Sean McDermott

AFC East Notes: Allen, Bills, Coleman, Staff, Washington, Jets, Patriots, Slater, Dolphins

Having traded Stefon Diggs weeks after letting Gabe Davis walk in free agency, the Bills are facing questions about their receiving corps. The team’s top offseason investment at the position — No. 33 overall pick Keon Coleman — encouraged Josh Allen. Bills GM Brandon Beane said during a Sirius XM Radio appearance he had Allen join coaches in watching some film of receiver prospects. Coleman was among the candidates the superstar passer preferred, expressing his approval after being informed on Day 2 of the draft the Bills would go with the Florida State wideout. Although Coleman did not produce an 800-yard receiving season with the Seminoles, the Bills look set to count on the 6-foot-4 pass catcher as they remake their receiving corps.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Jets have moved on from one of the better-known members of their coaching staff. Leon Washington, who had been in place as assistant special teams coach in each of Robert Saleh‘s three seasons, did not see his contract renewed for the 2024 season, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello. This marked the former Jets kick returner/running back’s first full-time coaching gig, after a run of fellowships since his playing career ended after the 2014 season. A Jets contributor from 2006-09, Washington earned All-Pro honors in 2008. Earlier this offseason, the Jets lost special teams assistant Michael Ghobrial to the Giants. Dan Shamash, who helps advise Saleh in terms of game management, is now listed as an ST assistant for the team. Brant Boyer remains in place as the team’s ST coordinator.
  • Rome Odunze may well have been the Jets’ preference at No. 10, but after the Bears went with the Washington wideout at 9, the team was set on Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu. The Jets were also high on Washington tackle Troy Fautanu, according to’s Jeremy Fowler, but the team carried some long-term durability concerns about the Pac-12 blocker. Two other tackles — Taliese Fuaga (Saints) and Amarius Mims (Bengals) — went off the board before Fautanu, who slid to the Steelers at No. 20. Some teams flagged Fautanu’s knee as a medical concern,’s Albert Breer notes. It appears the Jets were one of them.
  • Odell Beckham Jr.‘s Dolphins contract includes a void year, which will drop his cap number by a bit. The new Miami WR3 will count $2.1MM on the team’s 2024 cap, per OverTheCap. Beckham signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Dolphins; the team will take on a $900K dead money charge in 2025 if OBJ is not re-signed by the 2025 league year.
  • The Bills have either decided on their defensive play-caller, only to not reveal the choice publicly, or they are still in the process of determining who will call the signals come September. Sean McDermott said (via the Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski) he is delaying this decision until at least training camp. McDermott called plays last season, with the Bills having moved on from longtime defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, but the Bills now have a DC again in Bobby Babich. The Bills have been a top-five defense in each of the past three seasons, though their units — as key injuries hit in each season — have struggled in the playoffs.
  • Matthew Slater‘s immediate transition to coaching will come in a full-time role, according to’s Mike Reiss. The perennial Pro Bowl special-teamer is working as a “right-hand man” to Jerod Mayo, with Reiss noting the new Patriots HC is receiving input from his former teammate regarding team-building and character development. Slater, 38, spent 16 seasons with the Patriots, coming into the league in the same 2008 draft class Mayo did.
  • Staying with that 2008 draft class, one of its members recently landed a scouting gig. The Dolphins hired Beau Bell as a pro scout, according to’s Neil Stratton. A 2008 fourth-round Browns draftee, Bell only played five NFL games. He will make the move to a full-time role after receiving an apprentice opportunity with the Rams and serving as GM of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul.

Staff Rumors: Licht, Bowles, Bills, Patriots

Jason Licht built a Super Bowl-winning Buccaneers roster, doing so after luring Tom Brady to Tampa and completing an all-in effort that kept the Bucs as an elite team in 2021 as well. The 10th-year GM did not oversee a playoff team until Brady’s arrival, and the team regressed after the all-time great unretired last year. But the Bucs are back atop the NFC South, in another bad year for the division, with Baker Mayfield at the helm. This status aside, the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora notes Licht and second-year HC Todd Bowles may be on the hot seat. Pointing to ownership’s interest in starting over to begin a rebuild, La Canfora indicates each of the Bucs’ top two decision-makers could be in trouble.

In his sixth season as a head coach, Bowles is overseeing a No. 13-ranked defense (DVOA places the unit 17th). The former Jets HC has taken heat for his clock management, and the Bucs have certainly dipped as a whole compared to the two Brady-Bruce Arians years. Bowles one-and-done rumors emerged late last season, and the Bucs dropped from 3-1 to 4-7 this year. With a clear chance to either qualify for the playoffs as the NFC South champ or as a wild card, the Bucs do not profile as a clear-cut candidate to dismantle their setup. But this does look to be a consideration.

Here is the latest from the coaching and front office ranks:

  • Weathering a storm of his own making last week, Sean McDermott has the Bills at 7-6. While that is a disappointing record given the team’s plus-104 point differential, Buffalo looms as a dangerous team in the AFC wild-card race. Prior to the report about McDermott using the 9/11 hijackers as an example of teamwork back in 2019, the seventh-year HC was viewed as close to a lock to return in 2024. The Bills HC, however, may not be completely in the clear,’s Dan Graziano writes. The Bills still have matchups against the Cowboys and Dolphins. While McDermott has led a recovery effort that has featured five playoff appearances in six years, not advancing to this year’s bracket — in a conference littered with backup QBs — would be a major disappointment. Would that fate be enough for the Bills to cut bait?
  • On the subject of the Bills’ staff, the team hired another assistant following Ken Dorsey‘s firing. Former Buffalo University OC DJ Mangas is now on McDermott’s staff as an offensive assistant, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweets. Mangas also was on the 2019 LSU staff alongside current Bills OC Joe Brady. Mangas, 34, spent this season as the MAC program’s OC; he was LSU’s pass-game coordinator in 2021. The Bills added Mangas to their staff during their Week 13 bye,’s Alaina Getzenberg tweets. This is Mangas’ first NFL gig.
  • Syracuse firing longtime HC Dino Babers will have ramifications for the Patriots. The ACC program will poach Ross Douglas from New England, per’s Pete Thamel, who notes the three-year Pats assistant will work as the wide receivers coach under new Orange coach Fran Brown. Douglas, 29, climbed to the role of Patriots wideouts coach this year. While the Patriots are expected to move on from their legendary HC after the season, it is not known if Jerod Mayo would replace Bill Belichick and retain a number of assistants. An outside staffer coming in would point to the Pats’ staff being mostly sacked.

Bills HC Sean McDermott Not On Hot Seat

Since their 2022 season ended, the Bills have moved on from both DC Leslie Frazier and OC Ken Dorsey. Coordinator dismissals have been known to precede head coach firings, but the Bills look set to give Sean McDermott more time.

A driver in the Bills going from holding major North American sports’ longest playoff drought (from 2000-16) to the team becoming an AFC power, McDermott is in his seventh season as the Bills’ HC. The team has qualified for the playoffs five times in McDermott’s six seasons. Between Buffalo’s fourth consecutive Super Bowl loss to close the 1993 season and McDermott’s 2017 hire, the team had booked a postseason berth four times. While McDermott’s 2023 squad may be underachieving, it appears ownership is taking a big-picture view here.

McDermott is not in danger of being fired, according to The Athletic’s Tim Graham (subscription required). One of the sources informed Graham there is “zero” chance Terry Pegula will fire McDermott, who was hired before GM Brandon Beane came to town. This follows a report that suggested both McDermott and Beane are safe for 2024. While perhaps not on the hot seat, McDermott’s stock has dropped a bit over the past two seasons.

The Super Bowl LVII favorites to start last season, the Bills went 13-3 and beat the three-loss Chiefs. Because of Damar Hamlin‘s life-threatening injury, the NFL canceled the Week 17 Bills-Bengals game. This led to Buffalo being the AFC’s No. 2 seed, but the Bills — who had lost multiple key defensive starters as the season progressed — underwhelmed in the postseason, narrowly clipping the Skylar Thompson-quarterbacked Dolphins and dropping a one-sided divisional-round game to the Bengals. Still facing high expectations this season, the Bills have stumbled to a 6-6 record.

While Buffalo’s point differential (plus-101, fourth in the NFL) does not depict a team sitting on the “In the Hunt” line in playoff graphics, the Bills have endured several letdown losses. Most recently, the Eagles eclipsed a dominant Josh Allen performance by driving for an overtime touchdown, dropping McDermott to 1-6 in career OT games. This followed Buffalo having 12 men on the field to give Denver a second-chance try at a game-winning field goal. ESPN’s FPI gives the Bills, who have again seen core defenders go down with major injuries, a 21% chance to make the playoffs.

The Bills, however, announced through-2027 extensions for McDermott and Beane in June. McDermott’s .624 win percentage remains the highest in franchise history. The recent stumbles aside, Buffalo has won three AFC East titles under the “McBeane” duo’s leadership. The Bills’ two-trade effort in the 2018 first round secured Allen, and the team’s 2020 trade for Stefon Diggs helped turn their quarterback into a superstar. With the Chiefs redoing Patrick Mahomes‘ deal in September, Allen’s $43MM-per-year pact that runs through 2028 may be the team-friendliest of the current QB extensions.

That said, both the Titans and Cardinals bailed on staffers’ extensions recently. Tennessee axed GM Jon Robinson months after extending him through 2027; the Cardinals did the same with Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim. Teams have fired HCs after repeated playoff trips and experienced immediate success as a result, as evidenced by the Broncos moving on from John Fox in 2015 and the Buccaneers firing Tony Dungy in 2002. Both teams won the Super Bowl the following year. McDermott has also been fired after a playoff season, when Andy Reid dismissed him as Eagles DC despite the team winning the NFC East in 2010. That move led McDermott to Carolina. As it stands now, however, the Bills are not planning to shake up their operation.

Pegula is believed to still hold McDermott, 49, in high regard, Graham adds. Pegula has only fired one coach since buying the Bills in 2014. He axed Rex Ryan during the 2016 campaign. The team aimed to keep Ryan’s predecessor, Doug Marrone, but he exercised a $4MM payout clause that freed him from his contract in the event an ownership change occurred during his tenure. Marrone made the unusual move to leave an HC job for a position coach gig (in Jacksonville, though he later became HC). Pegula fired GM Doug Whaley following the 2017 draft, however, hiring ex-McDermott Panthers coworker Beane soon after.

Latest On Bills HC Sean McDermott, GM Brandon Beane

The Bills entered the 2023 season on the short list of Super Bowl favorites, but Buffalo currently sports a 5-5 record and has a difficult schedule over the remainder of the campaign. With the team already having moved on from offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, it is fair to wonder if even more significant changes could be on the horizon.

Both Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post and Dianna Russini of The Athletic (subscription required) used the terms “scapegoat” and “scapegoating” when describing Dorsey’s recent dismissal. As Russini writes, head coach Sean McDermott told reporters that he fired Dorsey following the Bills’ narrow loss to the Broncos last week because he felt his team could not walk back into the locker room without knowing something had changed. That is about as blunt as a coach will be when it comes to publicly assigning blame, and since the team has bid adieu to both of its top coordinators in less than a year — longtime defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier stepped away in February — the pressure is squarely on McDermott to right the ship (interestingly, La Canfora said the Frazier situation was fueled by panic-stricken scapegoating, which suggests that his exit was not entirely voluntary, as had been presumed).

Scapegoat or not, Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News believes it was the right call to part ways with Dorsey, whose scheme lacked creativity and whose play-calling had become predictable in Skurski’s eyes. That said, while Skurski believes McDermott will be on the hot seat if the Bills miss the playoffs, he does not believe McDermott will be fired. After all, Buffalo snapped its 17-year playoff drought in McDermott’s first season at the helm in 2017, and McDermott has posted a 67-40 regular season record while failing to qualify for the postseason field just once from 2017-22. La Canfora also hears from rival execs that McDermott has built up enough goodwill to survive one disappointing campaign.

However, additional staff shakeups should be expected. McDermott took over defensive play-calling duties in the wake of Frazier’s departure, and the Bills have slipped from sixth in the league in total defense in 2022 to 17th in 2023. While injuries have certainly played a major role in that regression, McDermott’s failed decision to call an all-out blitz in the Denver loss and the subsequent special teams snafu that allowed the Broncos a second chance at the game-winning field goal support one rival GM’s belief — as articulated to La Canfora — that Bills ownership will not allow McDermott to continue as de facto DC and defensive play-caller in 2024.

That same general manager does not believe that the Buffalo offense will find its footing under interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The GM said Brady’s scheme was proven to be a flawed one during his brief stint as OC with the Panthers, though Albert Breer of reports that most people within Carolina’s organization saw Brady as an imaginative and detail-oriented coach, and that Brady’s ouster was fueled primarily by a personality clash with then-head coach Matt Rhule. Still, should the Bills’ offense falter under Brady’s stewardship, Skurski believes McDermott will also be looking for a new offensive coordinator in the offseason.

GM Brandon Beane, who came to Buffalo alongside McDermott in 2017, also seems like a good bet to keep his job, as Skurski suggests. While La Canfora reports that team ownership is getting a bit restless, it should be noted that both Beane and McDermott were handed thru-2027 extensions earlier this year. Their contract situations and their track records may afford them the chance to return the Bills to powerhouse status, but if Buffalo misses the playoffs in 2023 and does not exhibit marked improvement in 2024, Beane and McDermott will likely be looking for new employment.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

After the 2022 offseason produced 10 new head coaches, this one brought a step back in terms of turnover. Five teams changed HCs, though each conducted thorough searches — four of them lasting until at least January 31.

The Colts and Cardinals hired their HCs after Super Bowl LVII, plucking the Eagles’ offensive and defensive coordinators (Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon). The Cardinals were hit with a tampering penalty regarding their Gannon search. Conducting their second HC search in two years, the Broncos saw multiple candidates drop out of the running. But Denver’s new ownership group convinced Sean Payton to step out of the FOX studio and back onto the sidelines after just one season away. The Panthers made this year’s first hire (Frank Reich), while the Texans — running their third HC search in three years — finalized an agreement with DeMeco Ryans minutes after the Payton news broke.

Only one of last year’s top 10 longest-tenured HCs lost his job. A turbulent Colts year led to Reich being fired barely a year after he signed an extension. During a rather eventful stretch, Jim Irsay said he reluctantly extended Reich in 2021. The Colts passed on giving interim HC Jeff Saturday the full-time position, despite Irsay previously indicating he hoped the former center would transition to that role. Reich landed on his feet, and after losing Andrew Luck to a shocking retirement just before his second Colts season, the well-regarded play-caller now has another No. 1 pick (Bryce Young) to mentor.

After considering a Rams exit, Sean McVay recommitted to the team and is overseeing a reshaped roster. Andy Reid also sidestepped retirement rumors, staying on with the Chiefs after his second Super Bowl win. This will be Reid’s 25th season as an NFL head coach.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2023 season:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  11. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  12. Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders): January 1, 2020
  13. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  14. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  15. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  16. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  17. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  18. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  19. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  20. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  21. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  22. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  23. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  24. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  25. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  26. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  27. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  28. Frank Reich (Carolina Panthers): January 26, 2023
  29. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  30. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  31. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  32. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023

Bills Extend HC Sean McDermott, GM Brandon Beane

Two pillars of the Bills’ run of recent success will remain in place for years to come. The team announced on Friday that extensions have been signed by both head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane.

These new deals will run through 2027, the year which will mark one decade since their joint arrival in Buffalo. Both McDermott and Beane had previously signed extensions in 2020, but now their contractual futures will be aligned with one another. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that these new contracts had been agreed to “for some time,” but now long-term stability has been ensured well in advance of training camp and another season in which the franchise faces considerable expectations.

The Bills snapped an 18-year playoff drought during McDermott and Beane’s first season at the helm, and the team has been among the league’s most successful since that point. The selection of Josh Allen as a franchise quarterback has provided sustained performances in the regular season in particular, and only one campaign (Allen’s rookie year in 2018) outside the postseason. Overall, McDermott has posted a 62-35 record with the Bills.

The maturation of Allen (especially after the trade acquisition of wideout Stefon Diggs in 2020) has seen the Bills become one of the league’s elite offenses. Over the past three seasons, the team has ranked in the top five in both total and scoring offense, while generally delivering strong defensive performances as well. Buffalo has ranked in the top six in total defense four times under McDermott, whose first head coaching gig came after defensive coordinator stints with the Eagles and Panthers.

McDermott’s background on that side of the ball will become increasingly important in 2023, since former DC Lezlie Frazier has stepped away from his position, leaving McDermott in place as defensive play-caller. On offense, continued success under Brian Daboll successor Ken Dorsey will be a key goal after the latter led the Bills to a second-place finish in scoring last year.

Overall, this coming season (and those in the short- to intermediate future, given the franchise’s current core) will of course be judged by postseason success. The Bills have advanced to the AFC title game once under the McDermott/Beane regime, coming within 13 seconds of a Super Bowl appearance in 2020. Moves such as the signing of edge rusher Von Miller to a six-year, $120MM deal last offseason show the team’s willingness to commit to a win-now approach through Allen’s prime. They will once again face a plethora of strong competitors in their division and the AFC as a whole, though.

Much remains to be seen regarding McDermott’s and Beane’s ability to remain in Buffalo through the duration of these new pacts, of course. Continued strong showings in the regular season (like the four consecutive double-digit win seasons the team has strung together) will go a long way in ensuring stability on the sidelines and in the front office, however. A breakthrough in the playoffs would only add to the recognition both individuals have received during their tenure so far, and confirm the franchise’s latest investment in them as a sound one.

Sean McDermott To Call Bills’ Defensive Plays

After the announced departure of defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the Bills were in need of a plan for who would be calling plays on defense. General manager Brandon Beane confirmed that the team wouldn’t search externally for a replacement, leaving the responsibility of determining the role to head coach Sean McDermott. Well, according to Mike Giardi of NFL Network, McDermott will be shouldering the role himself.

Two other coaches on staff were considered to be top candidates for the play-calling responsibilities. Senior defensive assistant Al Holcomb recently joined the Bills’ staff after serving as interim defensive coordinator for the Panthers last season. Defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator John Butler was also thought to be worthy of consideration. Butler is extremely well-regarded as a defensive coach and had served as defensive coordinator during his time at Penn State.

Ultimately, Buffalo will turn to its skipper to take on the added responsibility. McDermott is obviously one of the more respected minds in football after helping to turn the Bills into a genuine contender. He also earned his position as head coach after stints as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator (2009-10) and the Panthers’ defensive coordinator (2011-16). McDermott had two strong seasons with the Panthers, fielding the second-best defense in yards and points allowed in 2013 and the sixth-best defense in yards and points allowed in 2015, when Carolina went the Super Bowl.

The Bills will certainly miss Frazier, who led a Bills defense that has allowed the fewest yards in each of the past two seasons while allowing the fewest points in 2021 and the second-fewest points in 2022. But Buffalo has a capable leader who will step up and attempt to keep the Bills defense at the top of the league.

Bills Notes: Miller, DC Replacement, RB Addition

Von Miller has five years remaining on the deal he signed last offseason to join the Bills. That means the 33-year-old’s playing days should continue for at least the short-term future, but he already has a plan for his next career after he hangs up his cleats.

In an interview with 9News’ Mike Klis, Miller said he intends to pursue a career as a general manager once his playing career ends. He spent time at the Combine speaking with executives around the league to gain advice on how to one day begin the process of transitioning to the front office.

“It’s what I want to do,” the future Hall of Famer said. “I don’t have any experience. I know what a great football team looks like. I know what a winning football team looks like. A great staff, great equipment guys, great athletic trainers. I know what that looks like, I know what it takes to build those teams but that’s it.”

Miller noted that the success John Elway had both as a player and GM with the Broncos served as inspiration for his desire to work in a front office. He added that he has no intention of coaching once his playing days are over, so his success in finding a role in management will be something to watch down the road.

Here are some other notes out of Orchard Park:

  • The decision by Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to step away for the 2023 season leaves the team with a notable vacancy on their staff. As expected, an external hire will not be coming, though. GM Brandon Beane confirmed that filling the DC spot will be handled internally, and that head coach Sean McDermott will “head” the process of determining who calls plays for the unit next season (Twitter links via ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg). McDermott serving as de-facto DC would come as no surprise given his background on that side of the ball, but the Bills have other candidates for a short-term promotion, including highly-regarded defensive backs coach John Butler.
  • The Bills added to their running backs room at the draft last offseason by selecting James Cook in the second round. They made another move at the trade deadline by acquiring Nyheim Hines, but Bean indicated (via Jon Scott of Spectrum News, on Twitter) that the team will be in the market for another back this year. Specifically, a power back to compliment the relatively undersized Cooks and Hines is what the team is targeting. Devin Singletary is one of several free agents still available at the position, and a departure would not come as a surprise. Especially is Singletary signs elsewhere, RB will be a position of interest for the Bills in the near future.

Bills DC Leslie Frazier To Step Away

Yet another team will make a coordinator change this offseason. The Bills will need a new defensive coordinator; Leslie Frazier is planning to step away from the team.

Frazier informed GM Brandon Beane last week he wanted to take a step back from football, Alaina Getzenberg of tweets. The Bills announced their six-year DC’s departure but noted the 63-year-old assistant plans to return in 2024. This could create an unusual situation regarding Sean McDermott‘s right-hand man, but that role will indeed involve new personnel next season.

The former Vikings HC had become the Bills’ play-caller on defense, and the team had consistently produced top-tier units. The Bills have ranked first or second in scoring defense in three of the past four years, finishing second in that category this past season. That placement came despite the team losing Micah Hyde in September and seeing Von Miller‘s Thanksgiving Day ACL tear shut him down. Several other key Buffalo starters missed time during an ultimately disappointing season for the AFC East champs, who struggled in a one-sided playoff loss to Cincinnati.

McDermott may well step in as the Bills’ play-caller on defense, Beane adds. That would make for a simple transition, and the team will have former McDermott Panthers coworker and recent Carolina interim DC Al Holcomb on staff as a senior defensive assistant. Defensive backs coach John Butler is also well-regarded, and KPRC’s Aaron Wilson notes the former Penn State DC coming in and replacing Frazier in what could amount to an interim DC role would be logical (Twitter link).

A former Bears defensive back in the early 1980s, Frazier has been on NFL coaching staffs since 1999. He quickly rose to the DC level, being part of Marvin Lewis‘ Bengals rebuild before serving in that same position with the Vikings in the late 2000s. Minnesota tabbed Frazier to replace Brad Childress in 2011, and Tampa Bay employed him as its DC from 2014-15. This Bills role has brought HC interest, though no interviews came this year. Frazier hesitancy regarding his coaching future may have contributed to no such meetings taking place, and it will be interesting to see if he steps back in as Buffalo’s DC in 2024.

Damar Hamlin Roundup: Bills-Bengals Resumption, AFC Alterations, More

With Bills safety Damar Hamlin continuing to make progress in his recovery, and the NFL having moved forward with their re-worked playoff scenarios for the AFC, attention will now increasingly turn to the upcoming postseason. Here is a quick roundup, though, of some notes pertaining to the game in which he suffered cardiac arrest, and the process by which the new seeding parameters were arrived at:

  • Much has been made about the league’s intention of resuming the Buffalo-Cincinnati contest after Hamlin was taken off the field via ambulance. The ESPN broadcast of the game mentioned a five-minute warm-up period being relayed to both teams – something which NFL EVP Troy Vincent has, on multiple occasions, emphatically denied. Detailing the moments after Hamlin was resuscitated on the field, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that an official told the Bengals a 10-minute warm-up period would take place before resuming the game. Further conversations ensured, however, which included Bills head coach Sean McDermott stating that he was willing to forfeit the game if it ensured it was not played on Monday night. The Bengals, Florio adds, were accommodating of the Bills’ wishes, though they were under the impression the contest would be finished on Tuesday until realizing the Bills had retuned to Buffalo before the league’s ultimate cancellation decision.
  • That move led to the modified AFC structure for playoff seeding, affecting the Bills’ and Bengals’ abilities to clinch the top spot in the conference. When speaking about the owners resolution passed on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell described it as “a focused approach that would only affect four teams” (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero). One of main consequences of the realignment was the ability the Chiefs had to clinch the No. 1 seed with a win on Saturday (which they did) and the decision to move any potential Chiefs-Bills AFC title game to a neutral site – a scenario which is in play given Buffalo’s win today.
  • Another, of course, was the amendment stating that home field for a Bengals-Ravens Wild Card matchup would have been decided by a coin flip had the Ravens won today (which they did not). Pelissero’s colleague Mike Garafolo tweets that proposals were in place to split the aforementioned amendments being voted on, but they did not pass. A coin flip being used to determine the top seed was not discussed, he adds (Twitter link). Throughout the process, the Chiefs abstained from voting given the direct effects the rule changes had on their path to the top spot in the AFC, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).
  • The NFL also considered the possibility of the Ravens and Bengals playing their Wild Card matchup (which was a distinct possibility at the time, and has since been confirmed through today’s results) at a neutral site (Twitter link via Pelissero). Challenges with ticket sales and other logistics prevented that idea from gaining traction, however. Cincinnati and Baltimore will play each other for the third time this year – and second in as many weeks – during the first round of the postseason, with the Bengals playing host due to their superior record.
  • Competition committee chair Rich McKay said, when asked about the league’s decision not to simply base playoff implications on win percentage, “We don’t capture everything in every rule. When you face situations, you have to try to make adjustments. [This situation was] not that different from some of the COVID-related issues” (Twitter link via Pelissero and Garafolo’s colleague Ian Rapoport). No games were cancelled due to the pandemic, but the NFL has likewise arrived at a response to the unique situation presented by last Monday’s contest not being completed. Now, all affected teams will move forward with their eyes on a playoff run.