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Beane & McDermott to become longest-serving GM-HC tandem in franchise history

When the pair enter their seventh season together in Orchard Park, NY, Bills history will be written

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane have overseen the advancement of a once-moribund NFL franchise since 2017. When the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Aaron-Rodgers-led New York Jets kicks off under the Meadowlands lights of Monday Night Football, it will mark a momentous occasion in Bills history. That’s because Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are set to begin the 2023 NFL regular season as the franchise’s longest-serving GM-coach tandem.

Beane and McDermott will enter year seven together at One Bills Drive, surpassing current high-water mark of over six years for Hall of Famers general manager Bill Polian and head coach Marv Levy (1986-1992).

AP Sports Writer John Warwow was first to report the news that Beane and McDermott will enter into rarefied Bills air.

A good portion of Bills Mafia will recall the pervasive turmoil that cloaked One Bills Drive prior to the “McBeane” era, which began almost immediately after general manager John Butler left for the then-San Diego Chargers. Following Butler’s departure at the conclusion of the 2001 NFL season, the franchise cycled through five general managers and six head coaches (plus two interim head coaches) in 16 seasons.

Those 13 names (which includes interim appointments) are quite a stroll down memory lane.

Bills General Managers (2001 through 2016)

  • Tom Donahoe (2001-2005)
  • Marv Levy (2006-2007)
  • Russ Brandon (2008-2009)
  • Buddy Nix (2010-2012)
  • Doug Whaley (2013-2016)

Bills Head Coaches (2001-2016)

  • Gregg Williams (2001-2003)
  • Mike Mularkey (2004-2005)
  • Dick Jauron (2006-2009)
  • Perry Fewell (interim HC for seven games following Jauron dismissal)
  • Chan Gailey (2010-2012)
  • Doug Marrone (2013-2014)
  • Rex Ryan (2015-2016)
  • Anthony Lynn (interim HC for one game following Ryan dismissal)

Prior to Donahoe joining the Bills, the team had employed just seven GMs in franchise history. Before Williams’ introductory press conference, Buffalo had named a new head coach 10 times since 1960.

Marv Levy remains the franchise’s longest-tenured head coach at 11 seasons, while Bob Lustig holds the title of longest-serving Bills GM — having held the position for 12 seasons from 1967-1978.

Of course, those tuned-in well to all things Buffalo Bills understand that Beane and McDermott’s NFL relationship dates back to 2011 when both were with the Carolina Panthers. Beane held the title of director of football operations prior to his being named assistant general manager in Carolina while McDermott was in house as the team’s defensive coordinator.

It may come as little surprise that McDermott and Beane’s time neatly aligns with that of quarterback Josh Allen. The same was true of Levy, who had Kelly as his unquestioned starting QB all but his final season in Orchard Park, NY.

Find the quarterback. Save the franchise.