Reports of ‘Friction’ Between Bills HC & Rest of Staff Raises Concern

Sean McDermott

Getty Head Coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022.

As the Buffalo Bills gear up to restructure their roster for the 2022 NFL season, reports concerning a rift between head coach Sean McDermott and the rest of his staff raised more than a few eyebrows on Friday, March 4.

Both McDermott and Bills general manager Brandon spent this past week in Indianapolis attending the NFL’s scouting combine, during which WIVB Sports Director Josh Reed spoke to members from Buffalo’s inner circle about the vibe inside Highmark Stadium.

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Reed tweeted, “I’ve talked to several NFL assistants and college coaches in Indy who are very much “inside the circle” and they believe there is some friction between the Bills head coach Sean McDermott and some of the staff. Most of them also added that it’s not that unusual.”

Since the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season, the Bills have made 10 moves on the coaching staff, a combination of elevating up from within and adding new hires from other teams.

Reed’s Tweet Received Strong Mixed Reactions From Fans on Twitter

Sean McDermott

GettySean McDermott, head coach of the Buffalo Bills speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In response to the instant backlash from fans, as it’s understandably disappointing for Bills Mafia to hear such a report, Reed followed up by tweeting he heard this news from “credible sources.”

One fan tweeted back, “Totally believe it. Sean is a douche. He is def the type of guy that is ‘my way or the highway.’ I just hope we didn’t just let the best coach in the building leave,” referring to former offensive coordinate Brian Daboll, who’s now head coach of the New York Giants.

Another fan added, “This is not a shock I mentioned this more then a few times last year with many of you guys and was told your nuts.. philosophical differences I’ve warned in the past you will see a different offensive approach this year and your not going to like it.”

However, numerous Bills were quick to come to McDermott’s defense. One man tweeted, “I can guarantee all 32 NFL teams have this same ‘issue.’ It’s normal to not always agree with the head man in charge. Belichick is the GOAT coach & id bet money that some of his staff have some ‘friction’ toward him.”

Another person saw reports of “friction” as a positive thing. He tweeted, “I would hope there’s some friction. As a former CEO of a company, if you have no friction, then it’s a bunch of ‘yes’ people in the leadership team. I prefer an open exchange of ideas even if it leads to some friction once a decision is made.”

Another Report on Friday Said McDermott Never Discussed the Final 13 Seconds of the Bills/Chiefs Playoff Loss With the Team

Reed’s tweet was not the only concerning report regarding McDermott to come out on Friday. Tyler Dunne’s latest feature for Go Long detailed interviews with various Bills players on the aftermath of Buffalo’s infamous overtime playoff loss to the Kansas City City Chiefs.

Following the Bills lost 42-36 defeat on January 23, McDermott refrained from going into specific details about what happened in those final 13 seconds. “We need to execute better and that starts with me and goes all the way down… Obviously, they made a couple plays down the stretch. So, I’ll just leave it at that right now.”

On March 1, McDermott remained tight-lipped on what happened during that heartbreaking playoff loss, but it was assumed he at least spoke about it with his players and staff.

Dunne wrote, “Surely, he stood in front of everyone and detailed what went down those fateful 13 seconds and/or provided a sense of real closure because, after all, these are the people who matter most,” Dunne wrote. “The players and the coaches who’ve sacrificed so much for him in the name of accountability.

“Only, he did not. He held a generic, ‘We’ll grow from this’-themed address. The position coaches met with their players, then with the personnel department for year-end summaries on each player and… goodbye. Have a nice offseason. That’s it. Nothing was shared openly amongst players and coaches alike. Everything ended very ‘abruptly,’ one team source said.”

Bills fans and analysts have discussed the Bills/Chiefs playoff game ad nauseam, and when players have been asked about what went wrong, “miscommunication issues,” was the most common answer, with no further details added.

Over the past few months, it seemed as if the Bills coaching staff and players made a pact to keep the truth of who called what play and when, along with where it all went wrong, inside the house. An admirable, team-first approach.

However, Donne wrote:

In reality — so many of the men who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the organization have been left completely in the dark. The touchback that teed up Patrick Mahomes’ heroics was not discussed. Neither was the docile defensive alignment that followed. With those 13 seconds shrouded in mystery, players were forced to investigate themselves. Many, of course, declined to speak which is understandable considering their boss has refused to utter a word of substance on the matter. There’s little upside.

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