The Buffalo Bills organization is becoming something special and the two masterminds that have put in the work to build it up are going to be around for a long time to see the fruits of their labor.
After signing head coach Sean McDermott to a multi-year contract extension in August, the Bills announced on Thursday that they were also signing general manager Brandon Beane to a contract extension as well.
With what they’ve been able to do in their three-and-a-half years together, they both deserve it as they have completely reshaped, the culture, the roster, and the outlook of the franchise.
The idea of just making the playoffs was the ultimate goal for the Bills before McDermott and Beane took over as they were in the midst of a 17-year playoff drought. Winning a Super Bowl was never really on their minds. Now, that mindset is completely different.
“I’ve put a lot into this place and what we have here,” Beane said during a video conference call on Friday. “I want to see this place win for a long time and I want to be here to see a lot of it.”
Beane and McDermott aren’t just tied together by contracts either, they have the same mindset as well when it comes to making the Buffalo Bills one of the best teams in the NFL.
“We both have the same agenda of winning and doing things right,” McDermott said on Friday during a video conference call.
So far, winning is exactly what McDermott and Beane have brought to Buffalo. McDermott has an overall head coaching record of 34-26 in Buffalo and has led Buffalo to two playoff appearances in three seasons.
Beane has gotten the Bills out from under the horrendous cap situation that former coach Rex Ryan left the organization in and has completely rebuilt the roster from the bottom up. The only two players remaining on the roster from 2017 are Reid Ferguson and Jerry Hughes. Beane has also drafted and developed a number of draft picks that have turned into key pieces of the franchise.
Now, with a 9-3 record for the second straight season, the Bills have an opportunity to become the first Bills team since 1991 to start a season with a record of 10-3 or better when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. They also have an opportunity to bring home Buffalo’s first AFC East title since 1995.
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Two Deals that Set Buffalo Up for Success
A lot of things can make or break a general manager, but two of the biggest are who they place at quarterback and who is the head coach. Beane didn’t have the opportunity to hire his own head coach because McDermott was already in Buffalo when he was hired, but the two shared history in Carolina together and will share a future for quite some time.
Beane did get it right with his quarterback selection though. During his first NFL draft as the Bills general manager Beane traded up into the Top 10 picks and drafted Josh Allen at No. 7 overall.
“The two most important hires for a general manager are to make sure you have the right head coach and the right quarterback in place,” Beane said. “If you have that, you have a chance. You have to do a lot of other things right but I do believe we have that here in Buffalo. If you look at all the teams that are in it every year, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, these stable teams, Green Bay, New Orleans, they are generally pretty stable at the quarterback and head coach position and that’s what we want to be.”
After many criticized Beane for the move and didn’t necessarily believe Allen would pan out, he has and has helped the Bills become a formidable force in the AFC. He’s an NFL MVP candidate this season as he’s thrown for 3,403 yards, 26 touchdowns and has averaged 283.6 passing yards per game.
Beane also made a deal this past offseason to put his first draft pick in an even better position to succeed. In a deal with the Minnesota Viking, Beane packaged Buffalo’s 2020 first-round pick, (No. 22 overall), a 2020 fifth-round pick, a 2020 sixth-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick for Stefon Diggs and a 2020 seventh-round pick. Throught 12 games, Diggs has caught a league-leading 90 passes for 1,307 yards and four touchdowns.
What’s Next for the Bills
Building up the organization hasn’t been an easy task, but the brightest years are still in the future. With the young talent the Bills have and their quarterback under center, the Bills have the pieces in place to succeed down the line.
Allen is just 24-years-old and defensively linebacker Tremain Edmunds is just breaching the surface of his potential. They are already both captains and with the talent that Beane and McDermott have already brought in, they won’t be short on talent in the future either as Beane and McDermott look to keep pushing the Bills forward.