stop on final drive vs. Chiefs.
“I got his back on everything.” pic.twitter.com/VIG7yTqL3n
Josh Allen defending his coach postgame. #Bills Josh Allen says you can question a lot about this team (coaching style, my decision making), but the one thing you should never question is Sean McDermott’s character.— Ajay Cybulski (@AjayCybulski) December 11, 2023
Allen adds that he’s one of the best people on this planet,…