Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott’s main focus was on changing the culture in Buffalo from their first days at work.
This cultural shift has resulted in playoff berths in three out of four seasons and led to their best season to date in 2020 with the Buffalo Bills. Last year Buffalo took a 13-3 lead in the regular season, including a sweep over AFC East for the first time in team history. In the playoffs, Beane and McDermott’s squad made it to the AFC Championship game.
Beane and McDermott have earned a lot of credit for turning the Bills around since 2017. Now the duo is getting some recognition for the turnaround of a team in NFC East.
It turns out that Washington Football Team’s Ron Rivera relied heavily on the duo in his first season as the team’s head coach. Rivera naturally built relationships with the duo from their time together with the Carolina Panthers. Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala wrote about Rivera’s first season in Washington and how head coach Beane and McDermott asked for advice.
“I asked Brandon and Sean, ‘When you walked in, what was the idea?'” Rivera said to Jhabvala. “It all starts with us walking in and saying, ‘Hey, we want to achieve this, that’s what we want to do, that’s what we want to be’ and then find out who shares the same vision.”
Rivera’s team had some ups and downs in their first season. The team released their starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the season and started the year 2-7. Haskins’ maturity issues were a prime example of a player not sharing the team’s vision. As the season progressed, the football team made progress. The team would win the track 5-2 in Rivera’s first season.
The team would be a single player in the playoffs, but Washington marginalized Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 31-23 loss.
Making the playoffs was a great first step for Washington, but Rivera knows I still have a lot to do. He hopes that by continuing the Buffalo model, Washington can achieve the long-term success that Buffalo is currently enjoying under Beane and McDermott.
“Even though they went to the playoffs in their freshman year, they knew they weren’t done,” Rivera told Beahab and McDermott told Jhabvala. “They knew they had more things to do. So here we are. We have more things to do. “
Part of the job is to come up with a long term answer with Quarterback. The team will return Alex Smith and Taylor Heinicke in 2021, but no long-term option is currently on the roster. With # 19 in this year’s draft class, the top three quarterbacks are likely to fall off the board, but an option like Trey Lance or Mac Jones could appeal to the team if they fall into the football team.
If Washington can find a franchise quarterback in the near future, Rivera’s makeover could really mirror the one Beane and McDermott put in place in Buffalo.
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