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Opinion: With McDermott and Beane extended, it’s time to re-evaluate the “hot seat” verbiage

“Are” is not “should be,” is not “will be”

Annual NFL League Meeting Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images

Sometimes the world is funny.

For the last week or so, the question of whether or not the current Buffalo Bills regime was on the “hot seat” has percolated through the national consciousness, sparked in part by the organizations’ mishandling of the excused absence of star wide receiver Stefon Diggs on the first day of mandatory minicamp. And then both head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane got contract extensions from the Bills that run through 2027.

Sean McDermott was never on the hot seat. Neither was Brandon Beane.

Media or fan dissatisfaction with individual incidents like the Diggs situation or the failure of the team to win a Super Bowl since Josh Allen became an elite quarterback in 2020 don’t make a seat hot. Terry Pegula makes a hot seat, and there was never any indication in the slightest that he was dissatisfied with the performances of McDermott and Beane.

As a reminder, the Bills do not have an organizational structure that has the coach reporting to the general manager who reports to the owner. Both the general manager and the head coach report directly to Terry Pegula. Not only did he extend the contract of one of the key members of the staff, he extended both of them to coincide with each other. Not only is he pleased with what he’s seen from McDermott OR Beane, he’s pleased with what he’s seen from McDermott AND Beane. Together. As a unit. Neither one of them was ever on the hot seat, because the people who were attempting to light the fire under the chair aren’t even in the same room.

And so it’s important to get the verbs right for those who want to discuss the “hot seat” narrative. McDermott and Beane aren’t on it. The only person who was fit to raise the temperature instead decided to lower it by giving them extensions. Your own personal opinion, mine, or that of the media is not relevant to the question “are McDermott and Beane on the hot seat.” SHOULD they be on the hot seat? That’s an entirely different query and one that is completely subjective and up for debate based on the merits of each of them relative to the opiner’s personal standard. Could they eventually BECOME someone on the hot seat? Of course they could. Owners change their minds. People have fallings-out. Expectations aren’t met and relationships deteriorate. Standards change.

But the questions as to whether or not they ARE on the hot seat was dead before the new McBeane contracts were ever signed. And the dead horse continued to be beaten by the pens used to sign those very contracts.

They weren’t. And they aren’t. These are undeniable facts.

Any discussion moving forward should revolve around whether they “should be” and whether they “will be.”

The “should be” argument can utilize all of the above-noted accomplishments and failures of the regime in a formula crafted by the arguer. The “will be” argument can utilize predictions based on historical precedent. But the “were” and “are” arguments are dead. They have been for a while, but it’s time for anyone still hanging on to let go.

...and that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m Bruce Nolan with Buffalo Rumblings. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @BruceExclusive and look for new episodes of “The Bruce Exclusive” every Thursday on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network!